Category: Seaside Heights

Man Shot In Head At Motel In Seaside Heights; Pennsylvania Man Charged With Attempted Murder

August 16, 2021

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Jose Serrano-Robles, 43, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was charged with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; and Being a Certain Person Not to Possess Weapons in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b(1), in connection with a shooting incident that occurred in the early morning hours of August 16, 2021, in Seaside Heights.

On August 16, 2021, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Seaside Heights Police Officers responded to a 911 call for reports of gunshots fired at the La Fontana Motel on Grant Avenue. Responding Officers found a 51-year-old male victim with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of his injuries, and is reported to be in stable condition.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that Serrano-Robles and the victim had been sharing a room at the La Fontana Motel. A search of the motel room yielded two handguns. The investigation further revealed that Serrano-Robles shot the victim and then fled the area. Detectives from the Seaside Heights Police Department located Serrano-Robles at the Toms River Bus Station, where he was taken into custody without incident. Serrano-Robles is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Serrano-Robles’ swift apprehension.

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).




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:


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.”




Seaside Heights Man Charged With Murder

May 4, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 1, 2021, Gerardo Ruiz, 50, of Seaside Heights, was charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), relative to the death of Alecia Perreault, age 29, of Seaside Heights, that occurred in the early morning hours of May 1, 2021, in Seaside Heights.

On May 1, 2021, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Seaside Heights Police received a telephone call from an individual claiming to have knowledge that Ruiz killed a female at the Offshore Motel in Seaside Heights. The caller further advised that Ruiz was staying at the Surfside Motel in Seaside Heights. Officers responded to a room at the Offshore Motel, where they located the body of Ms. Perreault with apparent wounds to her neck; Ms. Perreault was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers subsequently responded to Ruiz’s room at the Surfside Motel, and discovered that he had experienced an apparent drug overdose. Ruiz is currently in the protective custody of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office at a medical facility. Ruiz is currently listed in serious but stable condition.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau determined that Ruiz is the individual responsible for Ms. Perreault’s death. “The Ocean County Medical Examiner has preliminarily determined this to be a homicide but the cause and manner are currently pending further testing,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vitim Witness Advocacy Unit, Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation.

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.

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Legislation Would Prohibit Use of COVID-19 Vaccine Passports in NJ

Legislators Say People Shouldn’t Be Discriminated Against Based on Vaccination Status

The 10th Legislative District covers parts of Ocean County

April 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)--Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, and Assemblyman John Catalano (all R-10) are taking action to prevent the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports in New Jersey that could lead to discrimination against people based on their vaccination status.

“We’re extremely concerned by Governor Murphy’s willingness to consider the use of vaccine passports that could prevent people from working, going to school, or visiting public places,” said Holzapfel. “In a free society that respects individual rights, we believe health decisions should be a personal, private choice that a patient doesn’t have to discuss with anyone but their doctor. Our new legislation would prevent vaccine passports from being employed here in New Jersey.”

So-called vaccine “passports” are physical or electronic documents or credentials that could be used to demonstrate that an individual has been immunized against COVID-19.

They could be used to prevent unvaccinated individuals from traveling, accessing public places or events, attending school, or even working.

“We don’t think our state government should threaten or allow for personal freedoms to be restricted based on vaccination status,” said McGuckin. “Requiring vaccine passports to engage in everyday activities would be discriminatory and raise a host of serious constitutional and privacy concerns. This fatally flawed idea needs to be nipped in the bud.”

Holzapfel will introduce legislation in the Senate that makes it unlawful to ask a person if they have received a COVID-19 vaccination or require a person to display proof of vaccination as a condition of or as a prerequisite to:

  • the exercise of any privilege or right granted under State or federal law;
  • conducting any business or commerce;
  • travelling to, outside, or within the State;
  • obtaining or maintaining an internship, obtaining or maintaining employment, or receiving a promotion from an employer;
  • participation in any governmental or political activity;
  • admission or enrollment into any child or adult day care program;
  • admission to, enrollment in, or graduation from a preschool program, elementary or secondary school, college, university, or any other institution of education;
  • participation in any activity, internship, opportunity, program, or sport offered by a preschool program, elementary or secondary school, college, university, or any other institution of education;
  • receiving adequate dental care or health care;
  • maintaining, receiving, or renewing a professional certification or license;
  • obtaining or renewing membership in any professional organization;
  • entrance into or service from any place of business, including, but not limited to, any market, restaurant, or store;
  • entrance into and service from any public building, office, or structure;
  • entrance into and use of any public park or beach; or
  • admission into or service from any amusement park, concert venue, theater, or sporting event.

