Category: Ocean County

Fishing Boat Hits Rocks In Manasquan Inlet And Sinks

July 28, 2021

Story, Photos and Video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response – MidJersey.News Shore Bureau

MANASQUAN INLET, POINT PLESANT, NJ (0CEAN)–Around 10:40 p.m. last night July 27, 2021 a fishing vessel reported that they were taking on water to the USCG Manasquan Inlet station. Initial reports said they had struck inlet rocks and had a hole in the vessel. Witnesses at the Manasquan Inlet (Point Pleasant Side) said that they saw a boat attempt to leave the inlet but struck the rocks and heard a bang then saw the craft turn around at a decent speed and go back into the inlet. District 27 (Manasquan Fire) was alerted of the boat hitting the rocks and dispatched Marine 27. The U.S. Coast Guard spotted the boat docked at the Wharfside Seafood & Patio Bar partially sunk. Marine 27 and Point Pleasant Beach Police were also on the scene. Two were safely off the craft and on the dock with no injuries. The cause of the crash is still unknown and is being investigated by the USCG & The New Jersey State Police.

MidJersey.News has reached out to the Public Affairs office USCG Atlantic City and NJ State Police and waiting for official press information. Once official public information is received the story will be updated.



Stabbing At Brick Township ShopRite Parking Lot Under Investigation

July 27, 2021

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Brick Township Chief of Police James Riccio announced that on July 26, 2021, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Brick Township Police responded to the parking lot of the ShopRite on Route 70 in Brick in reference to a male victim that had been stabbed in the parking lot. Responding officers found a 44-year-old male victim with apparent stab wounds to his back. The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of his injuries where he is reported to be in critical but stable conditio

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio would like to stress that this is an active and ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit. “There is no danger to the public at this time, our investigation indicates this was a targeted attack against the victim,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “We will release more information as it becomes available,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Anyone in possession of information related to this investigation is urged to contact Detective Lindsay Woodfield of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, extension 3989, or Detective Michael Bennett of the Brick Township Police Department at 732-262-1122.


South Toms River Man Sentenced To 10 Years In NJ State Prison For Aggravated Manslaughter

July 26, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 26, 2021, Marcus Samuels, 32, of South Toms River, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to ten years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), relative to the shooting death of Willie Love, 27, of Beachwood, that occurred in South Toms River on June 8, 2015. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Samuels will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Additionally, Samuels was sentenced to ten years NJSP as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:28-5a(1), and five years NJSP in connection with an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, relative to an incident that occurred in Seaside Heights on May 3, 2015. Samuels pled guilty to all charges before Judge Ryan on June 4, 2021. The sentences will run concurrently.

On June 8, 2015, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Officers of the South Toms River Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a report of a male having suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. The male was identified to be Willie Love, who later succumbed to his injuries at Community Medical Center.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and South Toms River Police Department revealed that Samuels – who was driving a 2004 Dodge Nitro – pulled alongside a vehicle being operated by Mr. Love which contained three passengers. Samuels then recklessly fired a handgun into Mr. Love’s vehicle, striking Mr. Love, which led to his death. Samuels turned himself into law enforcement in the presence of his attorney on June 12, 2015, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.

While Samuels was detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on these charges, he conspired with other inmates to influence a witness into retracting or changing a statement previously provided to law enforcement in connection with the investigation.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Narcotics Assistant Prosecutor William Porter and Assistant Prosecutor Stephen 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, South Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Science, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Samuels’ state prison sentence.


Lakewood, New Jersey Business Owner Charged in Alleged Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premium Fraud Scheme

July 26, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced that the owner of an Ocean County real estate improvement company has been charged in connection with an alleged scheme to provide false payroll information in order to obtain lower premiums on workers’ compensation coverage.

Zechariah Greenspan, 37, owner of Mulberry Management, L.L.C. (“Mulberry Management”) in Lakewood, was indicted July 7, 2021 on second-degree charges of insurance fraud, theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official for allegedly providing false and misleading statements to New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group in order to obtain lower premiums on the workers’ compensation insurance he is legally obligated to provide employees.

According to the indictment, between July 2016, and March 2018, Greenspan committed five or more acts of insurance fraud by submitting false documents, making false or misleading statements, and omitting material facts that misrepresented the amount of wages that Mulberry Management paid to its individual uninsured subcontractors, and that Mulberry Management had paid an insured subcontractor – ZG Holdings, L.L.C. (“ZG Holdings”), which he also owns – for subcontractor work.

Greenspan committed theft by deception by obtaining workers compensation insurance at a lower premium by significantly underreporting his payroll to individual uninsured subcontractors, and by submitting false records indicating Mulberry Management had paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and that ZG Holdings had sufficient workers’ compensation coverage for said work, when in fact, he knew that Mulberry Management had not paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and/or that ZG Holdings lacked sufficient workers’ compensation insurance for said work, according to the indictment.

Greenspan is charged with misconduct by a corporate official for using Mulberry Management and/or ZG Holdings to commit the aforementioned crimes, according to the indictment.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.

