Category: West Windsor

UPDATE: Driving While Intoxicated Leads To Car Sunk Into Lake Mercer By Boathouse

Police want you to know; “If you have had too many alcohol beverages to drink during this holiday weekend, we urge you to make alternate arrangements instead of driving yourself.  These type of incidents only put many others at risk.”

July 4, 2020 update at 1:30 pm

SEE THIS MORNING’S BREAKING NEWS REPORT HERE: BREAKING: Car Under Water At Mercer County Park Boathouse

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—At 11:19 pm West Windsor Police and Mercer County Rangers were detailed to 1 South Post Road at the Mercer County Boat Ramp next to the Mercer County Boathouse for a vehicle submerged in Lake Mercer. Patrol Units initially met with the operator of the vehicle, identified at Lauren K. Engel of Dumont, NJ who had escaped from her underwater 2010 Nissan Rogue. The West Windsor Division of Fire and Emergency Services, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1, Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company, Hightstown Dive Team, and Grover’s Mill Towing were detailed to the scene to search and locate the vehicle and determine if any others were in the vehicle.

It was determined the Engel sustained a minor injury and no other persons had been inside of the sunken Rogue. Engel was evaluated by members of the West Windsor Emergency Services and declined transport to a hospital.

The initial investigation revealed that Engel had been attempting to exit the Mercer County Park during a heavy rainstorm possibly up to (2) hours earlier. The delay was due to Engel having no means to contact the WWPD or anyone else at that time of night during a storm and given her secluded location. Ptl. Caulfield, the Lead Investigator, determined Engel to be Driving While Intoxicated at the scene. Engle was transported to the WWPD for processing. Grover’s Mill Towing retrieved the underwater Nissan which sustained sever water damage. The retrieving of the submerged vehicle took over (2) hours.

Traffic Officer Brown is the Lead Investigator in this collision while Ptl. Caulfield is the Lead Investigator into the DWI portion of the collaborative investigation. The driver was issued summonses for DWI, Reckless Driving, Carless Driving by Ptl. Caulfield, and released pending a future date at the West Windsor Township Municipal Court.

None of the first responders of the owner-operators of the Grover’s Mill Towing were injured during the search for additional persons or retrieval of the Rogue.  

The incident is still under investigation by the West Windsor Township Police Traffic Division. If you have any information of substance, please contact Traffic Officer Brown at Brown@westwindsorpolice.com or Traffic Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com


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Full press release from West Windsor Police here: http://local.nixle.com/alert/8095604/

BREAKING: Car Under Water At Mercer County Park Boathouse


SEE UPDATED STORY HERE: UPDATE: Driving While Intoxicated Leads To Car Sunk Into Lake Mercer By Boathouse


BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Information provided is from on scene reports. Once official information is released the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.

July 3, 2020 incident approximately 11:15 pm. Time of report 1:45 am July 4, 2020

1:47 am update, divers were back in the water assisting the tow truck company hooking up cables to pull the car out of the water.

2:05 am update divers were out of the water and car was being pulled out by the tow trucks.

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—Around 11:15 pm Mercer County Park Rangers and West Windsor Police requested West Windsor Fire Company and Princeton Junction Fire Company for a car in the water. West Windsor Emergency Services EMS evaluated one person on scene, who was the suspected driver. Hightstown Fire Company was requested for the dive team.

Boats searched the lake for the car in the water and it was found by the dock for the Mercer County Park Boathouse. Hightstown Fire Company put a diver in the water to check for any additional occupants and the vehicle was searched but no other occupants were found.

Crews were still on scene at 1:45 am waiting for additional tow trucks to arrive to pull the vehicle from the water.

Once West Windsor Police Department releases more information the story will be updated with further details.


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2 Injured In Tractor Trailer vs Car Accident On Route 1

June 26, 2020

WEST WINDSOR NJ (MERCER)—Police said a 2014 Freightliner tractor trailer was traveling north on US Route 1 and approaching a red traffic signal at the Fisher Place Intersection, when a 2013 Toyota Tacoma was traveling in the jug handle of US Route 1 South for Fisher Place and had a green traffic signal to cross US Route 1 about 9:39 pm last night.

As the Toyota crossed US Route 1, the Freightliner continued into the intersection where it struck the Toyota. The Freightliner then left the roadway took down a Traffic Signal and struck a utility pole causing live wires to fall. The Freightliner re-entered the roadway and came to a final uncontrolled rest after striking the center concrete barrier of US Route 1 according to police.  

West Windsor Township Police, West Windsor Emergency Services, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company # 1 Station 43, and Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station 44, along with Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and Mercer County Paramedics were all sent to the scene.

The driver was found of the Freightliner was found unconscious and was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit in Trenton. The driver of the Toyota was transported to Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center.

Both vehicles sustained severe damage and the roadway was closed for 4 hours for the cleanup by NJDOT, power lines to be repaired by PSE&G. Mercer County Serious Collision Response Team along with the West Windsor Police Traffic Bureau are investigating.

The Traffic Bureau is asking for anyone who may have additional information into this incident to please contact either Officer Sabatino at Sabatino@westwindsorpolice.com or Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com or via phone at (609) 799-1222. 

Photos from the Princeton Junction Fire Company Facebook account:

Message From West Windsor Police Chief Garofalo to the Community

May 30, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday, I received a message from a young lady who messaged the police department to tell me that she is scared for her life and scared for her dad, her brother and her boyfriend. I have to say this message made me so sad. It made me hurt inside that the actions of someone in a profession whose very nature is to protect all and to serve the community broke that trust, committed this horrific act and sent a shockwave of anger and fear, which reached this young girl in West Windsor.

She went on to ask what we were doing to make sure this did not happen here and what we could do to improve community relations.