Additionally, the legislation makes it unlawful to discriminate against or to take any adverse action against any individual who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who does not disclose whether the individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine.

McGuckin and Catalano will join as co-sponsors of identical companion legislation that is pending introduction in the General Assembly.

“After a year of watching Governor Murphy take extreme actions by executive orders, people don’t want their rights to be further eroded,” added Catalano. “Just like shutting down businesses and closing houses or worship, forcing people to show their documents to go out in public seems completely un-American. We have to fight back.”


Former Laurita Winery Manager Charged With Theft

March 23, 2021

PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Plumsted Township Police Chief Earl Meroney announced that on March 22, 2021, Nancy Proctor, 62, of Ortley Beach, was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit and Plumsted Township Police Department revealed that Proctor – a former manager at Laurita Winery in New Egypt – stole in excess of $40,000 from the winery during the course of her employment spanning the time period from January 24, 2019 through November 1, 2019.  Proctor was responsible for collecting payments from food vendors for events taking place at Laurita Winery, but instead diverted the monies intended for Laurita Winery to her own personal PayPal accounts, for her own personal benefit.

On March 22, 2021, law enforcement located Proctor at her current place of employment in Seaside Heights; she was subsequently transported to the Seaside Heights Police Department, where she was processed and released on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Meroney commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Plumsted Township Police Department, and Seaside Heights Police Department for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

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.

Man Sentenced To 22 Years In NJ State Prison For Aggravated Manslaughter

November 30, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on November 30, 2020, John T. Mullen, Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, was sentenced to twenty-two years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4. This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2., meaning that Mullen will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Mullen pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Ryan on September 23, 2020.

On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground. Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death.

“The law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation – through sheer hard work and resolve – swiftly identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death and quickly brought him into custody,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The exceptional teamwork displayed by these law enforcement professionals has brought about a lengthy state prison sentence for Mullen, which may, as Judge Ryan pointed out, effectively result in a life sentence given this defendant’s age and longstanding history of substance abuse,” Prosecutor Billhimer continued. “We hope this sentence affords the family of Mr. Applegate some level of peace and closure,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara 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, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, who collectively did an outstanding job investigating and resolving this matter, ensuring that Mullen would be brought to justice.


Related MidJersey.News story here: Seaside Heights Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Manslaughter


Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder


Related MidJersey.News stories here:

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder Now Has Additional Charges Of Child Porn Found On Phone

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


November 24, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Berkeley Township, has been charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights.

During the evening hours of November 14, 2020, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Berkeley Township Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River relative to a report of a male victim having been stabbed. Responding Officers found Carlton Williams with an apparent stab wound to his neck. Mr. Williams was subsequently flown to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on November 21, 2020. A post mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on November 22, 2020. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Williams’s death to be anoxic brain injury, secondary to massive bleed from a stab to the neck, and the manner of death to be homicide.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Grenci stabbed Mr. Williams in the neck during an altercation that occurred in the area of Magnolia Avenue in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 14, 2020. On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township. Grenci was taken into custody and was originally charged with Attempted Murder. That charge was amended to Murder after Mr. Williams succumbed to the injuries inflicted upon him by Grenci. Grenci has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension, where he remains pending a detention hearing.

“Fortunately, this appalling and senseless crime was solved expeditiously as a result of the hard work and dogged determination of all the Officers and Detectives involved in this investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Through their combined efforts, an extremely dangerous person has been removed from the streets of Ocean County. We will now turn our focus to ensuring that justice is accomplished for Mr. Williams and his family,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this matter leading to Grenci’s swift apprehension and appropriate charges.

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.

