Category: Ocean County

Toms River Police Investigate Fatal Pedestrian Crash On Route 37

August 16, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police say that on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at approximately 5:45 a.m., police units were dispatched to the area of Route 37 E and Marian Street, in reference to a male party wandering in the street in the westbound lanes. Moments later dispatch received another call that a pedestrian was struck in the eastbound lanes of Route 37. Upon the officers arrival, they located the pedestrian deceased in the shoulder of Route 37 E, eastbound, and the involved vehicle in the parking lot of Pine Belt Nissan.

The initial investigation revealed that pedestrian, Joseph L. Witty Jr. 39 of Toms River, was walking south across Route 37E and was nearly struck by passing vehicles in the westbound lanes. As he continued over the median and back onto the highway he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The driver was traveling eastbound in the right lane of Route 37 E. Evidence on scene indicated that Mr. Witty was in the travel lane when he was struck, and not in a crosswalk, or on the shoulder. There was no indication of cell phone use or impairment by the driver at the time of the crash.

The accident is under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Adam Koeppen. Also assisting on scene was the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and the New Jersey State DOT Diversion Team. There are no charges against the driver.


Multiple Injuries Reported When Boat Runs Aground In Toms River, NJ

A total of eight occupants were on board when a boat ran aground and ejected three of them into the water. Of the eight occupants five were injured, one serious, one moderate and three with minor injuries.

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–New Jersey State Police Trooper Charles Marchan told MidJersey.News that Troopers responded August 14, 2022, at 9:04 p.m. to a vessel crash at Middle Sedge, Toms River, Ocean County.

Based on preliminary investigation the vessel ran aground on Middle Sedge, Barnegat Bay. There was a total of eight occupants on board and three were ejected. The vessel was being operated by John P. Boyle III, a 58-year-old male from Bedminster, N.J. who sustained moderate injuries. Three occupants sustained no injuries, three sustained minor injuries and one sustained serious injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available at the moment.


The scene were a person with the most serious injuries was flown to a trauma center. Photos By: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response


BREAKING: Serious Boat Crash In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police Department reports that shortly after 9:00 p.m., this evening police, EMS, and fire units were dispatched to the area of Boca Raton on Chadwick Island for a reported boat that allegedly ran aground with passengers being ejected. There are several injuries reported at this time and multiple agencies are on the scene.  MidJersey.News has contacted NJSP for further details of the crash.

Sources tell MidJersey.news that five fire departments, EMS and EMS and Fire Coordinators responded for a boat vs land. A medevac was requested for a female with serious injuries. Six other injuries were reported non-life-threating.


Fatal Train Accident In Point Pleasant Beach

POINT PLESANT BEACH, NJ (OCEAN)–The Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and NJ Transit Police are investigating an incident that occurred on the train tracks at the Forman Ave crossing. All train crossings are currently open and operating normally at this time. The train has been moved and the investigation at the scene, has concluded. NJ Transit confirmed there was a fatality at the scene. No further details are available at this time.

Lakewood Man Arrested For Child Pornography And Failure To Register As A Sex Offender

August 9, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, Matthew Robles, 31, of Lakewood was charged with two counts of Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), as well as Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Robles had previously been charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2d(1), on August 5, 2022.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit revealed that Robles – a Megan’s Law Registrant under the supervision of the New Jersey Division of Parole- has been employed at a local business establishment in Brick Township without registering or notifying any law enforcement agencies. Since 1994, Megan’s Law requires certain offenders to register with their local police departments whenever they move and/or change their residential address or place of employment.

On July 26, 2022, Officers from the Division of Parole conducted a home visit and discovered images of child pornography on Robles’ cellular phone. Robles was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail for various violations of his parole. All of Robles’ electronic devices were seized by law enforcement for forensic examination purposes.

On July 28, 2022, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit executed a court authorized search warrant on Robles’ electronic devices. As a result, Detectives discovered that Robles had been uploading and sharing images of child pornography on the internet by way of the WhatsApp Application. On August 5, 2022, Robles was served with a complaint initially charging him with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender at the Ocean County Jail. On August 8, 2022, Robles was served with the previously referenced complaints in connection with the child pornography charges. He remains lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Anyone with relevant information regarding this case or other persons violating Megan’s Law requirements should contact Sergeant John Argento of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929 2027, extension 2903. The information may be provided anonymously. For further information, please visit the State Police Sex Offender Internet Registry at http://www.njsp.org/sex-offender-registry/index.shtml

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, New Jersey Division of Parole, and Lakewood Township Police Department, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Robles’ arrest and appropriate charges.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Booker, Kim Discuss On P.O.I.N.T Program with Ocean County Police Departments and Medical Professionals

August 8, 2022

Stafford Township, NJ – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) joined the Stafford Police Department, Bright Harbor Health Care, and seven area police departments to highlight the On P.O.I.N.T. program, which provides on-site social workers for police departments to address the high volume of mental health, substance abuse, and social service-related calls and incidents that police receive. Booker and Kim secured $32,000 in congressionally directed funding to expand the On P.O.I.N.T. program this year.

Since its establishment in 2016, On P.O.I.N.T. has expanded to include nine total police departments. The program provides early intervention by diverting individuals experiencing mental health crises from the criminal justice system into the appropriate health care system. During the meeting, Booker and Kim discussed the challenges that police departments and medical providers have faced while responding to these incidents and the success of the innovative program.