Deputy Attorney General Melvina D. Fennell presented the case to the State Grand Jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the supervision of Private Insurance Bureau Chief Cheryl Maccaroni. Under the supervision of Lieutenant Anne Hayes, Investigator Thomas Andreopoulos coordinated the investigation with Analysts Terry Worthington and Jordan Thompson, along with Detective Matthew Armstrong.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Jackson Police Report More Motor Vehicle Burglaries, This Time Hawkin Road Area

July 22, 2021

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Wednesday July 21, 2021, patrol officers responded to a neighborhood located off of Hawkin Road on the report of multiple burglaries to motor vehicles which had taken place between 4:50 am to 5:30 am.

A resident of Bane Lane reported that unknown suspect(s) entered 4 unlocked vehicles which were parked in the driveway and stole property valued in excess of $200.00. The property included loose change, a duffle bag and a purse which contained cash, a NJ driver’s license, credit cards and other personal identification.

A second resident of Bane Lane reported that his and a family member’s unlocked vehicles which were parked in the driveway were burglarized and property valued in excess of $800.00 was stolen. This included a pair of designer sunglasses and Apple air pods. Upon reviewing Ring doorbell video, it was observed that the suspect attempted to enter a third vehicle parked in the driveway but was unable to because it was locked. The video showed an unknown suspect wearing a blue sweatshirt with a hood, brown pants and white sneakers make entry to the vehicles. He possibly left in a white or gray colored passenger vehicle that was observed in the area.

A resident of Veronica Court reported that security video indicated that 2 unknown suspects had entered 2 vehicles which were parked in the driveway. It was reported that the only thing stolen from the vehicles was the key fob for one of them which had been left in the vehicle. The suspects were described as being a male with a stocky build wearing a blue sweatsuit and a skinny male wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask. A white 4 door vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord was observed in the area at the time.

The Jackson Police Department is once again asking residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and lock them. Do not leave the key fobs inside of the vehicle and call 732-928-1111 to report suspicious activity.


False Alarm At Six Flags Great Adventure

July 19, 2021

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Witnesses told MidJersey.news that this afternoon Ocean County Sherriff Officers and Jackson Township Police had the entrances to Great Adventure closed for a short period of time not letting anyone in or out. Unofficial sources stated what ever the incident was it appeared to be a false alarm and the park was reopened.

MidJersey.news reached out to Six Flags Great Adventure representatives and they told MidJersey.News in a statement that “Out of an abundance of caution, the main entrance to Hurricane Harbor was temporarily closed following a routine safety check by the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit. Hurricane Harbor’s entrance reopened following a thorough review by the Jackson Police and New Jersey State Police.”

Statement from Jackson Police Department: “Six Flags Great Adventure Hurricane Harbor – Update The main entrance to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor was closed for several hours today. Following a routine safety check a safety concern was brought to the attention to park management and local Law Enforcement on site. After a more thorough check was conducted everything was found to be in order and the park entrance was reopened.”

Officials did not specify exactly what the incident was.


U.S. Coast Guard Conducts Medevac 6 Miles Northeast of Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey

July 19, 2021

MANASQUAN INLET, N.J. — The Coast Guard medevaced a man from a 60-foot Arrow yacht approximately 6 miles northeast of Manasquan Inlet on Sunday July 18, 2021.

Watchstanders from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center and U.S. Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet received notification via VHF channel 16 of a 58-year-old male passenger experiencing shortness of breath.

The Sector Delaware Bay command center consulted with a Coast Guard flight surgeon who recommended to medevac the individual.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet launched to meet the yacht.

Once on scene, the MLB boatcrew removed the person from the vessel and transferred him to emergency medical services waiting in Shark River Inlet.

“Well prepared mariners who are equipped with all of the necessary safety equipment including reliable communications enable us to assist them in their time of need,” said Mr. Joseph Hartline, Operation Unit Controller at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center.


Photos: New Jersey Law Enforcement Survivors Day, July 13

July 17, 2021

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–New Jersey Lt Governor Shiela Oliver, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan, Father Michael Lorentsen of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and John Ciuppa, President, Garden State COPS kick off New Jersey Law Enforcement Survivors Day at Breakwater Beach and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J. on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The event is the idea of Mr. Vincent Storino Sr. one of the owners Breakwater Beach and Casino Pier.

Photos and video by: NJ State Police:


Garbage Truck Fire In Lakewood

July 13, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Around noon the Lakewood Fire Department responded to a garbage truck fire at Ocean Avenue and Congress Street. It was reported that an electric scooter caught fire in the garbage truck and the truck had to dump the load so firefighters could extinguish the fire. The garbage truck also hit wires when the contents that were on fire had to be unloaded quickly.

No further information is available at this time.


Barnegat Man Charged With Endangering The Welfare Of A Child After PD Responds To 6-Year-Old Child’s Death

July 12, 2021

BARNEGAT, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 7, 2021, Christopher Gregor, 29, of Barnegat, was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), relative to an incident that occurred in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021.

On April 2, 2021, Officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin in reference to the death of a six-year-old male. In the course of investigating the child’s death, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad came into possession of evidence revealing that Gregor committed acts of abuse against the child in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021.