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


Related MidJersey.News stories here:

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder Now Has Additional Charges Of Child Porn Found On Phone

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


November 17, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Berkeley Township Chief of Police Karin DiMichele have announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Toms River, was arrested and charged with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), relative to a stabbing incident which occurred in Berkeley Township on Saturday, November 14, 2020.

During the evening hours of November 14, 2020, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Berkeley Township Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River relative to a report of a male victim having been stabbed. Responding Officers found Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights, with an apparent stab wound to his neck. Mr. Williams was subsequently flown to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick where he remains listed in critical condition.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Grenci had stabbed Mr. Williams in the neck during an altercation that occurred in the area of Magnolia Avenue in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 14, 2020. On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township. Grenci was taken into custody and brought to Berkeley Township Police Headquarters for processing, and subsequently transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“Each and every officer and detective involved in this investigation acted quickly and professionally in solving this horrendous crime. Through their tenacity and dedication, a very dangerous individual is now off the streets. As I have stated many times before, senseless acts of violence are not acceptable in any civilized society, and will certainly not be tolerated here in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Grenci’s swift apprehension.

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.

Hundreds of Jeep’s and Trucks Take Over Jersey Shore Town

October 17, 2020

Photos and story by: Tyler Eckel

SEASIDE HEIGHTS (OCEAN)–Hundreds of Jeep’s and Trucks gathered Saturday morning in Seaside Heights for the “Jeep Show on the Beach Jeep Luau 2020” and the “4×4 Beach Takeover” car show. These Jeep’s and Trucks didn’t just take over Seaside Height’s strip, but also filled parking lots and even the beach itself! The show consisted of races and other competitions, including a competition for best car. It was scheduled from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, October 17 and was definitely the “takeover” they were hoping for.


FOUND!– Police Ask For Help In Locating 13 Year Old From Seaside Heights

October 11, 2020

10:45 AM UPDATE CHILD HAS BEEN FOUND

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–Seaside Heights Police Department is searching for a thirteen year old boy named Tayden. Tayden was last seen at approximately 5am today. He is Austic and is wearing a black Star Wars shirt and black pants. Any information call.the Seaside Heights Police at 732 793 1800

10:45 AM UPDATE CHILD HAS BEEN FOUND


Seaside Heights Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Manslaughter

September 23, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 23, 2020, John T. Mullen Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C. At the time of his sentencing on November 30, 2020, the State will be seeking a sentence of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground. Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death. Prosecutor Billhimer commends the fine work of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the collaborative efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, who collectively did an outstanding job investigating and resolving this matter. “Through good old-fashioned police work, these law enforcement agencies – acting together – expeditiously solved this heinous crime and identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “As a result of their tremendous teamwork, for which I am extremely grateful, this dangerous man was swiftly apprehended, and will now be required to answer for his crime with a lengthy state prison sentence. Justice for Mr. Applegate and his family will be served,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Eight Arrested In Seaside

September 16, 2020

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–On September 14, 2020, a YouTube group identified as The Nelk Boys rented the Jersey Shore House, located at 1209 Boardwalk. During the afternoon hours a small crowd of followers began to gather at the residence, a representative from the Nelk Boys requested from the Police Department one Off-Duty Police Security Officer to stand by with the group in addition to their security.

Over a short period of time, the crowd began to grow into a group of approximately 1500 people. In addition to this gathering, a NJ car club also gathered in the area of Dupont and Ocean Terrance at approximately 8:30 pm identified as Full Send NJ car club which consisted of approximately 1000 followers.

At approximately 7:30 pm outside the jersey shore house a male subject was placed under arrest for a disorderly person offense where glass bottles and rocks were thrown at officers during and after the arrest, additional officers from surrounding towns were called in to assist Seaside Heights Police with crowd control due to both locations in town being overwhelmed with disorderly person offenses.

Chief Thomas J. Boyd ordered the town to be closed off to non-resident traffic until this incident was brought under control.

Eight people were arrested during this incident and are identified as the following:

Nicolas Conner – Hackettstown NJ, Age 22 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct 2C:29-2A Resisting Arrest

Conner Utter – Hackettstown NJ, Age 22 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct

Seth Wilson – Toms River NJ, Age 20 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct

Jonathon Downey – Brick NJ, Age 21 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct

James Canas – Linden NJ, Age 19 2C:29-1 Obstruction

John Ojeda – Muniz – Linden NJ, Age18 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct

Adewusi Oluwatomi – Avenel NJ, Age 26 2C:33-2A Disorderly Conduct

David Dasilva – Kearney NJ, Age 21 2C:29-1 Obstruction

Officers gained complete crowd control over the crowds at approximately 12:00 am with the assistance of the following agencies: Ocean County Prosecutors Office Ocean County Sheriffs Department Bay Head PD Mantoloking PD Lavallette PD Brick PD Toms River PD Seaside Park PD Island Heights PD Berkley PD Seaside Heights Fire Department Station 44 Tri-Boro First Aid Squad

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

Nelk Boys YouTube:


Trump Boat Parade Draws Thousands

September 6, 2020

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ (OCEAN)–Estimates of 2,500 boats participated in a Trump Boat Parade that was also supporting Law Enforcement Officers and Veterans yesterday.

Boaters are congregated at the mouth of Tom’s River in Barnegat Bay and split into two major groups north bound and south bound.

The northbound parade started at the mouth of Toms River and past the Mantoloking Bridge, F-Cove and Bay Head.

The southbound parade started from the mouth of the Toms River and went past the Manahawkin Bridge all the way down to Beach Haven. A large group of boaters anchored in Ship Bottom after the parade.



AG Grewal and Col. Callahan Issue Weekly Round-Up on COVID-19 Enforcement Matters

May 1, 2020

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced enforcement highlights from the past week, including coughing and spitting assaults and bias incidents, and noteworthy violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders.  The Attorney General also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations. “We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.” “Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.” Assaults and Threats Against Police Officers, EMTs, or Others

  • John R. Hendricks, 19, of Rumson, was charged on April 25 by the Middletown Township Police Department with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), aggravated assault on a police officer (3rd degree), resisting arrest (3rd degree), criminal mischief (3rd degree), and violating the emergency orders.  Andrew R. Jacome, 18, of Fair Haven, was charged with criminal mischief (3rd degree) and violating the emergency orders.  Homeowners called police to report two subjects throwing rocks at their door, vandalizing their vehicle, and exploding fireworks in their mailbox.  Police arrested Hendricks and Jacome nearby.  Hendricks allegedly attempted to flee and physically resisted arrest.  He allegedly screamed at the victims, threatening to return and burn their house down.  At police headquarters, Hendricks allegedly tried to kick officers and spat on the floor, claiming he had the coronavirus.         
  • Alana B. Hall, 24, of Wenonah, was charged on April 26 by the Woodbury Police with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), aggravated assault (3rd degree), and disorderly conduct. It is alleged that Hall purposely coughed on medical staff at Inspira Medical Center and said she was infected with COVID-19.  She allegedly scratched and struck a nurse technician, spat on her, and fought with other medical personnel.
  • Jaymee Tice, 37, of Point Pleasant Borough, was charged on April 26 by the Point Pleasant Borough Police with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency.  Tice entered the driver’s seat of an occupied vehicle while the driver was inside getting ice cream at Sundaes on Route 88.  The car owner saw Tice and returned to her vehicle. She managed to get Tice out, but Tice allegedly shouted at her, saying, “Do you want corona? Do you want to die?”
  • Jenna Richardson, 24, of West Deptford, was charged on April 29 by the West Deptford Police with second degree terroristic threats during an emergency and fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer. Richardson allegedly spat on an officer and said she had COVID-19.
  • Quentin Daniels, 33, of Mount Laurel, was charged by the Mount Laurel Police on April 28 with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer (4th degree) and obstruction (disorderly persons offense).  Police responded to a report of a domestic dispute.  Daniels refused to cooperate and attempted to leave. While being handcuffed, he allegedly purposely coughed on officers and said he had the coronavirus.  Throughout his transport and upon his initial detention at headquarters, he continually removed the N95 mask placed on him by police and repeatedly coughed on officers, saying, “I hope you all get the virus.”