“As law enforcement officers have often told me, police departments are overburdened responding to distressful calls that involve issues related to mental illness, addiction, or poverty,” said Sen. Booker. “Appropriately addressing these challenges requires the expertise of social workers, medical professionals, and mental health experts. With the On P.O.I.N.T program, police departments are receiving the support they need to help the most vulnerable. I am proud to have fought alongside Rep. Any Kim for funding to expand this vital initiative and was grateful to hear from stakeholders today about their experiences implementing and using the program.”

“Our police officers are the first ones to answer the call when we are in danger and it’s up to us to make sure they have the resources they need to continue doing this important work,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Booker to secure funding for Stafford Police Department to expand their successful and innovative On P.O.I.N.T. partnership with Bright Harbor Healthcare to include Barnegat Police Department. Together, our local police and mental health professionals are improving outcomes, reducing violence, having safer interactions, and improving community relations.”

“There has been a gap between how law enforcement and the mental health and substance use treatment systems have interacted with each otherwe both try to help the same community members, however we have often not communicated with each other or worked in concert,” said Meghan Corrigan, co-creator of the On P.O.I.N.T. at Bright Harbor Healthcare. “The On P.O.I.N.T. program was intentionally designed to address the gap between law enforcement’s initial observation and triage of a crisis to long term treatment and support to resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.”

“I thank both Senator Booker and Congressman Kim for their continued support of the On P.O.I.N.T. program,” said Thomas Dellane, Stafford Township Police Chief. “Their advocacy on behalf of the program has enabled On P.O.I.N.T. staff to effectuate positive change in many people’s lives thereby improving the mental and physical health of communities that On P.O.I.N.T. serves.”

Today’s event was part of Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, a series of stops highlighting the priorities he continues to fight for in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the state’s residents. The road trip will focus on Booker’s ongoing commitment to serving New Jersey’s veterans, his efforts to secure congressionally directed spending for critical New Jersey projects and organizations, and his support of local businesses and industries, and much more.



Little Egg Harbor Man Pleads Guilty To Leaving The Scene Of A Motor Vehicle Accident, DUI, And Aggravated Assault On A Law Enforcement Officer

August 8, 2022

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, John Madden, 43, of Little Egg Harbor Township, pled guilty to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1, as well as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, in connection with an incident that occurred in Long Beach Township on April 8, 2020. Madden also pled guilty to an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a), in connection with an incident that occurred in Little Egg Harbor on April 4, 2020. At the time of his sentencing on September 30, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of three years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with respect to the Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident charge, and 18 months NJSP as to the charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. The sentences are to run concurrently.

On April 8, 2020, Officers from the Long Beach Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Long Beach Boulevard for a report of a hit-and-run involving serious injuries to a bicyclist. An investigation by the Long Beach Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that Daniel Bogacz, 63, of Beach Haven, was riding his bicycle northbound on Long Beach Boulevard when he was struck by a 2020 Jeep Liberty, also traveling northbound. The Jeep Liberty did not stop to render aid, but instead made a U-turn and accelerated past the injured victim. Mr. Boaz was air-lifted to Atlantic City Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

Further investigation revealed that Madden was, in fact, the driver of the Jeep Liberty. Madden was arrested at his residence in Little Egg Harbor on April 8, 2020 without incident. He was initially transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township where a blood draw was taken from Madden pursuant to a court-authorized warrant. He was thereafter transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Laboratory results of Madden’s blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in the course of the investigation – revealed his Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to be .245 percent. In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

On April 4, 2020, Officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department were summoned to a convenience store on Mathis town Road for a report of a shoplifter. Responding Officers determined that the manager of the store witnessed Madden shoplifting and confronted him. The manager of the store asked an off-duty New Jersey State Park Police Officer – who happened to be at the convenience store and was in uniform at the time – for assistance. As the off-duty officer attempted to detain Madden, he pushed the officer in an attempt to get away. The officer was able to detain Madden until Little Egg Harbor Police arrived. Madden was arrested and transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Long Beach Township Police Department, Harvey Cedars Police Department, Surf City Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Ship Bottom Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their efforts and assistance in connection with these investigations leading to Madden’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.


5 Rescued After Boat Capsizes Near Barnegat Inlet

August 8, 2022

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–The Coast Guard, along with state and local responders, rescued five people from the water Sunday August 7, 2022, after their personal boat capsized at the entrance to Barnegat Inlet.
At approximately 6:57 p.m. Sunday watchstanders at Sector Delaware Bay were informed that a vessel had capsized, stranding six people in the water.
A 29-foot Response Boat – Small crew and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew launched from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Inlet to assist the stranded boaters. Coast Guard boat crews rescued three people, an off-duty lifeguard rescued two and the remaining boater swam to shore.
New Jersey State Police personnel, Tow Boat crews, and a good Samaritan also assisted with rescue efforts.
All five rescued boaters were transported ashore to awaiting emergency medical services personnel. The survivors were reported to be in stable condition.


National Walk To End Brain Tumors To Be Held September 24, 2022 In New Egypt, NJ

August 5, 2022

NEW EGYPT, NJ (OCEAN)–A Walk to End Brain Tumors will be held Saturday, September 24, 2022 at Laurita Winery for the 12th Annual New Egypt, the walk will support of brain tumor research. 100% of registration fees & participant sponsorships go toward the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity whose mission is to find a cure for brain tumors as well as support victims, survivors and their families. 100% of funds raised go toward The Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information, Inc.

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition will be the director of the National Walk to End Brain Tumors this year in New Egypt.