On July 9, 2021, Gregor surrendered himself to the Barnegat Township Police Department. Gregor was processed and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to emphasize that the death of the child remains an ongoing investigation.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad, Stafford Township Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department, Manalapan Township Police Department, and the Alcoa (Tennessee) Police Department, for their cooperative 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).


Great Adventure Entrance Ramp Accident Causes Traffic Backups

July 10, 2021

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 1:00 p.m. a vehicle crash was reported on the Six Flags Great Adventure ramp from Route 537 to the park. Upon EMS and police arrival an accident was found at the top of the bridge. It was reported one person was hurt in the accident and transported to a local hospital.

The accident caused a traffic backup from I-195 to the park entrance on Route 537 in the west bound direction. In the east bound direction Route 537 was backed up about two miles past Hawkin Road. It took about an hour and a half for the traffic to completely subside according to Google Maps. Traffic is currently flowing normal for a weekend at this time.

Governor Murphy Signs Bills to Advance New Jersey’s Clean Energy Future

Legislation will Increase Solar Development and Facilitate Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure throughout the State

July 9, 2021

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN) – Governor Phil Murphy today signed a package of bills aimed at advancing New Jersey’s transition to a clean energy future to further the Administration’s goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The legislation will increase solar development and facilitate installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state.

“Three and a half years ago we put forth one of the most aggressive plans in the nation to move New Jersey away from fossil fuels and towards a future based on clean and renewable energy technologies,” said Governor Murphy. “From wind-turbine component manufacturing, to solar energy installation, to electric vehicles, the modernization of our energy sector will not only aid us in addressing climate change, but also drive significant economic growth and create good-paying, union jobs across the state. By signing these bills today, we are marking another milestone on our path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and fueling our clean innovation economy.”

“In order to combat climate change and its devastating consequences, we must do all we can to make it easier for people and families to use and charge electric vehicles whether they live in a single-family home or in a multi-family dwelling. Electric vehicles are the future and everyone should have access to the environmental and economic benefits they provide,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “The legislation that Governor Murphy signed today will go a long way to supporting electric vehicle adoption across New Jersey. In fact, DCA is already at work crafting model ordinances to provide local governments with the ability to safely and efficiently approve the installation of electric vehicle service equipment and parking spaces that are pre-wired for electric vehicle infrastructure. DCA looks forward to continuing to do its part on electric vehicles and the broader effort to protect our environment.”



The Governor signed the following four bills into law:

S3223 (Smith, Bateman/Swain, Benson, Lopez, Verrelli, Karabinchak, Zwicker) – Establishes numerical requirements and zoning standards for installation of electric vehicle supply equipment and Make-Ready parking spaces

A1653 (Quijano, Karabinchak, Holley/Smith, Bateman) – Encourages development of zero-emission vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure in redevelopment projects.

A4554 (Karabinchak, Burzichelli, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes successor program to solar renewable energy certificate program in BPU, including solicitation process for certain solar power generation facilities.

A5434 (Dancer, Armato, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes dual-use solar project pilot program for unpreserved farmland; allows land used for dual-use solar project to be eligible for farmland assessment under certain conditions.

“I often talk about how significant these past few years have been for greatly expanding and growing renewable energy and electric vehicle capacity in New Jersey to combat climate change,” said Senator Smith. “With the dual-use solar project and utility-scale solar program laws now established, we can significantly increase our renewable energy footprint in a way that both preserves farmland and open-space. This clean energy can then go into the electrical grid to help power the electric vehicles via charging stations installed around the state.”

“In the not-so-distant future, we’ll see the day when most cars on the road are electric. By 2040, over half of all passenger vehicles sold are projected to be electric,” said Assemblymembers Lisa Swain, Daniel Benson, Yvonne Lopez, Anthony Verrelli, Robert Karabinchak, and Andrew Zwicker in a joint statement. “For the sake of our climate future, that day cannot come soon enough. If we want to encourage consumers to shift from buying gasoline-powered cars that emit dangerous fossil fuels into the air and erode our climate, to environmentally conscious electric vehicles that will reduce our dependence on oil and support clean air initiatives, we must invest in EV charging infrastructure in every community. The standards outlined in this law will remove roadblocks faced when installing EV supply equipment and parking spaces, which will expand our EV infrastructure and help New Jersey meet its climate goals.”

“More people are using zero-emission vehicles now than ever before. This is due in part to the hundreds of dollars ZEV drivers save each year on gas,” said Assemblymembers Annette Quijano, Robert Karabinchak, and Jamel Holley in a joint statement. “These vehicles are also better for our planet than gasoline cars because they don’t create byproducts that can harm the environment. The Assembly passed quite a few bills last session to encourage the purchase of ZEVs, and we must continue our efforts of finding ways to make these cars more convenient for both current and prospective owners. This law will encourage municipalities to incorporate charging and refueling stations in their redevelopment plans to increase the number of stations throughout our state. The more places our residents can go to recharge or refuel their ZEV, the more practical and appealing these vehicles will be.”

“Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that can reliably power homes and businesses throughout our state,” said Assemblymen Robert Karabinchak, John Burzichelli, and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “The Solar Successor Program will incentivize the generation of more solar power to help New Jersey reach our energy goals over the next five years and beyond. This program will not only create new jobs, but help protect our environment as well – ultimately benefitting everyone in our state.”

