Category: Toms River

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

June 24, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




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


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18-Year-Old Brother Dies, 17-Year-Old Sister Trapped, After Large Hole They Dug On Beach Collapsed in Toms River, NJ

The 17-year-old female victim was rescued and treated at the scene, but her brother Levy Caverley, 18 of Maine, tragically died.

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police say that on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at approximately 4:09 p.m., multiple police and EMS units were dispatched to the beach entrance near Seaview Road on the barrier island for reports of two teens trapped in the sand. The family was visiting from out of town and spent the afternoon at the beach. They teens were reportedly digging a large hole when it collapsed and trapped both of them. Emergency crews from neighboring towns also responded to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.

The 17-year-old female victim was rescued and treated at the scene, but her brother Levy Caverley, 18 of Maine, tragically died. Rescue workers are currently working to recover Mr. Caverley’s body from the collapse.

Also assisting on scene are Toms River EMS, Toms River Fire Companies, Toms River Fire Technical Rescue Team, Lavallette Fire Company, Lavallette Police Department, Lavallette Public Works, Seaside Heights Fire Company, Toms River Police Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sherriff CIU, and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office.


Shed Fire with Exposure Extinguished in Ortley Beach Section of Toms River

April 6, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 4:40 p.m. several 9-1-1 calls were received reporting a shed fire in the 2000 Block of Bay Boulevard in Ortley Beach section of Toms River. Firefighters found a well involved shed fire with exposure, with fire extending to a three-story home. Firefighters pulled two hand lines and extinguished the fire. There was damage to the exterior of the neighboring home. The fire is under investigation by the Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau.

Dispatched Stations:
Station 44
Station 45
Station 27
Station 28
Station 26
Station 69



Smoking While Using Oxygen Ruled Cause of Serious Fire in Toms River

March 22, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)-Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that the structure fire that occurred on Mount Everest Lane in Toms River on March 20, 2022, has been ruled accidental.

On March 20, 2022, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Toms River Township Fire Department were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Mount Everest Lane.  During the primary search of the residence, two occupants, later identified as Linda Summerton, 73, and Ricky McMurry, 73, were discovered.  Due to the extent of their injuries, both occupants were airlifted to the Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey.  Mr. McMurry remains listed in critical condition, while Ms. Summerton is listed in stable condition.

During the suppression of the fire, three firefighters received minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

An extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Toms River Township Bureau of Fire Prevention, determined that the fire was caused by careless smoking while oxygen was in use.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Toms River Township Bureau of Fire Prevention, for their combined and cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation.



Two Residents Suffer Severe Burns in Structure Fire, Three Firefighters and One Police Officer Also Injured in Toms River

March 21, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Sunday, March 20, 2022, at approximately 9:45 PM multiple police units, fire companies, and EMTs were dispatched to Mt. Everest Lane for a reported structure fire. First responders located two victims unconscious inside the residence. Both victims suffered severe burns and were flown to Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston for treatment.

Three firemen and one police officer received treatment for minor injuries sustained during the fire. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Officer and Ocean County Sheriff CSI also assisted at the scene.
When leaving the house fire on Mt. Everest Lane, Officer Manolio was driving in the area and observed heavy smoke, he circled the neighborhood and observed a fire on Mt. Juliano Lane. At the same time dispatch had received a 9-1-1 call regarding the second fire. Upon arrival, officers were advised that all occupants of the home were outside and safe. Due to strong winds, surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire without it spreading to surrounding homes. The exterior of a neighboring home sustained some damage, and three vehicles in the homeowner’s driveway were destroyed in the fire. There were no reported injuries at the fire on Mt. Juliano Lane.
The fires remain under investigation by Detective Ryan Parente and Toms River Fire Inspector Kevin Britton.


Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 20, 2022, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Toms River Township Fire Department were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Mount Everest Lane.  During the primary search of the residence, two occupants, one male and one female, were discovered.  Due to the extent of their injuries, both occupants were airlifted to the Burn Center at Cooper Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, and are presently listed in critical condition. During the suppression of the fire, three firefighters received minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The origin and cause of the fire are currently under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Toms River Township Bureau of Fire Prevention. 

Additional information will be released to the public as it becomes available.


Off-Duty Police Officer Charged with Vehicular Homicide

March 18, 2022

FREEHOLDA police officer who was off duty and on his way to work in Union County when his vehicle drifted off the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls last fall has been arrested and charged with being criminally responsible for the motor vehicle collision that occurred as a result, killing two people, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.

John P. McClave III, 34, a resident of Toms River and a sworn member of the Hillside Police Department, is charged with two counts of second-degree Vehicular Homicide.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, 2021, members of the Tinton Falls Police Department and Wayside Fire Company responded to a report of a collision that had taken place on Asbury Avenue, in the area of the Parkway overpass.

Upon arrival, officers encountered the two involved vehicles: a 2018 GMC Canyon pickup truck driven by McClave, and a 2020 Toyota Corolla driven by 40-year-old Angel L. Acevedo, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland.

Acevedo and his wife, 35-year-old Daniela Correia Salles, sustained multiple severe injuries and were both pronounced dead at the scene. McClave was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of serious but not life-threatening injuries.

An investigation by the multi-jurisdictional Monmouth County Serious Crash Analysis Response Team (SCART), the MCPO Fatal Accident Unit, and the Tinton Falls Police Department determined that McClave was driving his vehicle recklessly while under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the collision. The investigation further determined that McClave’s vehicle did not change direction or slow down significantly after it left the Parkway lanes, resulting in his vehicle becoming airborne upon hitting an embankment, eventually striking the car occupied by the victims.   

McClave was additionally issued summonses for Reckless Driving, Failure to Maintain Lanes, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Having an Open Container of Alcohol in a Vehicle.

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Kristian DeVito toll-free at 1-800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Patrolman David Ebert at 732-542-4422.

The Prosecutor’s Office is filing a motion to have McClave detained pending the resolution of this case.

“This officer’s actions on the night of the collision far crossed the line separating passive negligence from active criminality, and as a result, a married couple have lost their lives,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We hope today’s announcement brings their loved ones some semblance of solace in knowing that the first steps have been taken towards achieving justice.” 

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle. McClave is represented by Timothy Smith, Esq., with an office in Fairfield.

If convicted of a second-degree offense of this nature, McClave would be subject to a term of up to 10 years in state prison, with 85 percent of the term to be served before the possibility of parole for each count, according to the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).

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



Fire Quickly Knocked Down in Toms River

March 10, 2022

Photos, video and story by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Last night March 9, around 10:45 p.m., Police received a call for a fire alarm with a smoke condition, on the arrival of police the officers found a small fire next to the heater. They tried to use a can on it but it kept growing. When first due engine arrived, firefighters reported that they had a decent amount of fire in the rear of the building. The fire was quickly knocked down with hand lines. Firefighters remained on scene for overhaul and the investigation. No further information is available at this time.



Community Medical Center, Children’s Specialized Hospital and RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group Break Ground on Medical Hub in West Tom’s River

New 86,000-square-foot medical building to expand convenient access to outpatient services for adults and children in Ocean County

February 11, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Executives from Community Medical Center, Children’s Specialized Hospital, and RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, together with local officials gathered on February 9th to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new 86,000-square-foot medical hub located at 171 Saint Catherine Boulevard in Toms River, N.J. Once complete, the three-story medical building will be shared by Community Medical Center and Children’s Specialized Hospital, both RWJBarnabas Health facilities, with an anticipated opening slated for early 2023.

 Designed to serve as Community Medical Center’s hub for patients in western Toms River, their space in the new medical office building will encompass 37,594 square feet offering a range of outpatient services including imaging, ambulatory surgery, pre-admission testing, and physical and occupational therapy. RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group’s primary care and orthopedic physicians will also have offices onsite.