National Walk to End Brain Tumors page

Walk to End Brain Tumors – New Egypt

You can learn more about the Musella Foundation on its official website





Tuckerton Man Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography

August 5, 2022

TUCKERTON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 4, 2022, Jeremy Bradley-Forman, 34, of Tuckerton, was charged with Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii).

This investigation was the result of referrals from the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Task Force detected that a Google Account user was downloading images of child pornography from the internet. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit identified a Google Account user with a Tuckerton address as the individual downloading the images of child pornography; that individual was further identified as Bradley-Forman.

On August 4, 2022, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and Tuckerton Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant on Bradley-Forman’s residence in Tuckerton. As a result, Detectives seized a desktop computer with a hard-drive containing images of child pornography. Multiple additional electronic items were seized from Bradley-Forman’s residence and are pending forensic examination. Bradley-Forman was subsequently taken into custody at his residence, processed at Tuckerton Police Department Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is presently lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Tuckerton Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security-Investigations Unit, and New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Bradley-Forman’s arrest.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


Jeremy Bradley-Forman, 34, of Tuckerton, was charged with Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii).


Wall Township Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide In Death Of 82-Year-Old Brick Township Man

An investigation by the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, and the Wall Township Police Department determined that Dickson was driving his vehicle recklessly under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the collision. The investigation further revealed that Dickson’s vehicle was traveling on State Highway 35 southbound when he struck the rear of the 2019 Honda CRV and then crossed over the double yellow line into northbound traffic, striking the vehicle being operated by Yuro.

August 4, 2022

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Monday, August 1, 2022, the Wall Township Police Department arrested and charged a 27-year-old Wall Township resident with being criminally responsible for a motor vehicle collision that occurred as a result, leaving an 82-year-old Brick man dead.

Nolan T. Dickson, 27, is charged with 2nd Degree Vehicular Homicide and 3rd Degree Causing Death While Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License.

At approximately 10:09 a.m. on Saturday June 27, 2021, members of the Wall Township Police Department responded to a report of a head-on collision on State Highway 35 just north of the intersection with Lakewood Road.

Upon arrival, the officer encountered three involved vehicles: a 2019 BMW430i driven by Dickson, a 2019 Honda CRV and a 2017 Toyota Camry driven by Paul Yuro of Brick.

Dickson was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Yuro was also transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for severe injuries by Wall Township Emergency Medical Services and paramedics from Hackensack Meridian, where he later died from his injuries.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, and the Wall Township Police Department determined that Dickson was driving his vehicle recklessly under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the collision. The investigation further revealed that Dickson’s vehicle was traveling on State Highway 35 southbound when he struck the rear of the 2019 Honda CRV and then crossed over the double yellow line into northbound traffic, striking the vehicle being operated by Yuro.

This case is being handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle. Dickson is represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq. with an office in Ocean Township.

If convicted of a second-degree offense of this nature, Dickson would be subject to a term of up to ten years in state person, with 85 percent of the term to be served before the possibility of parole, according to the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).

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


Lacey Township Man Charged With Narcotics And Intent To Distribute

August 3, 2022

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with the Lacey Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Ocean County. This cooperative, multi-agency investigation identified a residence in Lacey Township as being used by Douglas Ward, 59, of Lacey, to store and distribute cocaine.

On July 28, 2022, Detectives from the aforementioned law enforcement agencies established stationary and mobile surveillance on the subject residence. Ward was observed by Detectives leaving the residence and meeting with an individual later identified as Thomas Prosser, 60, of Bayville. Detectives approached Ward and Prosser, and both individuals were taken into custody.

At the time of his arrest, Ward found to be in possession of several small bags containing cocaine. Additionally, a court authorized search warrant was executed on Ward’s Lacey Township residence, resulting in the seizure of approximately 70 additional grams of cocaine, and nearly $20,300 in United States Currency.

Ward was charged with Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosser was charged with Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1), and Wandering in a Public Place to Obtain or Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1b. Prosser was served with the charges via summons pending an upcoming first appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Lacey Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Teens Charged With Aggravated Arson In Beach Haven After Throwing 5″ Shell Mortar Firework Out Jeep Window

A 53-Year-Old victim was struck by a firework explosive that was thrown from a Jeep Wrangler on Pennsylvania Ave., causing her clothes to catch fire and suffered second-degree burns. Liebhauser handed a five-inch shell mortar firework to Aveta, who then lit the firework and threw it out of the passenger side of the vehicle, striking the victim.

July 28, 2022

BEACH HAVEN, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Beach Haven Police Chief James Markoski announced that on July 23, 2022, Justin Liebhauser, 19, of Randolph, New Jersey, and Gianni Aveta, 18, of Wayne, New Jersey, were each charged with Aggravated Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(1), in connection with an incident that occurred in Beach Haven on July 22, 2022.

On July 22, 2022, a 53-year-old female victim entered the Beach Haven Police Department to report that at approximately 10:15 p.m. that evening, she had been struck by a firework explosive that was thrown from a motor vehicle. She advised the Officers that she was walking on Pennsylvania Avenue when a firework was thrown from the passenger side of a Jeep Wrangler. The firework exploded and struck her in the arm and rib area, causing her clothes to catch fire. Officers contacted EMS, and the victim was treated for second-degree burns to her arm.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., Officers from the Beach Haven Police Department executed a motor vehicle stop on a Jeep Wrangler matching the description of the vehicle described by the victim. The vehicle was being operated by Liebhauser – with Aveta and three minors as passengers.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Beach Haven Police Department revealed that Liebhauser was operating the vehicle with Aveta and the two minors as passengers in the area of Pennsylvania Avenue earlier in the evening. Liebhauser handed a five-inch shell mortar firework to Aveta, who then lit the firework and threw it out of the passenger side of the vehicle, striking the victim. As a consequence of the investigation, Liebhauser and Aveta were served with the aforementioned charges via summons pending an upcoming first appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Markoski acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Beach Haven Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collective assistance in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


Justin Liebhauser, 19, of Randolph, New Jersey, and Gianni Aveta, 18, of Wayne, New Jersey, were each charged with Aggravated Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(1), in connection with an incident that occurred in Beach Haven on July 22, 2022.