At this point, I was proud to say that as a police officer for 31 years and the Chief of Police I was confident in the men and women of the West Windsor Police Department. I was confident because we have spent a lifetime being a part of the community and making community policing the focus of our mission. I want our history to speak for itself. I want our social media over time to show how our officers truly care about all members of the community and have been there for them regardless of the situation. I have personally developed relationships with our religious communities and consider the leaders of the over 13 religious organizations in town my personal friends. We have stood side by side with them in laughter and celebration and stood in front of them in times of trouble.

I have also met with our African American Parent Support Group and have had serious conversations throughout the years about the police and its relationship with African American youth in West Windsor. We have worked hard to make sure our officers are seen as helpers and friends and this effort is ongoing and constantly evolves. I am thankful for the wisdom from both Joy and Latoya who are always welcome for coffee and a discussion on what we can do better.

We pride ourselves in well trained professional officers who exemplify Courage Knowledge and Integrity. These words are sewn into every West Windsor Patch and sewn into the fabric of each and every officer. Training is ongoing and never ends. In fact, training for our officers is a living, breathing life force which grows and evolves each and every year. Learning never stops. Whether it’s a quick lesson at briefing, an online training video and test or a training class, this learning continues. I am confident that this would never have happened in West Windsor because of the training of these officers and their respect for all life. Our officers are masters at de-escalation. When these dedicated men and women, who have faced COVID-19 each and every day without regard to their own safety and families, arrive on the scene, people breathe a sigh of relief because they know help has arrived.

We have already had roll call discussions on this horrific event and I have attached the words from one of my Sergeants about this training:

So I sat down this morning with 6 young officers when we were going on duty to talk about George Floyd and what happened. I solicited from them their opinions before giving them my opinion. My idea was to get their thoughts and then really give them an education on right/wrong, tactics, procedures, ethics and just plain caring for your fellow man, no matter what the circumstances.
The conversation lasted over an hour and a half and I was surprised by their statements and thoughts. Not one of the young officers could find an inkling of justification. Each was appalled and embarrassed for how poorly some people represent our profession.
Whereas I thought I was going to have to give some life’s lessons to the young ones, I didn’t have to. But, being me, I took the opportunity to still give the life’s lessons to reinforce what they already knew.

What happened to Floyd is truly tragic and could always be avoided. Standing around and doing nothing is just as bad as being the ignorant weak person that takes a life. But I am certain that the young officers that I work with know better, would act differently and will keep passing that down to others throughout their careers.
A sad day for everyone. There are no winners only losers. But a proud moment for me this morning.

I am truly sorry for George Floyd and his family. I can promise you this agency will continue to train and continue to be the protectors of this community and more importantly be part of its family.

I am always available for anyone who would like to meet and would like to discuss any issues. I have always had my door open for a coffee to anyone who would like one. I hope this helps explain to those who worry what I see and why I am not worried about the men and women of West Windsor Police and their interactions.

Respectfully,
Chief Robert Garofalo


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Alexander Street/Road in Princeton and West Windsor to reopen next week following completion of Mercer County and NJDOT bridge replacement projects

Three bridges were replaced concurrently

May 7, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, PRINCETON, TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) — New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and Mercer County officials today announced that Alexander Street/Road in Princeton and West Windsor is scheduled to reopen by the end of next week as the concurrent Mercer County and NJDOT bridge replacement projects near completion.

By the end of next week, Alexander Road is scheduled to reopen to traffic following the completion of two separate bridge replacement projects that concurrently replaced three bridges near each other on Alexander Street/Alexander Road in Princeton and West Windsor. Mercer County replaced two bridges and NJDOT replaced one bridge. The road is called Alexander Street in Princeton and becomes Alexander Road in West Windsor at the Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal, which divides the municipalities.

Mercer County is in the process of competing final paving and striping for its project. Once the County work is completed, NJDOT will have access to the portion of Alexander Road between the Bridge over the D&R Canal and the County Bridge so final paving can be completed on that part of Alexander Road. Once this work is complete, the road will reopen. The NDJOT Bridge over the D&R Canal is complete and the sidewalk opened for pedestrians on May 1.

Update: 2 Trapped Rescued From 4 Vehicle Accident On Route 1

Update April 30, 2020 at 6 pm. West Windsor Press Release added to the story.

Update April 30, 2020 at 1 pm. Route 1 had been reopened.

April 30, 2020 at 10:45 am.

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Route 1 South Bound at Harrison Street is closed to a serious MVA. It is reported two persons are heavily entrapped in the vehicles. A medevac helicopter is being requested to the scene. Two heavy rescue units, and additional fire apparatus along with multiple ambulances responding.

10:50 am update: The landing zone for the helicopter will be on Washington. Fire apparatus and rescue companies arriving going to work to remove trapped occupants. 1 person extricated so far.

1:00 pm. update: Roadway reopened.


INCIDENT:  2020-10305 Serious Motor Vehicle Crash Involving (4) Vehicles

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  4/30/2020 at 10:26 am

LOCATION OCCURRED:  US Route 1 South (and US Route 1 North) Near Fisher Place

DRIVERS:  #1 –43 year old Male
                           Resident of Landsdowne, PA 19050

                   #2–60 year old Male
                          Resident of Edison, NJ 08817

                   #3–37 year old Male
                          Resident of N. Plainfield, NJ 07060

                   #4–46 year old Female
                          Resident of Trenton, NJ 08638

 INJURIES:  Driver #2 sustained a serious hand injury.  The 55 year old Female front seat passenger of Vehicle #2 sustained a head injury.  