“This law will allow large-scale solar energy projects to be used as a tool for farmland preservation, and improve long-term viability of New Jersey family-farming operations,” said Assemblymen John Armato and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “Studies have shown that agriculture production and solar generation can coexist on the same land. With a dual-use solar project pilot program, crops would flourish while the State continues its ambition toward 100% clean energy by 2050.”

“A very good balance was struck between maintaining our best agricultural lands while at the same time advancing the state’s Energy Master Plan,” said New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher. “The Department of Agriculture is working closely with BPU as well as with Rutgers University to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved. Thank you to Governor Murphy and the Legislature for continuing to make clean energy a priority that will allow solar interests to be developed while advancing agriculture in the Garden State.”

“Governor Murphy’s actions on these bills today will expand solar energy and electric vehicle infrastructure and continue to advance our efforts to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We are building on the success of New Jersey’s solar industry, which is going strong with over 142,000 installations in the state, as well developing the critical EV infrastructure necessary to help drivers make the switch. The new legislation complements our efforts at the Board and will help deliver on the Governor’s vision of a clean energy future.”

“Increasing the use of solar energy and zero-emission vehicles is not only essential for addressing the threat of climate change, but also creates important opportunities for long-term, sustainable economic growth,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Around the world, clean energy is a major job creator, and Governor Murphy’s strong leadership in signing these bills is a critical step forward that will establish New Jersey as a leader in the fight against climate change while building a stronger, fairer economy.”

“I am proud to stand with Governor Murphy today as he signs legislation that will make it easier for New Jersey’s municipalities to create electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their communities and further advance the state’s clean energy goals,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “Driving electric has numerous benefits for public health, air quality and the environment. We encourage the public to review the many incentives New Jersey offers for purchasing and driving electric vehicles and consider doing so an investment in the state’s clean energy future.”

“Governor Murphy understands that the aggressive and thoughtful pursuit of clean energy and the economy of New Jersey will be the rising tide that lifts all boats,” said Pam Frank, CEO, ChargEVC-NJ. “And importantly, in the name of fairness and in the name of decency, the governor recognizes that for so many generations, so many of our boats, never even left the shore. Putting his vision together with the leadership of these two men, Senator Smith and Assemblyman Benson means a lot is happening.”




Ewing Township, NJ Man Indicted For Attempted Murder In 15 Count Indictment

July 7, 2021

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)—Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on that on July 7, 2021, Michael Mahan, age 38, of Ewing Township, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1); Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(6); Eluding in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b; Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A.12-1b(2); two counts of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; Terroristic Threats in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3b; four counts of Assault by Automobile in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(3); two counts of Assault by Automobile in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2); and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, in connection with a series of events that transpired in Jackson Township on May 8, 2021.

On May 8, 2021, Jackson Township Police Officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a stabbing incident on Maria Street.  Responding Officers discovered a female with a large slash across her face.  An investigation conducted by the Jackson Township Police revealed that the female victim had been followed to her residence by Mahan.  Mahan held a knife to the victim’s neck, threatened to kill her, and then proceeded to slash her face.  As a neighbor intervened and called 911, Mahan fled the area.  Mahan’s vehicle was observed by Officers traveling on Toms River Road.  A pursuit was initiated, and Mahan fled at a high rate of speed.  As Mahan was attempting to navigate a turn onto West Veterans Highway, he struck another vehicle.  As he continued travelling at a high rate of speed on West Veterans Highway, Mahan’s vehicle collided with yet another vehicle – forcing it off the road.  Mahan’s vehicle traveled approximately 500 more feet before it became disabled; Mahan was subsequently taken into custody without incident.  The female victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, and the occupants of the two vehicles were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Further investigation revealed that Mahan had, earlier that day, approached a female homeowner in her driveway brandishing a knife.  Mahan retreated after being confronted by the female victim’s husband and their pet dog.  Mahan has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension. 

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as Jackson Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Mahan’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).


Previous MidJersey.News stories here:

Ewing Township Man Charged With Attempted Murder And Other Charges After Road Rage Incident In Jackson

Ewing Township Man To Remain In Jail Pending Trial For Attempted Murder During Road Rage Incident In Jackson Township



27 Year Old Scotch Plains Man Charged With Aggravated Assault In July 4th Toms River Incident

July 7, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 5, 2021, Raziel Mancebo, age 27, of Scotch Plains, was charged with Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(7); and Simple Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a(1), in connection with an incident that occurred in Toms River on July 4, 2021.

On July 4, 2021, at approximately 9:15 p.m., the Toms River Township Police were summoned to the area of Cattus Island Boulevard and Hazelwood Road for a report of an unconscious male in the roadway. Responding Officers found Alan Stever, age 56, of Toms River, with an apparent head injury. Mr. Stever was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he is currently listed in serious but stable condition.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau revealed that a black BMW was traveling northbound on Hazelwood Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle approached the cross street of Hazelwood Road and Cattus Island Boulevard and stopped at the stop sign. At this point a resident of the neighborhood, Jason Durante, age 50, of Toms River, approached the BMW. The driver of the BMW and Mr. Durante exchanged words and eventually became involved in a physical altercation.  The driver of the BMW also became involved in a physical altercation with Alan Stever, striking him. Mr. Stever fell to the ground and struck his head on the pavement. The driver of the BMW then got back into his vehicle and traveled eastbound on Cattus Island Boulevard. Extensive further investigation revealed that Mancebo was the driver of the BMW and was responsible for striking both Mr. Durante and Mr. Stever.