Tuckerton Man Sentenced To 5 Years In NJ State Prison For Aggravated Assault And Stalking

July 25, 2022

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 25, 2022, Donald Rutter, 53, of Tuckerton, was sentenced by the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, J.S.C. (retired and temporarily assigned on recall), to five years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), in connection with an incident that occurred during the evening hours of January 5, 2021 in Little Egg Harbor Township. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Rutter will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Judge Daniels also sentenced Rutter to 18 months NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Stalking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10b, in connection with the same incident. The sentences will run concurrently. Additionally, Judge Daniels executed a Permanent Stalking Restraining Order barring Rutter from having any contact with the victim, Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor. Rutter pled guilty to both charges before Judge Daniels on June 13, 2022.

On January 5, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Little Egg Harbor Township Police were dispatched to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in response to a 911 call which related that an individual had been shot. Responding Officers found Mr. Jarvis with an apparent gunshot wound to his midsection. Mr. Jarvis was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. He was treated for his injuries and eventually released from the hospital.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Rutter was, in fact, the individual who shot Mr. Jarvis. An exhaustive search of the surrounding area by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Tuckerton Police Department, was unsuccessful in locating Rutter in the aftermath of the shooting. As such, a warrant was issued for Rutter’s arrest.

On January 28, 2021, Rutter was ultimately located in Atlantic City and taken into custody, without incident, by the United States Marshals Service. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department, for their combined and collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Rutter’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.





Fatal Lakewood Crash Under Investigation

July 25, 2022

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 22, 2022, at approximately 8:20 p.m., the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the area of South Lake Drive and East Lake Park Drive for a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Lakewood Township Police Department determined that a 2018 Chevrolet Impala operated by Mordechai Berkowitz, 20, of Lakewood, was headed eastbound on South Lake Drive when he crossed over the double yellow and collided head-on with a 2017 Toyota Rav4, operated by Maria Flores-Moreno, 35, of Jackson, and occupied by front-seat passenger, Juana Lopez-Hernandez, 44, a citizen of Mexico.

Mr. Berkowitz was transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.  Ms. Flores-Moreno was transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune and is presently listed in stable condition.  Ms. Lopez-Hernandez was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood where she was pronounced deceased.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Lakewood Township Police Department, Brick Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.


Assemblyman Ron Dancer Passes At 73

July 23, 2022

Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer (R) Assistant Minority Leader, District 12

PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN) NEW EGYPT–It is with great regret and profound sadness that we, the staff of the esteemed Assemblyman Ron Dancer, must inform you of his passing. He left this world peacefully with his beloved wife by his side.

Ron often expressed gratitude by saying, “I am blessed.” May God continue to bless Ron Dancer and bless his grieving family. May he rest in eternal peace.

Please direct questions to his legislative office at asmdancer@njleg.org

You may also leave a private message of condolence or a fond memory of the Assemblyman at his website www.AssemblymanDancer.com


Ronald S. Dancer served his local community and state for over 30 years as a volunteer, adviser, leader, and representative. He was known by his friends and neighbors as the man who got things done. As the people’s representative, Ron fought for the interests of the 12th Legislative District and served with compassion for all.

Ron grew up in New Egypt, the beautiful town at the very center of New Jersey. The son of the late Hall of Fame Harness Horse Racing Driver Stanley Dancer, Ron was a horseman, trainer, and driver. He professionally raced and trained horses from 1968 through 1998.

Ron attended the Peddie School in Hightstown and later, the Edward J. Blaustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. In between, Ron served in the United States Army from 1969-1971.

First elected as mayor in 1989, Ron served Plumsted Township through 2011. He continued as the Township’s Honorary Business Administrator from 2012 to 2017.

A tireless volunteer for Ocean County, Ron was a member of the Ocean County Board of Social Services for over 35 years and served as chairman. He was an active member of other civic affiliations, including the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee and the Ocean County Senior Citizens Advisory Council.

Ron served on the New Jersey Horse Racing Commission from 1999 to 2002 and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Sire Stakes Board from 1982 until 2002.

Ron most notably served as a member of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2022. He most recently was the Assistant Republican Leader. Ron’s successful public policy initiatives were furthered by his positions on a number of assembly committees. He served on the Agriculture and Food Security; Military and Veterans’ Affairs; and Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committees.

Ron is survived by his wife, Brenda, two children, and three grandchildren.