“Our new medical hub will serve as a premier healthcare destination for Toms River and the surrounding areas, enabling us to transform how we deliver care by bringing a range of services directly to the community,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center. “We are excited to break ground on this project and look forward to its completion so we can continue to provide our patients with improved access to the world-class care they have come to expect.”

Further expanding and enhancing access to specialized outpatient services for children, Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) will bring the services currently offered in its Lakehurst Road and Stevens Road offices into the remaining 48,406 square feet of the new building – providing their care in one convenient location. These services include developmental and behavioral pediatrics, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry and psychology, and occupational, physical, and speech therapy.

“Children’s Specialized Hospital has a longstanding commitment to children and youth with special healthcare needs,” said Matthew B. McDonald III, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital. “Today is a remarkable milestone on their behalf where we will have the opportunity to better serve those kids in this community. Thanks to the teamwork of CSH, Community Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health we are ensuring every child has access to the programs and services they need to reach their full potential.”

Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation is in the midst of the largest fundraising campaign in its 35-year history, with a goal of $45 million to support the hospital’s expansion into new communities – including this new site in Toms River. As part of this effort, Todd Frazier, MLB All-Star and Olympian, and his wife, Jackie, have signed on as honorary co-chairs of this Transforming Lives 2.0 campaign that has secured over $34 million to date.

“We are so excited to see this new facility brought to our community to uplift Toms River and hopefully change a lot of children’s lives,” said Todd and Jackie Frazier. “It was really a simple decision for us to support this campaign – an easy home run as we say in baseball. We can’t wait to see all the children whose lives will be impacted in such positive ways and hope we can put a smile on some of their faces.”

Additional N.J. community leaders that have pledged their support to the Transforming Lives 2.0 campaign include Mark Montenero, CSH Foundation Board of Trustees, Campaign Co-Chair and President of Autoland Toyota, Chrysler, Jeep and RAM Trucks; and Ed McKenna, CSH Foundation Board of Trustees, Campaign Co-Chair, Senior Partner at McKenna, Dupont, Stone & Washburne and former mayor of Red Bank.

Additionally, RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group will bring orthopedic and primary care services to the space.

“Our goal is to make quality care more accessible in the communities we serve,” said Andy Anderson, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “This new healthcare hub demonstrates our commitment to that goal and increases our ability to foster enhanced health and wellness for individuals and families in Ocean County.”

Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Toms River

February 9, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (MERCER)–On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at approximately 10:25 PM, police units were dispatched to the intersection of Bay Avenue and Twin Oaks Drive for a reported motor vehicle accident. The initial investigation revealed Ashley Beams, 31 of Toms River, was traveling east on Bay Avenue when she failed to maintain her lane, traveling in the shoulder, and struck a pedestrian who was parked retrieving something from his vehicle. The vehicles travelled approximately 96’ before coming to rest. The victim was pronounced at the scene.

Ms. Beams was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment of injuries she sustained in the crash. The Ocean County Sheriff Criminal Investigation Unit also assisted at the scene. The incident remains under investigation by Toms River Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Ryan Fitzgerald and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office. Charges are pending at this time.

The victims name will not be released at this time pending next of kin notification. Please direct further inquiries to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.



Well Involved Home Extinguished in Ortley Beach Section of Toms River

February 4, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police told MidJersey.News that on Friday, February 4. 2022, at approximately 12:20 a.m., police and fire units were dispatched to Fielder Ave in Ortley Beach for a reported vehicle fire.  Upon police arrival, the Seaside Heights Fire Chief was already on scene and there were two vehicle fully engulfed.  Multiple Fire Companies arrived and extinguished the blaze which had spread to the adjacent properties.  The Toms River Building Department rendered three homes inhabitable.  All residents were able to exit their homes safely and there were no reported injuries at the scene.  The fire remains under investigation by the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention and is not deemed suspicious.