OTHERS INVOLVED:
    #1–Traffic Officer Brown #89–Lead Investigator
    #2–WWPD:  Patrol Division, Traffic Bureau, & Detective Bureau
    #3–WW DIvision of Fire & Emergency Services #45
   #4–West Windsor Volunteer Fire Copmany (WWVFC#1) Station #43
   #5–Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company (PJVFC) Station #44
   #6–Plainsboro Rescue Squad Station #100
   #7–Mercer County Prosecutors Office Serious Collsion Response Team (SCRT)
   #8–Mercer County Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU)
   #9–NJ State DOT

DETAILS:  On Thursday April 30, 2020 at 10:26 am, Traffic & Patrol Units were detailed to US Route 1 South near Fisher Place for a Serious Motor Vehicle Crash involving a “Jacknifed” Tractor/Fuel Tanker, a Vehicle with Occupants entrapped inside, and (2) additional Vehicles.  The Investigation revealed the following:  Vehicle #1, a 2014 Mack Truck/Fuel Tanker, had been traveling South on US Route 1 in the middle lane and was approaching slowing/stopped traffic near the intersection of Fisher Place.  Vehicle #2, a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, was traveling ahead of Vehicle #1 and was slowing behind Vehicle #3, a 1993 Peterbuilt Tractor/Trailer.  Vehicle #1 struck the rear of Vehicle #2.  The force of the impact sent Vehicle #2 directly into Vehicle #3 while Vehicle #1 “Jacknifed” with the Tractor portion striking the US Route 1 Center Concrete Median.  Vehicle #4, a 2011 Toyota Sienna, was traveling North on US Route 1 in the left lane and was peppered with debris from the impact of Vehicle #1 striking the Concrete Center Median.  

                  Stations #43 & #44, and #45 worked cohesively to extricate the (2) entrapped Occupants of Vehicle #2 (**See Injuries List Above**).  After successful extraction, both Occupants of Vehicle #2 were transported to Capital Health Systems–Fuld Campus (Trauma) by Squad #45 and Plainsboro Rescue Squad #100 with Non-Life Threatening injuries.  No other injuries were reported or observed of the other parties.  

                  Traffic Officer Brown was the Lead Investigator in the collision and issued a summons for Careless Driving (39:4-97) to Driver #1.  US Route 1 South was closed while the left lane of US Route 1 North was closed for approximately 2 1/2 Hours.  

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Fly Over In “Operation America Strong”

April 28, 2020

TRENTON AND MERCER COUNTY, NJ–The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia today.

Previous MidJersey.News story on the event

Photos of Operation America Strong from the Trenton Area today:

Flight Plan For Operation “America Strong” For April 28, 2020 Released

April 27, 2020

NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. – The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia April 28. The flight plans have been released to the public this morning and can be viewed below.

See previous Stories on the event here:

Thunderbirds, Blue Angels to Salute New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania COVID-19 Responders Tuesday April 28, 2020

President Donald J. Trump Announces “Operation America Strong” Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Fly Over Airshows Coming To A City Near You

Blue Angels and Thunderbird Combined Fly-By Event Is In “Planning Stage” – Will Not Be Today

Mosquito Spraying In Mercer County Today

April 22, 2020

See Mercer County DOT Notice Here

Aerial Mosquito Larviciding Notice 

When: (Wednesday) April 22, 2020, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. (weather permitting)

Mercer County Mosquito Control will be treating larval mosquito habitats throughout the county by way of helicopter. Due to their large size and inaccessibility by ground vehicles, these larval habitats are routinely treated with a helicopter when mosquitoes are present in the standing water. You may see our helicopter flying near residential areas, positioning the helicopter to approach nearby areas of standing water targeted for treatment.

***PLEASE NOTE***

THIS IS NOT an area-wide Adulticiding “MOSQUITO SPRAYING” activity. 

Aerial larviciding includes the use of target-specific, biorational granules only released directly above standing water to help prevent larval mosquitoes from developing into biting adult mosquitoes.

Adulticide applications (spraying) are conducted when biting adult mosquito populations exceed public health or nuisance thresholds. These applications are conducted via truck-mounted, ultra-low-volume (ULV) cold aerosol sprayers during late evening or early morning hours. Mercer County applies products (adulticides) recommended by Rutgers University  for mosquito control in New Jersey, and a complete list with accompanying labels and MSDS sheets can be found here. Specific street addresses are not published, but adulticide applications are conducted on an area-wide basis and targets where adult mosquito populations may be concentrated during application times. For further questions or information, please browse our website or call/email directly. The office maintains no regular “spraying schedule” or “spraying list.” These applications are only conducted when deemed absolutely necessary, and under the appropriate environmental conditions, in order to bring mosquito populations to tolerable levels or to ward off potential mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

West Windsor Officers Provide Lunch For COVID-19 Testing Staff

April 18, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Members of the West Windsor Police Department dropped in at Infocus Urgent Care with lunch for the staff there..Dr. Seeta Arjun and her staff have been testing residents for COVID-19 for days at her West Windsor location.

Personal Protective Equipment Donated To Trenton

April 15, 2020

Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Gusciora accepted the cartons of Personal Protection Equipment at Trenton Fire Department Headquarters, on Perry Street. The equipment is in short supply across the United States, and necessary to render life saving services for first res-ponders and those doctors, nurses, and the hospital staff who battle the Covid 19 daily.

The HX Chinese School at Plainsboro, Central Jersey Chinese-American Association, and Windsor Athletic Club took the lead to raise funds to purchase PPE’s for some neighboring township governments and public service organizations to help fight COVID-19.

Smith: College Students, Schools in NJ04 get $24M in CARES Act Emergency Funds

Mercer County Community College – $3,851,115, West Windsor, Mercer County

Ocean County College – $4,265,169, Toms River, NJ

Brookdale Community College – $ 6,334,411, Lincroft, Monmouth County

April 13, 2020

More than $24 million has been approved for institutions of higher learning and career institutes in the Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer areas of Rep. Chris Smith’s Fourth Congressional District to help these schools and their students overcome the costs and the impact of the coronavirus, said Smith today.

   The $24 million on its way to educational facilities in or bordering Smith’s district is part of a broader $238 million award to colleges across the state which was announced today by the U.S. Department of Education—following a bipartisan letter by the New Jersey congressional delegation which Rep. Smith cosigned with his NJ colleagues in the House and which was led by NJ’s two senators.

   Smith said the funding—$24,147,003 which will help pay for the impact of COVID-19 of the higher education system—comes from the comprehensive, bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus bill to help communities devastated by the coronavirus pandemic which Smith supported and was signed into law by President Trump March 27.

   “Our students and colleges have seen immense financial challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak across America,” said Smith (NJ-04), who spoke on the floor in support of quick passage of the CARES Act. “This funding will help stabilize the higher education system which has been turned upside down in this health crisisIt’s good news from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for our higher learning educational system in New Jersey.”

   Among the recipients are Brookdale County College which will receive $6.3 million, Ocean County College $4.2 million, Mercer County College $3.8 million, Beth Medrash Govoha of America $5.8 million and Georgian Court nearly $1.7 million.

   Numerous learning institutions in the Fourth District area Rep. Smith serves are receiving funds, including:

  • Advantage Career Institute – $41,609, Eatontown, Monmouth County
  • Bais Medrash Mayan Hatorah – $46,377, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Bais Medrash Toras Chesed – $68,038, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Beth Medrash Govoha of America – $5,899,593, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Beth Medrash of Asbury Park – $109,145, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Brookdale Community College – $ 6,334,411, Lincroft, Monmouth County
  • Georgian Court University – $1,690,335, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Medical Career Institute – $332,030 Ocean Twp., Monmouth County
  • Mercer County Community College – $3,851,115, West Windsor, Mercer County
  • Ocean County College – $4,265,169, Toms River, NJ
  • Saint Francis Medical Center – $23,963, Trenton, Mercer County
  • Seminary Bnos Chaim – $255,559, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Talmudical Academy – $122,458, Adelphia, Monmouth County
  • Yeshiva Bais Aharon – $64,039, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Chemdas Hatorah – $112,892, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedola Tiferes Yerachmiel – $179,422, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedolah Keren Hatorah – $229,239, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedolah Shaarei Shmuel – $85,372, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Toras Chaim – $347,751, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah   $73,641, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshivas Emek Hatorah     $56,454, Howell, Monmouth County

    The CARES Act is the third and the largest phase of the federal response enacted into law. Smith supported Phase I, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020—which provided $8.3 billion for treatment and prevention measures in NJ. Phase II, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—provided paid sick leave, family medical leave, free testing, and expanded unemployment benefits among other provisions to help working Americans.

     The CARES Act is also providing direct financial assistance of $1,200 for individuals making under $75,000 per year, $100 billion in grants to hospitals to address coronavirus-related financial damage, $150 billion to assist state and local governments, $600 extra per week to unemployment benefits for four months, and $16 billion to assist in the procurement of medical supplies for the Strategic National Stockpile.


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Penn Medicine, Princeton Medical Center, Hospital Worker Appreciation

April 11, 2020

Photos, video and story by: Dennis Symons, Jr.

PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A COVID-19 hospital worker appreciation event was held tonight at the Penn Medicine, Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro. Firefighters, police, EMS showed appreciation to hospital workers at shift change. The event kicked off with a parade of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances that circled the medical center. Firefighters ladder trucks raised them and flew flags as workers arrived and left work.

At the employee entrance police, fire and EMS applauded hospital workers in appreciation. Superheros handed handed out many boxes of pizza.

Spider-Man, Superman, The Hulk, Captain America, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus were all on scene for this event.

Partial list of fire apparatus at the event:

Plainsboro Tower 49, Princeton Tower 60, Princeton Jct Tower 44, Monmouth Jct Tower 20, Montgomery Tower 46, Hightstown Ladder 41, Kendal Park Ladder 22, North Brunswick Tower 2, East Brunswick Tower 709, Monroe Tower 51, East Windsor TW42, East Windsor TS 46, Jamesburg TS 42-J-10, North Brunswick Engine Co 1, Griggstown Rescue-Engine 35, Little Rocky Hill (possibly Engine or Rescue), Rocky Hill Engine 53, Kingston Engine 24, West Windsor Fire Police, West Windsor Engine 43, Spotswood Engine 71, Hopewell SS52
NJSP – NORTH STAR (740-750 circle & fly-by)
Plainsboro Engine 49, Princeton Ladder 60, Monroe Tower 57, Monroe Ladder 23,  North Brunswick Ladder 3, Hopewell Ladder 52, West Windsor Ladder 43

Pizza was from Romeos Pizza (Plainsboro) and Maninos 3 (Hamilton).

All firefighters, police, EMS as well as hospital workers wore PPE such as N95 masks or other covering along with gloves depending on duties.

South Brunswick Police Charge Suspect Exploiting the Goodwill of Local Pizzerias During Pandemic

April 10, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A man has been charged in connection to more than a dozen incidents in which he targeted the goodwill of restaurants during the current pandemic. The current coronavirus emergency have made many pizzerias and restaurants the cornerstone for food delivery. Many of the impacted pizzerias have either donated food or received calls from residents willing to pay for food to be donated to area hospitals or first responders to thank them for all they are doing.

The suspect Sudeep Khetani age 34 targeted the pizzerias and restaurants where he placed large food orders over the past month. Each time he indicated he would pick it up the order or it was intended for local police. In several of the follow up calls the pizzerias made to the phone number that placed the order, Khetani would make statements about Italians and wished they would be afflicted with the coronavirus. In total several thousand dollars have been lost by the pizzerias from the fraud in three counties.

In South Brunswick the following locations were targeted Kendall Park Pizzeria, Capriccio Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Pizza Delizia Restaurant, Giuseppe Pizzeria and Restaurant, and Pierre’s Deli. In addition pizzerias and restaurants in Montgomery, Plainsboro and West Windsor were victimized.

Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “It is incomprehensible that a suspect would play on the goodwill of so many during these difficult times. The suspect once placed an order saying it was coming to South Brunswick Police. We have had several residents send us food, which I appreciate tremendously, but this suspect has gone to a new low. Our businesses are all struggling and every dollar matters. I am not sure there is an adequate charge for what he is doing.” Khetani used a voice override service to mask his real phone number, but South Brunswick Detective Tim Hoover and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office Detective Ryan Tighe were able to track his true identity. They believe Khetani is currently in the Orlando, Florida area.

Detectives are working with Florida authorities where Khetani is was on probation for selling fake Disney World tickets. Detectives said Khetani is currently charged with theft, additional investigation is being conducted to determine if the crimes were bias in nature. Authorities are also looking at the series of cases as potential cyber harassment.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

The suspect Sudeep Khetani age 34 targeted the pizzerias and restaurants where he placed large food orders over the past month. Each time he indicated he would pick it up the order or it was intended for local police. In several of the follow up calls the pizzerias made to the phone number that placed the order, Khetani would make statements about Italians and wished they would be afflicted with the coronavirus. In total several thousand dollars have been lost by the pizzerias from the fraud in three counties.

AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan Issue Update on Charges Filed Against Violators of Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 Executive Orders

April 5, 2020

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the following recent enforcement actions against violators of Governor Murphy’s Emergency Orders related to COVID-19. “The Governor’s executive orders are commonsense measures to keep people safe during this historic health crisis,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “When people like the partiers in Rumson flout the orders and show disrespect and hostility to police officers, they not only put themselves and the others immediately involved in peril, they risk inciting others to engage in such irresponsible and dangerous behavior.  Our police officers are working courageously every day to protect us all, and we will continue to charge anyone who violates the emergency orders, which literally are a matter of life and death.” “Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I have said that law enforcement will act swiftly against those who blatantly place the lives of others at risk. Well, you don’t get much more blatant than the party crowd in Rumson that resisted and insulted police officers who asked them to disperse.” 

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 180 summonses for violation of the emergency orders and ordered 11 non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions on Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4.
  • Rumson Party—John Maldjian, age 54 of Rumson, was charged today by the Rumson Police with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, and two separate charges related to violating the emergency orders. All are disorderly persons offenses. He was also charged with violating two borough ordinances. The charges stem from an incident in Rumson on Saturday evening, April 3. At approximately 8:19 p.m., the police were dispatched to a report of a large party with a band.  When they arrived, they discovered the homeowner, John Maldjian, together with another man, playing acoustic guitars on the front porch of the home.  There were approximately 30 people, between the ages of 40 and 50,  gathered on Maldjian’s front lawn and the adjoining street watching the performance.  Some had lawn chairs and alcoholic beverages. Despite the fact that police were on scene with flashing lights attempting to disperse the crowd, the band continued playing. It was not until a Rumson officer directly approached Maldjian that he stopped singing and playing.  Maldjian then told his Facebook Live audience (he was streaming his performance) that he had to stop playing. The crowd became unruly when told to disperse and some shouted curses at the police and “Welcome to Nazi Germany.”  Charges related to those disorderly “audience” members are forthcoming.
  • Sughuy Cepeda, 43, of Teaneck, was charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency, two counts of third-degree aggravated assault on an officer, obstruction, resisting arrest, and violation of a temporary restraining order (TRO). On Saturday, April 4, Cepeda was arrested by the Englewood Police Department for violation of a TRO. While in custody, Cepeda spit and coughed at officers on several occasions and stated she was COVID positive.  Cepeda was transported to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus. There, she allegedly coughed at two police officers and spit a mouthful of water at them.
  • Wegmans Coughing Incident.  The West Windsor Police Department signed juvenile petitions for harassment and obstruction of justice against a 16-year-old female for allegedly purposely coughing on another customer at the Wegmans food store in West Windsor on Tuesday, March 31.  The victim, a 52-year-old woman, had asked the juvenile to step back because she was too close. The juvenile and her mother got into an argument with the victim, during which the juvenile allegedly pulled down a facial mask she was wearing, walked closer to the victim, and coughed toward the victim while claiming that she had the coronavirus.
  • Rita A Lacis, 61, of Parsippany, was charged with violating the emergency order on Saturday, April 4, by the Rockaway Borough Police Department.  Police had given Lacis a warning after they learned that she was continuing to operate her dog grooming service.  At that time, she claimed that she misunderstood the order requiring closure of all non-essential businesses.  She was charged when officer saw two customers drop off a dog a short time later.
  • Saul Rosen, 52, of Toms River, was charged on Saturday, April 4, with violating the emergency orders for hold a gathering in his back yard with more than 20 people.
  • Luke Shuscavage, 27, of Princeton, N.J., was charged on Friday, April 3, with violating the emergency orders for bringing five youths from a youth shelter to Lenape Park in Raritan Township to play basketball.

 Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses. Last week, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six individuals who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders.  Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense and carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Defendant Cepeda is similarly charged for her conduct against law enforcement officers.Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here https://covid19.nj.gov/violation The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

New Jersey to Receive $1.7B in CARES Act Emergency Funding to Shore Up Mass Transit

April 3, 2020

More than $1.7 billion in emergency funding was awarded Thursday by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to the State of New Jersey to help the public transit system weather the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who supported multiple efforts to include transit system support in Congress’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  

   “This emergency funding can be used to help NJ Transit get through the ongoing coronavirus turmoil and help pay for the most basic costs to operate, maintain and run our public transportation system,” said Smith, whose district includes the Hamilton Transit Station and the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line that runs from Bayhead, Ocean County through Monmouth County northward, and other rail lines and facilities used by commuters. “That includes such expenses such as driver salaries, fuel, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. Mass transit is an integral and crucial component of our state economy, and will be an important part of the recovery for working families, travelers and general business activity. We will get through the current crisis and when we do, public transportation will be at the forefront.”

   The funding, which requires no local matching cost-share, comes from the $2 trillion stimulus bill Smith supported to help communities devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, and passed by the House and signed into law by President Trump last Friday, March 27, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

   The CARES Act directs the FTA to allocate funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus through the existing Urbanized Area Formula Grants Program. The State of New Jersey will receive a total of $1,758,430,844.

   The normal state-federal cost-share is not applicable under the CARES Act for expenses incurred beginning Jan. 20, so no local match is required. By law, governors, through the state Department of Transportation, distribute FTA formula funds among recipients. Operating expenses to maintain transit services as well as pay for administrative leave for transit personnel due to reduced operations during the emergency are eligible uses for the funding.

   Smith signed multiple letters urging congressional leadership to include assistance in the CARES Act for public transit systems and their workers, including a bipartisan letter led by Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) that focused on the needs of NJ Transit; a letter on March 22, 2020 supporting funding for Amtrak, and; a third letter supporting the mass transit workforce.

   The CARES Act is Phase III of the federal response. Smith supported Phase I, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020—which provided $8.3 billion for treatment and prevention measures, as well as Phase II, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—which provided paid sick leave, family medical leave, free testing, and expanded unemployment benefits among other provisions to help working Americans. The CARES Act is also providing direct financial assistance of $1,200 for individuals making under $75,000 per year, $150 billion to assist state and local governments, and $600 extra per week and an extension of unemployment benefits for four months.

16 Year Old Trenton Resident, Coughed On Shopper, Charged COVID-19 Harassment & Obstruction of Justice Incident at Wegmans

Released, April 3, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–

INCIDENT:  2020-8704 Harassment and Obstruction of Justice
 
DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  3/31/2020 at 1223 Hours
 
LOCATION OCCURRED:  Wegmans Food Market, 240 Nassau Park Blvd.
 
VICTIM:  52 year old W/F
               Resident of Monmouth Jct., NJ 08852
 
ACTOR:  16 year old B/F  **IDENTITY NOT TO BE RELEASED
                  Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618
 
OTHER INVOLVED:  36 year old B/F (Mother of Actor)–Present at
                                                                                          the Scene
                                    Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618

DETAILS:  On Tuesday 3/31/2020 at 1223 Hours, Ptl. Abade was working a security detail outside of the Wegmans Food Market when he was approached by an employee in regards to an altercation between (2) customers.  Ptl. Abade entered the store and met with the victim who related the following; she had been waiting in line to checkout with her groceries.  A young female, was standing in front of the cart behind the victim.  The victim asked the young female is she would mind moving back.  The female did not comply and responded with an attitude.  The young female removed the mask (covering her face) and coughed at the victim.

Ptl. Abade met with the female and her mother.  The mother indicated that they were working for Instacart.  While waiting in line, the mother switched places with her daughter so they would not block the aisle behind them.  The victim began swinging her arm in their direction and advising her daughter that she was too close to the victim.  The mother & daughter claimed they had been behind their designated lines during the verbal altercation and not near the victim.  The mother continued the verbal exchange with the victim because she didn’t want the victim speaking to her daughter in the manner she was. 

Ptl. Abade met with an unaffiliated employee in the incident who indicated that the victim had asked the daughter to step back because she felt young girl was too close.  The young girl was standing in front of her cart and NOT an appropriate distance from the victim.  All (3) persons, victim, mother & daughter were engaged in a verbal argument when the daughter pulled her facial mask down, walked closer to the victim, and coughed towards the victim while claiming that she had the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The employee subsequently notified Ptl. Abade of the incident as it was still unfolding.      

Det. Sgt. Lai picked up the investigation from there.  The juvenile was determined to be uncooperative at the scene.  After thoroughly & painstakingly gathering the facts in the incident Det. Sgt. Lai determined that the juvenile had harassed the victim by pulling down her facial mask, walking closer toward the victim, and cough towards the victim while claiming to have the deadly & highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In addition, the juvenile had been uncooperative with the investigation.  Det. Sgt. Lai signed Juvenile Petitions against the 16 year old for Harassment and Obstruction of Justice pending a future Mercer County Family Court Appearance.         

            
 **NOTE**:  Chief Garofalo wanted to let our community know that we fully support New Jersey AG Grewal and Mercer County Prosecutor Onofri in having zero tolerance for acts such as this.  Chief Garofalo wanted to assure everyone that the WWPD will continue to bring those to justice who choose to victimize others.  Supermarkets such as Wegmans have been deemed essential by the State of New Jersey and the WWPD will use its full resources to protect their staff and the general public during this time of need.  

Mercer County COVID-19 Testing Site Opens Tuesday By Appointment Only

March 28, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced that the County, in collaboration with health care partners, will open an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 31, at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence

The testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your PCP.

The testing center, which initially will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a collaborative effort between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton and the Trenton Health Team.

“Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and isolate people with infections,” said Mr. Hughes. “When it comes to setting up a testing site, we face the same challenges as do other jurisdictions, such as securing testing kits and the personal protective equipment for staff. I thank the County’s Office of Emergency Management, our health care partners, Quaker Bridge Mall management and the leadership at Lawrence Township for clearing the hurdles necessary to get this site online.”

Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories, which will provide testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have been scheduled through their PCP.

To be eligible for testing, an individual must be examined by a PCP. The PCP will determine the need for the test based on symptoms. No one should be tested without being symptomatic. If the PCP deems a test is necessary, they will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. Staff will then call the patient, take registration information and schedule an appointment, providing testing site instructions.

For the health, safety and security of staff at the site, patients will not be permitted to leave their vehicles. Walk-ups are not permitted. If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides a self-assessment tool that will help you determine whether you should be tested. Visit self.covid19.nj.gov.

Photo of the testing center getting set up at Quakerbridge Mall as seen today March 28, 2020 Photo by MidJersey.news corespondent Greg Griffis

Hankins Road Closed Due To MVA With Wires Down

March 20, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hankins Road is closed due to a motor vehicle accident where a car struck a utility pole. The Road is closed between Woodland Drive, East Windsor Township and South Lane West Windsor Township. The accident is reported in front of 121 Hankins Road.

Be prepared for the road to be closed for an extended time until the utility pole can be replaced.

The Robbinsville Township Police Department is on scene and the East Windsor Fire Company and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments responded to the scene.

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West Windsor Township Health Department COVID-19 Investigation Update

March 20, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Health Department is reporting 3 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the Township’s total to 4 residents. Public health investigations are actively underway and potential contacts will be notified. Our investigations have found that a symptomatic person positive for the illness attended a local gym. The facility has been notified by the Lawrence Township Health Department and management is in the process of contacting the membership directly. The individual attended the New Jersey Athletic Club located at 4152 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 between the hours of 4 pm and 7:30 pm on March 9th, 11th, and 12th .

The purpose of this notification is to increase awareness to potential contacts, to encourage selfmonitoring for symptoms and isolation from those most at risk to serious health outcomes. This report reinforces the importance for those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to stay at home. As more cases are observed in New Jersey, we are urging all people to practice social distancing.

The public is advised to practice social distancing, avoid crowds and take every day preventative steps to protect themselves and others. It is very important to stay home when you are ill and avoid others with symptoms. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve. If you become ill, you must call the doctor or hospital before you go. Wear a mask, if available.

Everyone and every organization must do their part to help prevent the spread of this virus. Working together as a team we can help lessen the impact of this outbreak on our local community.

For more information, visit the West Windsor Township website at http://www.westwindsornj.org or the New Jersey Department of Health website at http://www.nj.gov/health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov .

West Windsor Township Municipal Phone Lines Down

March 18, 2020

WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–

All West Windsor Township Phones are Offline
Police Main # 609-799-1222 & 911 Unaffected & Operational

Health Calls should be made to – 609-799-9068
Please Do Not call the police department for health dept calls.

Chief Garofalo

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Lamont Announce Regional Approach to Combatting COVID-19

March 16, 2020

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight 

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.

Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight. 

This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”

Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.” 

Census 2020 Survey Is Arriving By Mail

March 13, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto My2020census.gov and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.

The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.

Frequently asked questions of the Census Bureau:

  1. What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
  2. Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
  3. Are my answers confidential and private?Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with serious penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Only authorized individuals have access to the stored data, and the information you provide to the Census Bureau may only be used by a restricted number of authorized individuals who are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your individual responses. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.For more information about how we protect your information, please visit our website at census.gov and click on “Data Protection and Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the home page. This page also includes information about the collection, storage, and use of these records. Click on “System of Records Notices (SORN)” and look for Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/CENSUS-5, Decennial Census Program.
  4. Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
  5. How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
  6. How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
  7. How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
  8. Is it safe to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online?Yes. For each online questionnaire, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, U.S. Code Section 9 (a)).Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your responses are intercepted.More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage (http://www.census.gov/privacy/).
  9. Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
  10. Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.

West Windsor Police Find Missing Autistic Person

March 5, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 5:33 pm, March 4, 1010, Police Dispatch advised all available Units that an 29 year old, Autistic adult male had run away from his caregiver in the parking lot of Wegmans.  Further information was relayed via the Communications Center that the adult male had a disagreement with his caregiver and ran away in the direction of the Target store.  K9 Officer Zicha arrived on scene and met with the caregiver who advised him that the victim commonly runs away after an argument, but usually this occurs when they are in Hamilton Township.  Therefore, the male was unfamiliar with the area of Nassau Park (including the surrounding wooded area/waterways with sundown approaching at 5:52 pm).  In addition, the adult male would sometimes not return until the next day.
 
     Multiple units arrived and began a systematic search of the nearby stores and the walking paths in & around the Nassau Park Pavilion.  Traffic Officer/Drone Pilot McQuade deployed his Drone while K9 Officer Zicha & his partner K9 Hodge began a search along the wooded areas surrounding Nassau Park Pavilion including the area of the D&R Canal (*see attached photo, using thermal imaging, of K9 Officer Zicha & K9 Hodge as provided by Drone Pilot McQuade*).    
     
     The Communications Center advised Princeton PD and Lawrence Twp. of the unfolding incident and requested they check their areas that abut the Nassau Park border.  As the WWPD continued their arduous store to store search for the missing man, Ptl. Pollini and Ptl. LaForge were advised by staff at Michael’s that there was a subject fitting the description of the individual.  Ptl. LaForge subsequently located the male at the rear of the store.  The male was ultimately reunited with the Program Manager without any further incident. 
 
     Chief Garofalo wanted to thank our partners at Princeton PD and Lawrence Twp. PD for their assistance.  In addition, Chief Garofalo wanted to praise the actions  of our Communications Center & our Officers who worked together seamlessly and with all of our resources to locate the man.  Chief Garofalo is fully aware how this situation could have easily had a much different and tragic ending.

$7,500 in LSD Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

February 27, 2020

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a three-month investigation last week with one arrest and the seizure of almost $8,000 in drugs, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Onofri stated that, on Friday evening, February 21, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Viktor Drobyshevskiy, as well as his Monroe Township residence on Fernhead Avenue.  A motor vehicle stop of Drobyshevskiy was conducted at Meadow Road and the Route 1 bypass in West Windsor, NJ, and he was taken into custody without incident.  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct a narcotics search of Drobyshevskiy’s 2011 Mazda and Bela indicated positive to locating narcotics within the vehicle.  A search warrant for the vehicle was obtained and detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, five tabs of LSD and eight grams of marijuana.  The investigation revealed that Drobyshevskiy was transporting the LSD to sell at a party in West Windsor.

Detectives with the MCNTF, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Monroe Township Police Department executed a search warrant for Drobyshevskiy’s residence after he was taken into custody.  During the search, detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, approximately 10 grams of psilocybin, 232 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber rifle, a 9mm handgun and $505 in cash.