“Tammy and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Assemblyman Ron Dancer. True to his roots in one of New Jersey’s storied equestrian racing families, in public service he was a work horse not a show horse. A proud veteran with a quiet demeanor and humble nature, Ron built friendships across the aisle. His focus on New Jersey’s agricultural, horse-racing, and tourist industries, and our honored military veterans, leaves a lasting legacy. Our state flags will be lowered to half-staff in his honor and memory. His wife, Brenda, their children and grandchildren, and the entire Dancer family are in all of our thoughts this weekend.” — Governor Phil Murphy


Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) released the following statement on the death of longtime New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Dancer:

             “Ron Dancer was a tireless public servant who served his country in the Army before becoming a highly respected and enormously popular mayor of Plumsted and assemblyman for the 12th Legislative District. A great friend to many and true civic leader, Ron was as gracious and considerate as he was hard working and effective. I cannot think of anyone who loved Plumsted and personified the township more than Ron Dancer.

              “His trade-mark energetic leadership as a state legislator is marked by many issues he took head-on, especially advocating for the equestrian community, protecting veterans’ concerns on the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and defending the unborn on pro-life matters before the Assembly. He was a one-of-a-kind public servant whom I always greatly admired, and I am proud to have known him and called him my good friend.

               “Marie’s and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Brenda and his loved ones as we celebrate his life of service and mourn his passing.”


Assembly Republicans today are mourning the death of their colleague, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer. He was 73.

A New Egypt native, Dancer was serving as Plumsted Township mayor in 2002 when district Republicans tapped him to fill a vacancy created by Assemblyman Melvin Cottrell’s passing. He most recently served on the Assembly agriculture and food security, military and veterans’ affairs, and tourism, gaming and the arts committees.

“Ron’s 20 years in the Assembly are marked not only by his tireless efforts to serve his constituents, even during his illness, but his willingness to work across party lines to accomplish what he believed was best for all New Jerseyans,” Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio (R-Warren) said. “He was a true patriot, statesman, gentleman, and my good friend. He will be sorely missed. My prayers and those of our conference are with his beloved wife Brenda and their family.”

Dancer served in the United States Army from 1969-1971. At home, he professionally raced and trained horses for 30 years, following in the footsteps of his father Stanley Dancer, the Hall of Fame Harness Horse Racing driver.

Dancer has been a tireless advocate for the farming community, the horse racing industry and taxpayers. Notable legislation enacted into law include: allowing for special occasion events on preserved farms; providing funding to increase horse racing purses; and allowing municipalities to establish programs to encourage local shopping through property tax rewards.

“No service member who ever stepped foot in New Jersey had a greater ally than Ron. His most powerful pieces of legislation honored and protected those who selflessly serve their fellow countrymen.” DiMaio added. “Likewise, his passion for agriculture and horse racing is evident in the bills he sponsored to strengthen and safeguard those industries.”

For nearly 40 years, Dancer volunteered for numerous groups, including the Ocean County Board of Social Services, which he chaired; the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee; the Ocean County Senior Citizens Advisory Council; the New Jersey Horse Racing Commission; and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Sire Stakes Board.

“Ron has left us with a legacy that serves as a beacon for public servants now and New Jersey leaders of the future,’ DiMaio concluded. “Ultimately, it’s not about Republican or Democrat; it’s about the people we serve. Ron served the people well.”


Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement Saturday on the passing of Republican Assemblyman Ronald Dancer from the 12th legislative district: “I am saddened to learn of the loss of a true gentleman in New Jersey politics. In his two decades of public service in the Assembly, Ron Dancer was always someone who strived to work across the aisle. “A veteran himself, he leaves behind a legacy of advocacy on behalf of our military men and women. He was also a champion for New Jersey’s agricultural and horse racing communities, and contributed greatly to innovative expansions of our state’s tourism – most recently being the sponsor of legislation that will widen economic opportunity for our wineries and farms.



Fatal Crash Reported In Toms River, NJ

July 22, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police reported that on Friday, July 22, 2022, at approximately 12:25 a.m., police and EMS units were dispatched to a serious motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Lakehurst Road and Hospital Drive.

The initial investigation revealed Tina Dung, 21 of Maryland, was stopped for the traffic light before she proceeded through the red signal and collided with a Legacy Towing flatbed wrecker heading east on Lakehurst Road. The three passengers in Ms. Dung’s car, all citizens of China, were sadly killed as a result of the collision. The 54 year old male, 52 year old female, and a 23 year old male victims were all from same family.

Neither driver showed signs of impairment. Ms. Dung sustained minor injuries as a result of the accident. She received a citation for Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal. Neither the driver nor passenger of the tow truck were injured. The crash remains under investigation by Toms River Police Traffic Safety Officers, Corporal Terry Warren and Michael Cassidy, and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office.


Monroe Township Man Indicted For Murder And Endangering The Welfare Of A Child

July 20, 2022

BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 19, 2022, Christopher Gregor, 30, of Monroe Township, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on the charge of Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of a six-year-old male on April 2, 2021, at Southern Ocean Medical Center in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township. Gregor was also indicted on the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), in connection with events that occurred on March 20, 2021 in Barnegat Township.

On April 2, 2021, Officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to Southern Ocean Medical Center in reference to the death of a six-year-old male, identified as C.M. On April 3, 2021, a post-mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and it was determined that C.M. sustained injuries due to blunt force trauma. In the course of investigating the child’s death, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad, and Barnegat Township Police Department, discovered evidence that revealed that Gregor had committed acts of abuse against the child in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021. Accordingly, Gregor was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), on July 7, 2021. Though initially lodged in the Ocean County Jail, Gregor was subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

On March 3, 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office received a report from the State’s expert witness that indicated that C.M. died as a result of blunt force impact to the chest and abdomen, and determined the manner of the child’s death to be homicide. An extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that C.M. was in the custody of Gregor at the time he sustained his life-ending injuries, and that Gregor was the individual responsible for the child’s death.