On July 7, 2021, Mancebo surrendered himself to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office.  Mancebo was processed and charged at the Toms River Police Department and transported to the Ocean County Jail.  Mancebo will remain in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the collaborative efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau, Scotch Plains Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit in 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).

Previous MidJersey.News story here: Developing: Victim Flown To Jersey Shore Medical Center After Altercation In Toms River


Ocean Ice Palace To Close After Almost 60 Years

July 6, 2021

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean Ice Palace & Ocean Hockey Supply will be closing their doors after almost 60 years in business at the end of the month. The rink has brought many memories over the last 60 years and had a classic look with its Quonset hut style shaped roof.

According to the Ocean Ice Palace, Dr. Leon J. Dwulet built the Ocean Ice Palace in 1962. His vision was to provide skating and hockey development opportunities for the youth of Ocean and Monmouth Counties. The Dwulet family has operated the Ocean Ice Palace and Ocean Hockey Supply continuously for the last 59 years, and it is currently owned by Dr Dwulet’s daughter and managed by her daughter & son-in Law, Andrew & Raven Barten.

Ocean Ice Palace Facebook Post:

After almost 60 years of Family Owned & Operated business’ Ocean Ice Palace & Ocean Hockey Supply will be closing their doors at the end of this month. We are extremely thankful to all the friends who have become family and customers who have become friends over the years. The decision was not made lightly and certainly not without being given much thought. We will continue to run all programs and camps as scheduled through the end of this month and our shop will remain open until then. We welcome you to visit @OceanHockey and pick up some new gear before your season- shop starts at 40% off the entire store.







Toms River Police is Looking for the Best of the Best

July 6, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–The Toms River Police Department is excited to announce our 2021 recruitment test application process is underway, and will continue through July 31, 2021, for the testing process which will be in September. We are looking for qualified applicants who meet strict educational, physical and ethical standards, to take our police test. The recruiting process is ongoing, testing occurs once every 3 years. Join our Toms River Police Department Family, your career starts here! If you have any questions please visit us at http://www.trpolice.org and choose the “Recruitment” button or contact us at 732-349-0150 x 1327.



Fatal Crash In Lakewood

July 6, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 5, 2021, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the area of Cedarbridge Avenue and Clover Street for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that a 2009 Infinity G37, operated by a juvenile and containing two passengers, Hector Martinez, age 18, of Toms River and another juvenile, were traveling eastbound on Cedarbridge Avenue approaching the cross street of Clover Street at a high rate of speed. An unidentified vehicle was in the left-hand turn lane attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Clover Street. The juvenile operator of the Infinity G37 attempted to navigate around that vehicle and lost control of the Vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway and struck the face of a building. The vehicle overturned and came to an uncontrolled rest on its hood. The juvenile passenger, who was seated in the rear of the vehicle, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The juvenile operator and Mr. Martinez were both transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune to be treated for their injuries.

This remains an active investigation by the Ocean County Vehicular Homicide Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.


Photos by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

Developing: Victim Flown To Jersey Shore Medical Center After Altercation In Toms River

UPDATE: 27 Year Old Scotch Plains Man Charged With Aggravated Assault In July 4th Toms River Incident

July 4, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police say that, on Sunday July 4, 2021, at approximately 9:30 p.m., police units were called to Hazelwood Road in Toms River for a reported injured person. Initial investigation revealed there was an altercation in the street and one victim was flown to Jersey Shore Medical University for serious injuries. The investigation is on-going at this time.

Further details to follow


Jackson Police Seek To Identify Hit And Run Suspects Who Damaged The One Stop Shop

July 4, 2021

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–The Jackson Police Department is requesting your assistance with helping us to identify this female and male in these surveillance photos that were involved in a hit and run motor vehicle accident on 7/3/2021 at the One Stop Shop located on Toms River Road.

The suspect vehicle, which was operated by a female at the time, backed up into the building and then exited the vehicle and went out of camera sight. Shortly thereafter a male is seen entering the vehicle as the driver and both parties drive off in the same vehicle. It appears as if they were having an argument which may have been a contributing circumstance. As a result of the accident, the One Stop Shop had to be closed for service until structural repairs were done to the establishment.

The female driver suspect can be seen wearing a gray long sleeve top and jeans as the male can be seen wearing what appears to be a gray hooded style top shirt and shorts. The vehicle in question appears to be a gray possibly Toyota Corolla or similar vehicle. If anyone recognizes either of these two subjects, please contact Officer Stephen Purtell #309 who is investigating the incident. If you wish to remain anonymous you can also utilize our “Stop It” app. See the attached to see how to utilize that.

-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.


Toms River Police Investigate Low-Flying Helicopter

Citation issued for Zoning Ordinance Chapter 348, 10.5 Unauthorized Helipad Zone

July 2, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On June 24, 2021, and on other previous occasions, the Toms River Police Department received several anonymous complaints about a helicopter flying low within the township, and possibly landing in unauthorized areas and on private property on Dino Blvd. Officers were able to view the helicopter in question and obtain the tail number and owner information. Homeowner and pilot, Meir Gurvitz provided necessary information to officers and received a citation for Zoning Ordinance Chapter 348, 10.5 Unauthorized Helipad Zone. The FAA and DOT will be conducting an investigation into the incident and any other violations of federal and state laws.



Lacey Township Dispatcher Charged In Theft From Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Service Volunteer EMS

July 2, 2021

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 1, 2021, Matthew Bender, age 33, of Lacey Township, was charged with Theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a.

The charge is a result of an investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economics Crime Squad. The investigation revealed that Bender, a volunteer with the Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Service (LHEMS) and current dispatcher with the Lacey Township Police Department, was responsible for maintaining the LHEMS website. Bender also had access to the LHEMS PayPal account. On February 2, 2021, LHEMS was awarded a grant from Benevity, an organization that facilitates grants on behalf of the Macy’s corporation. The investigation further revealed that the grant money was disbursed to the LHEMS PayPal account managed by Bender.

Further investigation revealed that approximately $4690.00 was transferred the LHEMS PayPal account to Bender’s personal PayPal account. The investigation also revealed numerous purchases, in small denominations, for various restaurants, pharmacies and auto stores, confirming that the grant money was not used for the benefit of the LHEMS. It was determined that Bender misappropriated these funds for personal use.

Bender was processed at the Berkeley Township Police Department and released on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, the Lacey Township Police Department, and the Berkeley Township Police Department for their collaborative efforts in 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)

According to NJOIT Open Data Center Active NJ Pension Members updated on 3/31/2021 shows that Matthew J. Bender a Lacey Township, Ocean County employee is enrolled in the Public Employees Retirement System at a salary of $40,315.00 He was enrolled in the pension system on February 1, 2017.



House approves Smith’s $7 million boost for essential County Rd. 539 overpass through Jt. Base MDL

July 2, 2021

Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) proposal for the much-needed County Road 539 (CR 539) overpass project was approved by the full House of Representatives today as part of a larger roads and infrastructure package. Included within the transportation bill was $8 million—of which Smith secured $7 million—of federal funding to build the overpass on 539, which goes through the center of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL) in Ocean County.

The 539 project––Smith’s top priority for inclusion in the Member Designated Projects section of the bill––would provide faster and safer routes for New Jersey drivers and military personnel to navigate CR 539 and NJ Route 70 and address significant road hazards. The heavily traveled roadways serve as critical shore-point connectors to and from federal highways on the western side of New Jersey.

“This important project will greatly reduce congestion on County Road 537 and Route 70 and enhance the safety of commuters by keeping military vehicles off these major roadways, which currently serve as common routes for travel across the base,” said Smith, who has fought tirelessly for federal funds for the project since it was first identified by JB-MDL leadership.

The $7 million secured by Smith from the federal government would represent an immense portion of the funds required by Ocean County—the project’s sponsor—to build the overpass, which is expected to cost about $10 million in total.

Smith, who represents the majority of JB-MDL, said the new overpass would allow civilian traffic to ride above CR 539, while large military tactical vehicles would be able to travel more safely and efficiently below. Smith was relentless in coordinating efforts between Ocean County officials, JB-MDL leadership, and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) officials to provide materials necessary to convince the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the significance of the proposal.

Smith also secured funding for seven additional projects across Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties and was successful in including all of his projects in the bill. A list of each project and supporting documents can be found here.

Other proposals by Smith that passed the House include:

The Mercer County Bus Purchase project to provide for the purchase of buses and bus equipment for the County’s Transportation Resources to Aid the Disadvantaged and Elderly (TRADE) program, which provides non-emergency transportation to residents of Mercer County who are elderly and those with disabilities.

The Improvement of Koleda Park in Middletown Township project to help convert a vacant lot into useful community space;

The Point Pleasant Beach Channel Drive ADA Compliance Upgrade and Surface Revitalization project to enhance safety and ADA accessibility in a five-block shopping and business district by removing and replacing curbing and sidewalks;

The Freehold Borough Parking Improvement project to increase the existing 54 parking spaces to 67 spaces, restoring the heavily used parking lot, while also providing additional green space and reducing stormwater runoff;

The Route 35 Bridge Over the North Branch of Wreck Pond replacement project which will result in a safer and more resilient byway;

The Route 33 Bridge Over the Millstone River replacement project to replace a dangerous structure with a safer and more sound thoroughfare; and

The Mercer County Roadway Safety Improvements project to help fund several necessary roadway improvements in Mercer County, including the installation of safety reflective pavement markings, reflective object markers, reflective roadway delineators, guide rail and other treatments.


UPDATE: Person Rescued From Barnegat Bay After Jumping From Route 37 Bridge

July 1, 2021–updated

Photos by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Police told MidJersey.news that on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at approximately 1:20 a.m., police and fire units were dispatched to the Mathis Bridge for a reported male that jumped into the bay.  Officer Bartoshek threw the victim a life ring, which he refused.  Toms River Fire company responded with their boat, along with officers Pinto and Elwood.  The officers pulled the victim from the water and he was transported via ambulance to Community Medical Center for evaluation.



Jackson PD Busts Farmingdale Man With 100 Bags Of Heroin Packaged For Sale

June 30, 2021

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday June 29, 2021 detectives assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement Unit concluded an investigation into a report of narcotics distribution with the arrest of a male suspect.

At approximately 10:45 pm, detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop on South New Prospect Road with a male who was operating a 2009 Mercedes Benz.  During the investigation 100 bags of heroin packaged for sale were recovered and detectives placed Matthew Vandenberg, age 36 of Farmingdale NJ under arrest.  Cash in excess of $250.00 was also seized and the vehicle was impounded pending forfeiture proceedings.

Mr. Vandenberg was processed and later lodged in the Ocean County Jail.  He was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle and other motor vehicle violations.

Residents wishing to report suspected narcotics activity or suspicious activity are asked to contact police headquarters at 732-928-1111 or though the department’s StopIt app online.

– 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. 


Brick Township Woman Indicted For Murder

June 30, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 30, 2021, Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus, 49, of Brick Township, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on a charge of Murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, in Brick Township, on May 17, 2020. Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus was also indicted on charges of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d.

On May 17, 2020, Brick Township Police were summoned to a residence on Creek Road for a report of an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, Officers found the lifeless body of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus in an upstairs bedroom of the residence. On May 18, 2020, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Ms. Gavilanez-Alectus’ body, and determined the manner of her death to be a homicide. A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that both the victim and the defendant resided at the Creek Road address. The investigation further revealed that a cylindrical container used for the purpose of chilling wine was utilized in the commission of the murder. The injuries sustained by Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus were consistent with the implementation of this item. Further investigation ultimately determined that Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus did, in fact, cause the victim’s death. On May 18, 2020, a warrant for the arrest of Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus was issued. On May 21, 2020, Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus was taken into custody by law enforcement in Houston, Texas. She was extradited back to New Jersey and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since her return to New Jersey.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy, Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Angelo and Assistant Prosecutor Genna Moscato who are handling 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, Brick Township Police Department, Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, New York Police Department, United States Marshals Service, and Houston Police Department for their collective assistance relative to this investigation resulting in today’s indictment. 


4 Charged With Narcotics Distribution

June 30, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force joined forces with Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit and K-9 Unit, Ocean Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of narcotics in the Ocean County area. The investigation identified a residence in Barnegat as being utilized by Elex Hyman, age 49 and Jaime Steen, age 38, to store and distribute cocaine.

On June 29, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and the Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team established surveillance on the residence in Barnegat. Detectives maintained surveillance on Hyman and Steen as they traveled to an area in Toms River. Detectives observed Hyman meet with another vehicle that was occupied by Jesse Jackson, age 38, of South Toms River and Alicia Walker, age 44, of Union Beach. After the vehicles parted ways, motor vehicle stops were executed on both vehicles and the occupants detained. As a result of the motor vehicle stops, Detectives recovered approximately 63 grams of powder and crack cocaine, 150 wax folds of heroin and 100 Ecstasy tablets. Hyman, Steen, Jackson and Walker were all placed under arrest. Detectives applied for and were granted a search warrant for the residence in Barnegat. As a result of the execution of the search warrant, approximately $14,500 in US currency was seized. Arrested and charged were;

Elex Hyman, age 49, of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Distribution of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces 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 Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Hyman is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Jaime Steen, age 38, of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Distribution of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces 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 Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Steen was charged on a Summons and released pending a future court date.

Jessie Jackson, age 38, of South Toms River, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Jackson is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Alicia Walker, age 44, of Union Beach, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Ecstasy tablets with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3b(3); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Ecstasy tablets 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; and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Walker is currently 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, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit and K-9 Unit, Ocean Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, for their collaborative 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).




Careless Smoking Blamed In House Fire; Family Dog Killed, Homeowner Treated For Smoke Inhalation

June 27, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, June 25, 2021, at approximately 11:39 P.M., Manchester Township Police received a report of an active fire at a residence on Tern Court in the Pine Ridge section of Manchester Township.  Upon arrival, officers observed that the fire had engulfed a large portion of the home with visible flames emanating from the rear door.   The homeowner, who was the sole occupant, escaped from the residence and suffered from smoke inhalation.  However, the family dog was unable to escape and perished in the fire.  The homeowner, was treated on scene and subsequently transported by Manchester Emergency Medical Services to Southern Ocean County Hospital for treatment and evaluation of her injuries. 

The fire was quickly extinguished by members of the Whiting Fire Company, the Manchester Fire Company, the Ridgeway Fire Company, the Lakehurst Fire Company, Joint Base McGuire Fire Department, and the Pinewald Pioneer Fire Department.  The Ocean County Fire Marshall’s office conducted the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire.  It was subsequently determined that the fire was accidental in nature and the result of improperly discarded smoking material.  


NJPGA & NJGF Names Decorated U.S. Air Force Veteran Jared Forest of Jackson, NJ as PGA WORKS Fellow

June 25, 2021

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (June 22, 2021) — The New Jersey PGA Section (NJPGA) and its charitable arm, the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF)—in conjunction with PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America—has named U.S. Air Force Veteran Jared Forest (Jackson, NJ) as a PGA WORKS Fellow.

Forest, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 2010-16 is part of the 2021 PGA WORKS Fellow class. Established in 2017, the PGA WORKS Fellowship is a grant program facilitating nine-12-month paid positions for recent college graduates. Focused on engaging an inclusive demographic of participants—with consideration to gender, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability and Veteran status—the PGA WORKS Fellowship is designed to establish a strong bench of talent prepared to ascend into key employment positions within the business of golf.

As a PGA WORKS Fellow, Forest’s primary responsibilities will be to support the Foundation’s full lineup of programs headlined by PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) the flagship military program of the NJGF, which introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Forest will also provide operations support for NJPGA tournaments and events.

After graduating from Jackson Memorial High School, Forest joined the Air Force in 2010 where he was primarily stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, CA as a member of the 412th Security Forces Squadron. During his service, he graduated from the Community College of the Air Force with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. After serving 2 deployments and 13 months in deployed locations, Forest received the Air Force Achievement Medal for his action in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. 

In 2016, after 6 years of service, Forest decided it was time to pursue his love for sports and continued his education at Temple University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management. His passion for sports led him to serve as a General Analyst in the Temple University Sports Industry Research Center, Player Personnel Manager for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League and the Communications Coordinator for the New York Guardians of the XFL. Today, he is currently enrolled at the University of Florida as he pursues a Master of Science in Sport Management with a concentration in Athlete Development.

“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with the New Jersey Section of the PGA and the New Jersey Golf Foundation,” said Forest. “It has always been my goal to translate my experiences and background in sports in a way that will help my brothers and sisters in the Veteran sector. I am looking forward to aiding in whatever way I can to continue to expand the mission of the New Jersey Golf Foundation as it positively impacts lives and communities through the game of golf.” 

“As a military Veteran and a passionate sports enthusiast, Forest will be instrumental in leading the continued growth of our successful PGA HOPE program, while supporting core programs and special events for the NJ Section and NJ Golf Foundation,” said New Jersey Golf Foundation Executive Director Chris Hunt. 

The PGA WORKS Fellowship is a nine-12-month paid position, funded by PGA REACH, which currently hosts Fellows in the following PGA Sections: Carolinas, Connecticut, Gateway, Metropolitan, Michigan, Middle Atlantic, New Jersey, Northern Ohio, Southern Ohio, Western New York and South Florida. Forest is the fourth PGA WORKS Fellow for the New Jersey Section. 

For more information on PGA REACH, visit pgareach.org


3 Dogs Abandoned, Left For Dead In Lacey Township; Toms River Woman Indicted For Three Counts Of Animal Cruelty

June 25, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 23, 2021, Allissa DeStefano, age 30, of Toms River, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on three counts of Animal Cruelty in violation of N.J.S.A. 4-22-17c(2).

During the evening hours of November 11, 2019, the Lacey Township Police Department responded to a residence in Lacey Township for a report that dogs had possibly been abandoned in the residence. Upon arrival, the officers determined that the house was indeed abandoned, and the remains of three dogs were discovered. An investigation by Detectives from the Lacey Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that DeStefano was responsible for the care of the dogs and had abandoned them in the residence, which resulted in their death. DeStefano was arrested without incident, and processed at the Lacey Township Police Department. She was released on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Carr who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lacey Township Police Department for their collaborative efforts relative to this investigation resulting in DeStefano’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).



Lacey Township And Jackson Men Charged With Theft

June 25, 2021

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lacey Township Police Chief Michael DiBella announced that on June 23, 2021 and June 24, 2021, Ross Miserendino, 55, of Lacey Township, and Enrique Roldan, 42, of Jackson, were charged with Theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3. Miserendino was also charged with one count of Theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3; Uttering a Forged Instrument in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a(3); Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6h; and Making a False Statement in Procuring Issuance of a Credit Card in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6h.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Lacey Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad. The investigation revealed that beginning in 2019, the victim of these offenses had medical issues arise which caused her to be temporarily unable to manage her finances. Miserendino, whom was in a romantic relationship with the victim at the time, agreed to assist her by paying her bills for her, and was given access to her checks and bank account information for that purpose. Between 2019 and 2020, Miserendino signed the victim’s name without her authorization on 146 checks totaling $171,000. The majority of those checks were written out to Enrique Roldan, while others were written directly to Miserendino. Both Roldan and Miserendino shared in the proceeds of the theft. Additionally, during that time period Miserendino stole approximately $11,000 worth of personal property located at the victim’s residence in Lacey Township. Miserendino also obtained an American Express credit card in the victim’s name without her authorization, and subsequently made approximately $34,000 worth of charges on that card for his benefit.

Miserendino and Roldan were processed and released on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiBella would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad and the Lacey Township Police Department for their collaborative efforts in 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).