Theft of Personal Protective Equipment

  • Stephen Milligan, 54, of South Amboy, was charged yesterday with conspiring with Kevin R. Brady, 49, of Point Pleasant Beach, to steal up to 1,600 respirator masks from Prudential Financial in Iselin.  Brady was charged in the theft on April 23.  Like Brady, Milligan was charged with theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy to commit theft, both third-degree charges. The two men were charged in an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Woodbridge Police Department, and Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, based on a referral from the National Hoarding & Price-Gouging Task Force headed by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.  Brady and Milligan were on-site electrical contractors who had access to storage areas in the Prudential Financial facility.  Between March 27 and April 1, Brady and Milligan allegedly stole seven to eight cases of N95 respirator masks, each case containing 200 masks.  Prudential Financial had intended to donate the masks to a local hospital.  The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release detailing this further.

Price Gouging Enforcement ​AG Grewal announced updates on the Division of Consumer Affairs’ actions to stop price gouging. As of this week: 

  • The Division has issued 92 subpoenas to retailers and online market places reported by consumers for allegedly engaging in unfair price increases.
  • Approximately 756 cease-and-desist letters have been sent, warning retailers about the penalties for violating New Jersey’s price-gouging law, and the Consumer Fraud Act’s protections from gross and unreasonable inflation of the price of any product during a state of emergency.

 The Division has logged a total of 4,245 complaints related to the COVID-19 emergency against 2,358 locations. Nearly 90 percent of the complaints allege unlawful price hikes on essential items like food, bottled water, cleaning products, and personal protective equipment such as masks, disinfectants and sanitizers. Examples of alleged price hikes that consumers have reported to the Division include:

  • a convenience store allegedly charging $4.50 for a quart of milk
  • a wholesale store allegedly selling a case of paper towels for $65, almost double the previous $35 price
  • a supermarket allegedly raising the price of bacon from $4 to $9.99—an increase of over 50%
  • a medical supply store allegedly selling a 2.4-once bottle of hand sanitizer for $13.42
  • a convenience store allegedly charging $30 for a single face mask
  • a dollar store allegedly charging $3.99 for a package of gloves that used to cost $1.49
  • a gas station allegedly selling purified water that normally costs $3 for $14 a pack
  • a pharmacy allegedly charging $10 for small plastic containers of sanitizing wipes, which were previously sold for $3.99
  • a deli allegedly selling a dozen eggs for $5.99

 In addition to price gouging, the Division is looking into complaints from consumers alleging unlawful refund practices as a result of closures related to the COVID-19 health emergency. To date, the Division’s overall complaints include 202 reports of health clubs, hotels, ticket agents and other business allegedly refusing to issue refunds after they closed or suspended services as a result of theCOVID-19 pandemic. New Jersey’s price-gouging law, which took effect on March 9 upon Governor Murphy’s declaration of a state of emergency, prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency and for 30 days after its termination. A price increase is considered excessive if the new price is more than 10 percent higher than the price charged during the normal course of business prior to the state of emergency, and the increased price is not attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s supplier or additional costs of providing the product or service during the state of emergency. Price-gouging and other consumer fraud violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first violation and $20,000 for the second and subsequent violations. Violators may also be required to pay consumer restitution, attorney’s fees, and investigative fees, and will be subject to injunctive relief. Each sale of merchandise is considered a separate violation. Consumers who suspect consumer fraud, violations, or believe that businesses have unfairly increased their prices in response to COVID-19, are encouraged to file complaints online to report specific details investigators can follow up on. Photographs of items being sold, receipts and pricing can now be uploaded to our new price gouging complaint form.           Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinances

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 490 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered eight non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions during the past week, April 24 through 30.
  • Paterson Enforcement.  The Paterson Police Department’s issued 21 summonses for violations of the emergency orders in enforcement actions on April 27.
  • Stephanie Hazelton, 48, of Medford, was charged with violating the emergency orders for her role in organizing and participating in a protest at the Capitol Complex in Trenton on April 28.  She was served with a complaint-summons at her residence.
  • Christopher Pitts, 38, of West Deptford, was charged on April 25 by the West Deptford Police Department with violating the emergency orders by allowing golfers to play at the golf course he operates, Westwood Golf Course.  Police had previously warned Pitts, but found approximately 24 people golfing on the course and sharing golf carts without social distancing. 
  • Naman Rafi, 39, of Galloway, was charged by the Galloway Police Department on April 24 with two violations of the emergency orders for opening his business, Tobacco Outlet on Jimmie Leeds Road.  Rafi had been warned several times about closing the business.
  • Delvis Rivera, 34, of Newark, was charged on April 24 by the North Arlington Police with violating the emergency orders for cutting hair at the business where he works, Avenue Cuts 34 on Ridge Road.  This was the second complaint about the barber shop being open.
  • Zachary Novosellar, 62, of Lakewood, was charged on April 28 by the Lakewood Police for hosting an engagement party at his residence on 14th Street.  Police found 25 to 30 cars parked on the street and approximately 20 people standing in front of the residence, without social distancing.  Novosellar said he arranged for the parties to meet to pick up engagement gifts. 
  • John C Bigham, 46, of Chatham, was charged on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by holding a large birthday party for his wife.  Police found a gathering of 25 to 30 people congregating and drinking on his front lawn. The crowd dispersed once the police came.
  • Miran Lee, 44, of Passaic, was cited twice by the Passaic Police Department, on April 29 and April 30, for violating the emergency orders by opening her massage business on Brook Avenue, which operates under the names Sky Spa, Ohangs and New Asian Massage.
  • Janice Lauria, 52, of Point Pleasant, was charged by the Point Pleasant Police on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by ignoring repeated warnings from the police and allowing individuals to exercise in the gym she owns on Route 88, Anytime Fitness.

 Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest. COVID-Related Violations of State Alcohol Laws AG Grewal announced that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) this week issued charges against 20 bars, restaurants, breweries and liquor stores for violating executive orders related to COVID-19. All 20 establishments face suspension of their liquor licenses for at least 10 days. Two other establishments were issued fines for lesser COVID-19 related infractions. Under executive orders issued by Governor Murphy, businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the state are permitted to remain open during the COVID-19 state-of-emergency, but only for take-out or delivery services of food and alcohol. No table or bar service is permitted, on premise alcohol consumption is prohibited, and alcoholic beverages “to go” must be in sealed original containers. The establishments facing suspension for violating the orders are:

  • Alchemist and Barrister in Princeton
  • Bask Bar and Grill in Woodland Park
  • Buteco Sports Bar in Long Branch
  • Core 3 Brewery in Clayton
  • Devil’s Creek Brewery in Collingswood
  • Disabled American Veterans, Clifton Chapter #2 in Clifton
  • Lina’s Restaurant in Bloomingdale
  • Linwood Inn in Linden
  • Medina Liquor Store in Elizabeth
  • Old Glory Kitchen and Spirits in Keyport
  • Quilvio’s Tavern in Paterson
  • Rail’s Steak House in Towaco
  • Randolph Diner in Randolph
  • Riviera Maya in Branchville
  • Riviera Maya in Rockaway
  • Tacos El Tio in Medford
  • Taphouse 15 in Wharton
  • The Sawmill in Seaside Heights
  • Vincenzo’s Ristorante in Middlesex

The establishments that received fines are:

  • Juliano’s Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township ($500) for offering investigators a beer before they identified themselves.
  • The Liquor King in Pennsauken ($750) for violation of face mask requirements.

 Since the state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on March 9, at least 28 people have been charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for spitting, coughing, or otherwise threatening to deliberately expose officers, medical personnel, or others to COVID-19.  Second-degree offenses carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here https://covid19.nj.gov/violation The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

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

April 15, 2020

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the following recent enforcement actions against violators of Governor Murphy’s Emergency Orders related to COVID-19: 

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 86 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered five non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions yesterday, April 14.
  • Paterson Enforcement.  The Paterson Police Department charged 36 people with municipal ordinance violations for violating the COVID-19 related orders in enforcement actions on Monday, April 13.
  • Seaside Heights Enforcement.  The Seaside Heights Police Department issued seven summonses for violations of the emergency orders from April 12 through 14.
  • Darrell Rude, 33, of Blossvale, N.Y., was charged with robbery (2nd degree), burglary, (2nd degree), shoplifting (4th degree), criminal mischief (4th degree), throwing bodily fluids at an officer (4th degree), refusal to provide a biological sample (4th degree), refusal to be fingerprinted (disorderly persons offense), and violating the emergency orders. The Hoboken Police responded early this morning to a report of a burglary in progress at Daniel’s Liquor, where a man shattered a glass window to gain entry.  Police located Rude nearby with liquor bottles and cigarette cartons sticking out of his backpack.  While being processed, Rude allegedly purposely coughed at officers and said he had COVID-19. He allegedly was uncooperative and kept biting and ripping off face masks and spit shields placed on his face.
  • Christopher Ospina, 20, of Haledon, was charged yesterday, April 14, by the New Jersey State Police with eluding (2nd degree), obstruction (4th degree), disorderly conduct (creating a hazardous condition during a state of emergency) and violating the emergency orders.  A state trooper in a marked car was traveling on I-80 West in the Lodi area when he observed a BMW with tinted windows traveling at speeds in excess of 130 mph. The BMW exited I-80, and Ospina was seen by troopers standing alongside his vehicle at a gas station in Lodi. Once Ospina saw the troopers, he jumped back in the BMW and recklessly drove back on I-80 until troopers lost sight of the vehicle.  When Ospina turned himself in at Totowa State Police Station, he told troopers he possibly had COVID-19 symptoms before being taken to the Bergen County Jail.
  • Frank Castillo, 20, of Browns Mills, was charged on April 9 by the Pemberton Township Police with violating the emergency orders after he was stopped for a traffic violation.  Police had stopped Castillo twice before and had issued warnings when they learned he was picking up various people in the Pemberton area and driving them around for non-essential trips.
  • Davide Camilo-Chiolo, 21, and Luis Diaz-Dejsus, 21, both of Perth Amboy, were charged yesterday, April 14, with violating the emergency orders for participating in a parade and vehicle caravan through the business district of Perth Amboy.  The two defendants were in a group of pedestrians who were wearing masks, but who failed to maintain social distancing and who were obstructing traffic.  The defendants were charged after they failed to heed warnings to disperse.  There were 17 vehicles in the caravan, and the drivers were issued traffic tickets.
  • Eric Brown, 27, of Salem, was charged yesterday, April 14, by the New Jersey State Police with hindering apprehension or prosecution and violating the emergency orders, both disorderly persons offenses, after he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that led to a car fire.  He allegedly called 911 and falsely claimed to be a witness, rather than the driver of the vehicle.
  • Ahmad R. Harrison, 19, of New Brunswick, was charged yesterday, April 14, by the New Brunswick Police Department with violating the emergency orders.  The suspect had been given multiple warnings about being out in public without an essential purpose.
  • Patrick McFadden, 44, of Budd Lake, was charged yesterday, April 14, by the Mount Olive Police Department with violating a restraining order (4th degree),  trespassing (4th degree), and violation of the emergency orders.  Shortly after he was served with a restraining order and removed from the victim’s property, he took a car service back to the address and entered her home, in violation of the restraining order.  He said he was there to retrieve belongings.
  • Guillermo Bonifacio, 18, Gabriel Lopez, 19, and Jovanny Santos, 19, all of Passaic, were charged with violating the emergency orders after the Passaic Police found them walking along Broadway shortly after 3 a.m. without a legitimate purpose. 
  • Alshaquan Griffin, 23, Jose Haddock, 18, and a 17-year-old male, all of Elizabeth, were charged yesterday, April 14, with violating the emergency orders after the Elizabeth Police responded to a report of a disorderly group on Bond Street, and found the defendants together, failing to observe social distancing. The defendants had been warned before about their conduct.
  • Arnell Green, 19, of Newark, was charged early today by the Hillside Police with violating the emergency orders.  Police responded at about 4 a.m. to a report of suspicious persons near Bloy and Leo streets.  Three individuals ran away when police arrived.  Green was found hiding in some bushes.  He had been warned before about being out in violation of the emergency orders.

 “Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis.  Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law.  Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”    “Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.” Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.  Police have charged a number of persons with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for claiming to have COVID-19 and threatening to infect law enforcement officers or others by coughing, spitting, or otherwise exposing them.  That charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here https://covid19.nj.gov/violation The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.