On March 9, 2022, Gregor was taken into custody by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Sea Bright Police Department, and Barnegat Township Police Department. Gregor has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento who presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Economic Crimes Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, Stafford Township Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Englishtown Police Department, Manalapan Township Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Sea Bright Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Alcoa (Tennessee) Police Department, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Gregor’s apprehension and now his indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Tuckerton Fire Company No. 1, Out Of Service 44 Days; Asks NJ Attorney General To Investigate

July 20, 2022

TUCKERTON, NJ (OCEAN)–The Tuckerton Fire Department has been out of service to the community Since June 6, 2022, 44 days when equipment was removed and the Tuckerton Borough Council voted to pass a resolution “Suspending Emergency Service From The Tuckerton Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 For The Borough Of Tuckerton And Providing For Alternative Emergency Service Coverage.”

On July 18, 2022 the Fire Company sent a letter to the NJ Attorney General’s Office to investigate several allegations of misconduct. That letter in its entirety is posted below with a link to the Fire Department’s Facebook page.

“DAY 44 – OUT OF SERVICE We are asking the New Jersey Attorney General to look into a few things that we feel are improper or illegal.”Tuckerton Fire Department Facebook page.






Bringing the Beach To Its Most Loyal Fans

July 18, 2022

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–With beach season in full swing, a group of seniors were eager to celebrate. That’s why Bella Terra by Monarch recently brought seaside fun to its residents at the community located at 2 Kathleen Drive, Jackson Township.

The staff and a group of children sporting beach attire joined the residents in the fun. The seniors thrilled to raft pulls across the water, created sand art, dipped their toes in the pool, swayed to beach music, savored hotdogs, ice cream and other beach fare: and more.

“Many of our residents grew up at the shore, and it has been an important part of their lives for decades, from their childhood and onward” said Amy Schneider, program director for Bella Terra by Monarch. “This event enabled them to enjoy the seaside experience right outside their door and to show today’s kids how to have an old-fashioned wonderful time at the beach.”



Repeat Offender: Little Egg Harbor Man Who Is a Registered Sex Offender, Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography And Enticement Of A Minor In Criminal Sexual Conduct

In 2008, Frew was convicted in New Jersey of endangering the welfare of children due to his possession of child pornography. As a result of his prior convictions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Frew was a registered sex offender at the time of his conduct charged in the information.

July 18, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man today admitted receiving images of child sexual abuse and inducing a minor to send him sexually explicit images and engage in sexually explicit conduct over an online messaging service, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.

David M. Frew, 41, of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In June 2017, Frew used an online messaging service to communicate with a minor victim. At Frew’s request, the victim sent Frew sexually explicit images.

In 2008, Frew was convicted of three counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer in Pennsylvania after sending sexually explicit photos or videos to investigators in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit, who were posing as minors online. Also in 2008, Frew was convicted in New Jersey of endangering the welfare of children due to his possession of child pornography. As a result of his prior convictions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Frew was a registered sex offender at the time of his conduct charged in the information.

Because Frew is a previously convicted sex offender, the charge of receipt of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a statutory maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of online enticement carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a statutory maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 23, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in Atlantic City, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Technical Crime Unit; the RCMP National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre; the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer; and the Little Egg Harbor Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Hawkins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

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Defense counsel: Benjamin West Esq., Trenton



Man Sentenced To 7-Years In NJ State Prison For Distributing 11.5 Pounds Of Marijuana And Other Narcotics On Long Beach Island

July 11, 2022

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2022, Michael Klimowicz, 32, of North Brunswick, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P, to seven years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Possession of Marijuana in a Quantity Greater than Five Pounds but Less than Twenty-Five Pounds with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10), in connection with an arrest that occurred in Long Beach Township on January 27, 2019. Klimowicz pled guilty to the charge before Judge Ryan on April 12, 2022.

An investigation by the Long Beach Township Police Department revealed that a residence in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township was being utilized by Klimowicz to store and distribute narcotics. In furtherance of the investigation, Detectives executed a court-authorized search warrant on the subject residence on January 27, 2019. As a result, Detectives seized roughly 11.5 pounds of Marijuana, additional quantities of other illegal narcotics, and approximately $9,300 in United States currency. Klimowicz was arrested at the residence without incident; he was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Long Beach Township Police Department Patrol Division, Long Beach Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Long Beach Township Police Department K-9 Unit, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, for their collective assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Klimowicz’s apprehension and now his state prison sentence.



Teen Charged With Aggravated Assault On Police Officer And Other Charges, At Six Flags Great Adventure

July 11, 2022

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On July 10, 2022, Jackson Police Officers Parise and Scharff responded to the area of the Boardwalk at Six Flags Great Adventure for a report of a fight in progress. Officers were already working in a security capacity for the park as they routinely do during their operational hours.

Upon arrival to the area they located a teenaged subject who appeared to be highly agitated. As officers made contact with the teenaged subject he started to yell, advising officers that he was going to fight and did not care. Right after making that statement, the teenaged subject pushed Police Officer Parise and a brief physical interaction ensued. The teenaged subject was quickly subdued by Police Officer Scharff and was taken into custody following a brief struggle.

At the time of the incident, officers were unaware that the subject was a juvenile because he was uncooperative and did not wish to provide any information. After learning of such, the teenaged male was charged with the following:

1) Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer

2) Simple Assault

3) Obstruction

4) Resisting Arrest

Jackson First Aid Squad was requested for scrapes on the teenaged male which he received in the struggle to place him under arrest. PO Scharff sustained minor injuries as a result of the interaction.