Alleged Arsonist Charged with 25 Counts of Aggravated Arson; Set Fires in Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor and Manchester

February 2, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 31, 2022, Gregory Fullman, Jr., 32, of Manchester Township, was charged with twenty-five counts of Aggravated Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(5), in connection with multiple fires that occurred in the Townships of Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, and Lakewood – between May 2021 and January 2022.

On January 31, 2022, a multi-jurisdictional investigation into numerous forest fires intentionally set in Ocean County culminated with Fullman’s arrest. The investigation revealed that Fullman was responsible for setting fires and destroying or damaging wooded areas in Little Egg Harbor Township on May 16, 2021 and December 8, 2021, Manchester Township on December 1, 2021 and December 16, 2021, and Lakewood Township on December 1, 2021 and January 21, 2022. Fullman was taken into custody on January 31, 2022, and is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“I extend my sincere appreciation to the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this very thorough and wide-ranging investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The resolve and determination exhibited by these professionals over the last eight months has resulted in this arrest. I am thankful for their hard work, and grateful that no one was hurt or killed as a result of these fires,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Ocean County Vehicle Services Department, New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, Wall Township Police Department, and City of Bridgeton Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention K-9 Unit, for their collective and collaborative efforts relative to this extensive 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).




Serious Motor Vehicle Accident in Toms River

December 28, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at approximately 9:16 a.m. police were dispatched to the intersection of Whitty Road and North Bay Avenue for a serious motor vehicle accident. The initial investigation revealed Baila Gross, 38 of Lakewood, was travelling east on Whitty Road when she failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of N. Bay Avenue. Ms. Gross continued through the intersection and collided head-on into a tree.

Toms River CSOs and Silverton EMS responded to the scene and immediately rendered aid to occupants. They began CPR on one of the passengers, a minor, and continued during transport to Community Medical Center where she was subsequently pronounced.

There was no indication of driver impairment, and all four occupants were restrained at the time of the collision. The accident remains under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Ryan Fitzgerald and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.  Summons pending at this time.

Hospitals in Urgent Need of Blood Donations

RWJBarnabas Health Makes Call for Blood Donations This Holiday Season; Urges Donors to Return to Address Emergency Shortages 

RWJBarnabas Health urges everyone to donate blood and platelets to help overcome a national blood shortage this winter. Blood collection in New Jersey is down more than 25 percent since late summer, compounding the effect that the COVID-19 lock downs had on reduced donations in 2020. Life-saving blood donations are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances including cancer care, trauma events such as car accidents and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events.

“We need New Jersey residents to give the gift of blood this holiday season as blood supplies have yet to catch up since the height of the pandemic,” said Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services Business Development Liaison. “There are less blood drives being organized at workplaces, schools, houses of worship and community organizations. Our hospitals rely on the support of individuals to provide much of the blood we use, and we need your help now to address this blood shortage and prevent potential delays in lifesaving medical care for patients in New Jersey.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s habits and daily lives and as a result, a profound impact on blood donations and collection nationwide. Prior to the pandemic, high school and college blood drives supplied about 40 percent of donations across the country. Many drives have not returned to these settings, challenging the industry to keep up with demand, which has returned to pre-pandemic levels.



RWJBarnabas Health is calling for blood donors of all types, especially type O, the universal blood type, and platelet donors.

Here’s how you can donate:

Schedule an appointment at one of our fixed site Donor Rooms.

RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations, one at RWJUH in New Brunswick, located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building (CAB) at 125 Paterson Street in New Brunswick, and one at RWJUH Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville. Both Donor Centers are open Monday -Friday and select Saturdays.

To make an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room or to find a blood drive location near you, please visit: https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.

Attend a local blood drive.

 RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives across the state this holiday season including the following:


The Community Medical Center “Gift of Life” Blood Drive

Monday, December 20th from 10am-6pm

Community Medical Center Auditorium A & B

99 Hwy. 37 West

Toms River, NJ 08755


Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset Blood Drives

Friday, December 24th and Friday, December 31st from 8am-2pm

110 Rehill Ave, Somerville, NJ 08875 


Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital “Holiday Blood Drives”

Tuesday, December 28th and Thursday, December 30th from 10am to 4pm

Arline & Henry Schwartzman Courtyard

1 Robert Wood Johnson Place

New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Free parking is available for all blood donors. Donors must be at least 16-years old (16 -year-olds require written parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16-years old). Donors must also present photo identification at the time of donation.

Donor Centers and all RWJBarnabas Health Blood Drives have rigorous safety protocols in place to protect all donors. These include temperature checks of staff and donors, required face coverings, social distancing requirements in waiting areas and donation spaces, as well as strict sanitary protocols including disinfection of donor areas. Donors must also wear masks or face covering.

To organize a blood drive in your community, please call Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email sally.wells@rwjbh.org.  


Excavator Lands on Occupied Vehicle in Toms River

December 8, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at approximately 5:40 PM police units were dispatched to the intersection of Whitesville Road and Route 70 for a reported motor vehicle accident. Christoph Caches, 56 of Toms River, stated that he was driving west on Route 70, towing a trailer loaded with an excavator, and made a right turn onto Whitesville Road. Once he made the turn, his trailer flipped over and the excavator landed on a vehicle that was stopped on Whitesville Road for a red signal.

Neither driver was injured in the accident. Mr. Caches was issued a summons for Careless Driving. The accident remains under investigation by the Toms River Police Safety Officer Ryan Fitzgerald.


Fatal Traffic Accident on Route 37 in Toms River

December 6, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday, December 6, 2021, at approximately 8:56 a.m. police units were dispatched to the intersection of Route 37 and Oak Ridge Parkway for a reported motor vehicle accident. Initial investigation revealed Crystal Calpin, 29 of Toms River, was travelling west on Route 37, approaching the intersection of Oak Ridge Parkway when she failed to stop for the red traffic signal. Ms. Calpin proceeded through the intersection at a high rate of speed and collided with a vehicle travelling south on Oak Ridge Parkway.

Ms. Calpin was transported to Community Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries. Both occupants of the other vehicle were transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center where they are listed in critical condition.

The accident remains under investigation by the Toms River Police Traffic Safety Unit.

Monroe County, PA, Man Sentenced to 16+ Years in Prison for Heroin and Cocaine Distribution in Bayshore Area of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties in NJ

December 3, 2021

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monroe County, Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to 200 months in prison for his role in distributing large quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Guy Jackson, 49, of Effort, Pennsylvania, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Jackson also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence today via videoconference.

Today’s sentence follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty. Supplier Gregory Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Co-defendant Daniel McHugh was sentenced to 90 months in prison; co-defendant David Nagy was sentenced to one year and one day in prison; co-defendant Shavar Williams was sentenced to time served, which amounted to approximately 14 months in prison; co-defendant Daryl Jackson was sentenced to five years’ probation with 10 months of home detention; and co-defendant Brian Hall was sentenced to three years’ probation with eight months of home detention. Co-defendants Krystal Cordoba, Daniel Alfano, Tyler Scarangello, Christy Dube, Richard Gethers, and Lashawn Mealing are awaiting sentencing. Defendant Deberal Rogers has been indicted, and charges were dismissed against one defendant.

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

From May 2017 to November 2018, Jackson and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Jackson regularly supplied large quantities of heroin and cocaine for further distribution. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Martinotti sentenced Jackson to five years of supervised release. Four vehicles that Jackson used in the course of the drug conspiracy, as well as in excess of $10,000 in cash that Jackson admitted was proceeds of drug trafficking, were previously seized and administratively forfeited.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr.; special agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief Wayne Davis; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ted A. