SOUTH RIVER, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Mark Tinitigan of the South River Police Department announce today that a South River man has been arrested and charged in connection with the fatal hit and run that occurred yesterday, July 7, 2023.
On July 7, 2023, at 4:21 P.M., South River police responded to the intersection of Whitehead Avenue and Russell Avenue following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities located the victim, a 14-year-old boy, who was struck by a white work van while riding his bicycle. The white work van fled the scene of the crash. The victim was transported to the hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.
An investigation led by Sergeant John Kenney of the South River Police Department and Sergeant Jonathan Berman of The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office identified Michael Arena, 63, of South River, as the perpetrator.
On July 7, 2023, Arena was taken into custody at his residence for questioning where he admitted to driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. Arena was arrested and charged with Aggravated Manslaughter and Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash. Arena is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending the results of a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant Kenney of the South River Police Department at (732) 254-9002 X109 or Sergeant Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
As in this case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Arena are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
SOUTH RIVER, NJ (MIDDLESEX)-Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Mark Tinitigan of the South River Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance in the investigation of a hit and run.
Today, July 7, 2023, at 4:21 p.m., South River police responded to the intersection of Whitehead Avenue and Russell Avenue following the report of a hit and run. Upon their arrival, authorities located the victim, a 14-year- old boy, who was struck by a white work van while riding his bicycle. The victim was transported to the hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Kenneth Nale of South River Police Department at (732) 254-9002 X123 or Sergeant Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
TRENTON, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was convicted of several counts involving images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Charles F. Browne, 52, of South River, New Jersey, was found guilty on June 27, 2022, following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court of receiving child pornography, soliciting child pornography, possessing prepubescent child pornography, and concealing objects to impede the FBI’s investigation.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
In September 2017, a cloud-based file service noticed that apparent child sex abuse material had been uploaded to, and maintained in, an account with the screen name “Charles Browne” and an email address containing the term “cbrowne.” The FBI obtained the files that were uploaded to the online account, which included prepubescent child pornography and two copies of Browne’s resume.
On April 8, 2019, law enforcement officers stopped Browne’s vehicle as he left his residence. Brown was given a Miranda warning and interviewed by law enforcement officers about the FBI’s ongoing child exploitation investigation. Browne initially denied having an iPad and then, in response to the agent’s question at the conclusion of the interview asking where his iPad was, responded that it was at home, which was approximately one mile away. Law enforcement officers told Browne that an online file account contained two images of prepubescent child sexual abuse created by an Apple iPhone Model 5C camera. Browne denied knowledge of the child pornography. At the conclusion of the interview, Browne was dropped off at his vehicle, which was locked.
At trial, Browne confessed that he broke into his vehicle after the FBI interview, removed an iPad and his iPhone, and then walked to a local private beach club. Browne was observed by a neighbor as he walked to the end of the dock and threw his iPad and iPhone into the bay.
After Browne returned to his residence without his electronic devices, the FBI conducted a canvass of the area and located the neighbor who had observed Browne throwing his iPad into the bay. The FBI sent in a dive team, which recovered Browne’s iPad and iPhone – an Apple Model 5C – from the bay.
The devices were repaired; review of the data recovered from the devices revealed videos and images of child sexual abuse. Web history from the iPad reflected that Browne had sought out images of child sexual abuse on the iPad the day before law enforcement officers interviewed Browne. Evidence from Browne’s iPad and iPhone reflected that Browne sent emails to others seeking child pornography “vids.”
The counts of receipt of child pornography and solicitation of child pornography each carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and fine of $250,000. The count of possession of prepubescent child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The count of concealing objects to impede a federal investigation count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jesse Levine of the Newark Division, Assistant Director Michael Driscoll of the New York Division, and Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr., of the Birmingham Division; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey; the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden; the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy; the Tom’s River Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Mitchell A. Little; the South River Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Mark Tinitigan; and the Manalapan Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Edward Niesz, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Jonathan Fayer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Carlos Diaz-Cobo Esq., New Brunswick, New Jersey
On the murder of Officer Brian D. Sicknick by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
“Words are inadequate to convey my sadness, shock and anger over the murder of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick who courageously fought the violent mob that stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.
As a member of the New Jersey National Guard, Mr. Sicknick safely deployed during Operation Southern Watch in 1999 and Enduring Freedom in 2003 only to be killed in the line of duty defending Members of Congress and staff and the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress.
He died a hero and deserves our eternal gratitude for his sacrifice.
My wife Marie and I—and my family and staff—offer our deepest condolences to and prayers for his family, friends and colleagues.
Like others bravely serving in law enforcement, the Capitol Police face significant risks and hardship, including death, every day and absolutely deserve our unwavering support. The perpetrator(s) of this heinous crime must be swiftly brought to justice.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy released a statement this morning about the death of the United States Capital Police Officer who is a NJ native from South River. Officer Brian D. Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Sicknick was a graduate from Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. He was also a Staff Sergeant with the NJ Air National Guard where he was a fire team member at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and served in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Statement from Governor Phil Murphy:
“United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state.
Officer Sicknick was a product of South River and a graduate of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. Before joining the Capitol Police, he was Staff Sergeant Sicknick with the New Jersey Air National Guard. He was a Fire Team Member and Leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and his six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the Guardsmen and Guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation.
Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection. His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”
At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty.
Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners.
Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit.
The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague.
We ask that Officer Sicknick’s family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this time.