The teenaged male was subsequently released to a family member who responded to headquarters.

The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.


27-Year-Old Man Sentenced To 5-Years NJ State Prison For Child Luring

Judge Ryan also ordered Hoffman to register as a Megan’s Law Offender, and that he be subject to Parole Supervision for Life.

July 8, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2022, Richard Hoffman, 27, of Mays Landing, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P, to five years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Luring in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6, in connection with a series of events that occurred in Toms River between September 4, 2018 and September 5, 2018. Judge Ryan also ordered Hoffman to register as a Megan’s Law Offender, and that he be subject to Parole Supervision for Life. Hoffman pled guilty before Judge Ryan on February 14, 2022.

Hoffman was arrested on September 5, 2018 as part of Operation Open House – a multi-agency undercover operation led by the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. This operation targeted men who were using the social media applications, Whisper and Kik, to attempt to lure underage females and males for sexual activity. Hoffman, who believed he was chatting with a fourteen year-old female, arranged to meet the female at a residence in Toms River for purposes of engaging in sexual activity. In reality, Hoffman was chatting with an undercover detective from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. On September 5, 2018, Hoffman arrived at the prearranged location in Toms River, and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, and commends the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Homeland Security Investigations, United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, New Jersey State Parole Board, Bayonne Police Department, Gloucester Township Police Department, Hazlet Township Police Department, Keyport Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Red Bank Police Department, Spring Lake Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, and Voorhees Township Police Department, for their collective and collaborative assistance in connection with the Operation Open House investigation, leading to Hoffman’s apprehension, guilty plea, and now his state prison sentence.



U.S. Coast Guard Rescues One Person, As Boat Sinks 2NM Off Beach Haven, NJ

June 28, 2022

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN) U.S. Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light reports a 29-foot response boat crew rescued one from a sinking vessel two nautical miles off Beach Haven, yesterday, June 27, 2022. The person was saved off of their life unfortunately their 40-foot wooden trawler began taking on water and ended up sinking. No additional details are available.


U.S.C.G. Photos


Another Wildfire Contained In NJ; 315-Acres Burned In Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

June 27, 2022

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service reports that a wildfire at Brendan T Byrne State Forest – Brickworks Wildfire – Manchester and Woodland Townships has been contained.

As of 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 27, 2022 the New Jersey Forest Fire Service has achieved 100 percent containment of a 315-acre wildfire near Pasadena Road in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.

Forest Fire Service staff will remain on scene to continue improving containment lines and monitor the area to ensure public safety. Smoke conditions may remain for several hours.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

Just last week the New Jersey Forest Fire Service contained a 13,500-acre fire in Wharton State Forrest you can read about that fire here.


Photos from NJ Forest Fire Service Facebook Page


Update: Towaco Man Indicted On Charges Of Death By Vessel, Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide, Assault By Vessel In Connection With Boat Crash; Father Indicted On Hindering Apprehension

June 24, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced on that June 22, 2022, Juan Fernandez, II, 19, of Towaco, New Jersey, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Death by Vessel in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b(1); Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.3a and Assault by Vessel in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:1c(2), in connection with a boat crash that occurred on the Barnegat Bay in Toms River on June 13, 2021, resulting in the death of Corey Molinari, 19, of Whippany, New Jersey.

On June 13, 2021, at approximately 1:13 a.m., the Toms River Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police were notified of a boat crash that occurred in the Barnegat Bay. Officers responded to Antiqua Avenue and found that Corey Molinari had been ejected from a pontoon boat and suffered serious bodily injury including severe head trauma. At least six other occupants of the boat were identified and treated on scene for various injuries. Molinari was treated on scene and subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he subsequently died from his injuries. An investigation by the New Jersey State Police Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit determined that Fernandez, II, was the operator of the pontoon boat when the boat struck a cement channel marker.

Further investigation revealed that Fernandez, II, had been consuming alcohol while operating the pontoon boat. Fernandez, II, was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River where he consented to a draw of his blood at approximately 9:32 a.m. Fernandez, II, blood alcohol content (BAC) was determined to be .037%. The State retained the services of Robert J. Pandina, Ph.D., a forensic psycho-pharmacologist, who analyzed the toxicology findings of Fernandez, II’s BAC. Dr. Pandina concluded through extrapolation analysis that Fernandez II’s BAC at the time of the collision was between .13% and .15%. In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle or vessel is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

On September 9, 2021, Fernandez II was arrested at his residence without incident. He was transported to New Jersey State Police Tuckerton Station to be processed. He was then transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

During the course of this investigation, Fernandez II’s father, Juan A. Fernandez, Sr., 59, of Towaco, was questioned by law enforcement in connection with this investigation. It was determined that Juan A. Fernandez, Sr., provided false information to Detectives during the course of the investigation; as a consequence, Juan A. Fernandez, Sr., has been indicted for Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3a(7).

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy who is handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, New Jersey State Police Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Fernandez’s indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


File photos from that night by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

File photos from that night by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response




Juan Fernandez, II, 19, of Towaco, New Jersey, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Death by Vessel in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b(1); Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.3a and Assault by Vessel in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:1c(2), in connection with a boat crash that occurred on the Barnegat Bay in Toms River on June 13, 2021, resulting in the death of Corey Molinari, 19, of Whippany, New Jersey.


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Department Of Justice Settles Lawsuit Against Jackson Township For Discriminatory Ordinances Targeting Orthodox Jewish Religious Schools

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The Justice Department announced an agreement today with Jackson Township, New Jersey, and the Jackson Planning Board to settle allegations that they violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when they passed and applied a series of discriminatory zoning ordinances that intentionally targeted the Orthodox Jewish community by prohibiting religious schools and associated dormitories.

The proposed consent order, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and must still be approved by the court, would resolve a lawsuit the United States filed in May 2020 alleging that the Jackson Township and the Jackson Planning Board passed zoning ordinances that broadly prohibited religious schools and banned schools with dormitories, both of which are important to providing religious education within the Orthodox Jewish community. The complaint alleged that the intent of the ordinances was to prevent Orthodox Jewish schools from opening in the township and thereby dissuade members of that community from living in or moving to Jackson.

“RLUIPA and the Fair Housing Act protect the rights of religious communities to worship and obtain housing in communities free from discrimination and unequal treatment,” Philip R. Sellinger, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, said. “This office remains steadfast in its commitment to enforce the nation’s civil rights laws, and as the proposed consent order demonstrates, we will continue to take steps to protect the civil rights of the Orthodox Jewish community and all communities throughout this district.”

“Zoning restrictions that intentionally target religious communities have no place in our society,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said. “Federal civil rights laws provide strong protections to ensure that religious communities are treated equally and not subjected to discrimination because of their beliefs. This resolution reaffirms that members of the Orthodox Jewish community — as with people of all faiths – are welcome in our communities and have the right to practice their religion free of discrimination.”

The complaint alleges that in 2017, Jackson Township enacted two ordinances that banned dormitories and severely restricted where religious schools could locate. These ordinances were enacted in response to the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community in Jackson and surrounding areas and amid public comments arguing that the ordinances should be enacted to prevent the Orthodox Jewish community from living in or moving to Jackson. Township councilmembers voted unanimously to enact the ordinances.

The consent order requires Jackson Township to repeal the remaining active discriminatory ordinance and replace it with an ordinance that will allow religious elementary and secondary schools, religious higher learning institutions, and religious residential schools. The consent order also requires that the new zoning ordinance treat religious schools equally with non-religious institutions that operate in the township. The consent order requires the township to train its officials and employees on the requirements of RLUIPA and the FHA, establish a procedure for receiving and resolving RLUIPA and FHA complaints, pay a civil penalty of $45,000, and pay $150,000 into a settlement fund from which aggrieved persons can seek payment.

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in land use or zoning decisions, or discrimination in housing based on disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, and familial status, may contact the Civil Rights Division Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at 1-833-591-0291, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at (855) 281-3339 Individuals may also submit a complaint through the Civil Rights Division’s complaint portal or through the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Horan Florio, Senior Civil Rights Counsel in the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Division, and Trial Attorneys Ryan G. Lee and David K. Gardner, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

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Defense counsel:
Jackson Township: Greg McGuckin Esq., Lacey Township, New Jersey
Planning board: Sean Gertner Esq., Jackson Township


Lakewood Man Charged With Narcotics Distibution, Weapons Offences And Aggravated Assault On A Law Enforcement Officer

June 15, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas-Monmouth/Ocean Post of Duty (HIDTA/MOPOD) Group 5, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Unit, and Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Ocean County.  This cooperative, multi-agency investigation identified a residence in Lakewood as being used by Shamar Kerr, 32, of Lakewood, to store and distribute heroin/fentanyl, and cocaine.

On June 8, 2022, Detectives from the aforementioned law enforcement agencies established surveillance on the subject residence as well as Kerr’s place of employment in Lakewood.  Kerr was observed by Detectives meeting with an individual later identified as Anthony Connors, 36, of South Toms River, outside of his place of employment; Kerr was then observed to be leaving his place of employment on foot.  Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department approached Kerr to place him under arrest, at which time Kerr fled on foot.  Kerr was ultimately apprehended and placed under arrest.  Upon arrest, Kerr was found to be in possession of 900 wax folds of heroin/fentanyl.

Connors was detained and taken into custody.  He was charged with Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) and Wandering in a Public Place to Obtain or Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1b.  Connors was served with the charges via summons pending an upcoming first appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

A court authorized search warrant was executed on Kerr’s Lakewood residence.  As a result, Detectives seized approximately 40 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded 40 caliber handgun, and approximately $44,300.00 in United States currency. 

Kerr was charged with Distribution of less than One-Half Ounce of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Heroin with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2);  Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Crack Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, specifically a handgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1); Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, specifically a knife, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; Possession of a Weapon During a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1; Certain Person Not to Possess a Firearm in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b(1); Possession of a Prohibited Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3e; Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(b); Resisting Arrest in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(3)(a); and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a.  Kerr is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – HIDTA/MOPOD Group 5, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Unit, and Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C.  3.6(b)(6).



2-Alarm Fire Damages Home In Jackson

June 14, 2022

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 6:45 p.m. a reported “working fire” fire went to two alarms on Toshi Court before being brought under control. When firefighters arrived, they reported a garage fire extending into the two-story home and pulled three lines to extinguish the fire. Within half an hour the bulk of the fire was knocked down and brought under control. There is no word on the cause of the fire and firefighters and investigators are on scene investigating the fire. The story will be updated when information becomes available.

Several mutual aid departments were called to the scene once we have that list, we will update.



Photos by: Meghan Josko


Video above by: James Lemieux


Photos and video below from Ryan Mack, Jesey Shore Fire Response. Full Youtube video to be posted tomorrow so check back for updates.




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