Onofri stated that the total amount of LSD seized was about one and a half ounces with an approximate street value of $7,500.  The psilocybin and marijuana have approximate street values of $200 and $250, respectively.

Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe Township Police Department, and the Hamilton and Princeton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Viktor Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Wrestling: Steinert 45 West Windsor Plainsboro South 19

February 8, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Steinert wresting team held their Senior Day at a tri meet at home today. During the first meet Steinert won their match against West Windsor Plainsboro South with a team score of 45-19, individual scores below:

132lbs. Steinert: Anthony Verdi (w: Pin 1:00) WWPS: Jason Carrol
138lbs. Steinert: Dan Fernandez WWPS: Paranav Anil (w )
145lbs. Steinert: Josh Muller WWPS: Alex Yu (w )
152lbs. Steinert: Dennis Divilla (w: Pin 1:50) WWPS: Rocco Valentine
160lbs. Steinert: Dante Hawkins (w: Pin 0:24) WWPS: Shyam Kumar
170lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: Murali Thirumalai (w )
182lbs. Steinert: Clayton Resch WWPS: Ireayo Kuku (w: Pin 1:42)
195lbs. Steinert: Will Laster (w: Pin 0:59) WWPS: Franco Valentiene
220lbs. Steinert: Yousef Yaakoub WWPS: FFT
285lbs. Steinert: Larry Premah (w ) WWPS: FFT
106lbs. Steinert: Anthony Lapiana WWPS: FFT
113lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: FFT
120lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: FFT
126lbs. Steinert: Matthew Ancelc WWPS: Mikey Eltvedt

Mercer County Wrestling Tournament

February 2, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Wrestling Tournament was held today at Robbinsville High School. Joey Lamparelli (Allentown) received the 2020 Most Outstanding Wrestler award. (more to follow on Joey). Hopewell Valley High School was first place team.

Individual Results 1st through 6th:

106 Pounds

  • 1st Place – Shailen Savur of Robbinsville
  • 2nd Place – Robert Fattore of Hightstown
  • 3rd Place – Nicholas Ricigliano of Steinert
  • 4th Place – Chloë Ayres of Princeton
  • 5th Place – Kyle Doherty of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – Johnae Drumright of Trenton Central
106 Pounds

113 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Sudesh Gurung of Nottingham
  • 2nd Place – Christian Micikas of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Cory Stallworth of Trenton Central
  • 4th Place – Martin Brophy of Princeton
  • 5th Place – Aiden Weil of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Rommel Mendez of Lawrence

120 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Joey Lamparelli of Allentown
  • 2nd Place – Jacob Venezia of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Dylan Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
  • 4th Place – Joseph Obst of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Silvia Aparicio of Hamilton West
  • 6th Place – Gavin White of Notre Dame

126 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Drake Torrington of Robbinsville
  • 2nd Place – Allen Lopez of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Anthony Verdi of Steinert
  • 4th Place – Giovanni Morina of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Kolin O`Grady of Allentown
  • 6th Place – Bakhtiyar Bajwa of Lawrence
126 Pounds

132 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Kether Thornton of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – chris Sockler of Princeton
  • 3rd Place – Cole Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
  • 4th Place – Joe Vannozzi of Hopewell Valley
  • 5th Place – Alexander Samayoa of Ewing
  • 6th Place – David Aboasu of Nottingham
132 Pounds

138 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Aaron Munford of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Alejandro Lopez of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Mason Louderback of Notre Dame
  • 4th Place – Isaiah Lederman of Robbinsville
  • 5th Place – Reece Schenck of Lawrence
  • 6th Place – Isaiah Thornton of Hightstown
138 Pounds

145 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – dominic Riendeau-Krause of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Careem Frost of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Elijah Rodriguez of Hightstown
  • 4th Place – Owen Weigle of Ewing
  • 5th Place – Andrew Nixon of Hamilton West
  • 6th Place – Jeremy Murray of Robbinsville
145 Pounds

152 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – james romaine of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Matt Paglia of Allentown
  • 3rd Place – Sean Mills of Lawrence
  • 4th Place – Brian Zeglarski of Hopewell Valley
  • 5th Place – RJ Stradling of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Robert Doss of Hightstown
152 Pounds

160 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Nicholas Golden of Allentown
  • 2nd Place – Alex Stavrou of Hightstown
  • 3rd Place – Kwanir Edwards of Nottingham
  • 4th Place – Te`amo Nazario of Trenton Central
  • 5th Place – Ben Shevlin of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – matt elsworth of Princeton
160 Pounds

170 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Ryan Bennett of Hamilton West
  • 2nd Place – Jake Dallarda of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Tommy Zovich of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 4th Place – Nicodemus Leaver of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Gael Vasquez of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – Manuel Roman of Nottingham
170 Pounds

182 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Josh Beigman of Hopewell Valley
  • 2nd Place – Connor Verga of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Paskal Miga of Allentown
  • 4th Place – Dorian Henry of Nottingham
  • 5th Place – Ireayo Kuku of West Windsor-Plainsboro South
  • 6th Place – Clayton Resch of Steinert
182 Pounds

195 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Chris Stavrou of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Brian LaCross of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Timothy Glynn of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 4th Place – Jaylen Bynes of Notre Dame
  • 5th Place – Jayson Williams of Trenton Central
  • 6th Place – Ricardo Cruz of Lawrence
195 Pounds

220 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Bryan Bonilla of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Christian Cacciabaudo of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Daniel Schweitzer of Allentown
  • 4th Place – Eric Brown of Trenton Central
  • 5th Place – Jonathan Jupiter of Nottingham
  • 6th Place – Mohamed Abdelatty of Lawrence

Heavyweight:

  • 1st Place – Brenden Hansen of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Matthew Moore of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 3rd Place – John Snyder of Hopewell Valley
  • 4th Place – Jacob VanDenBogart of Allentown
  • 5th Place – Mateo Cruz of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Moaamen Nasr of Lawrence
Heavyweight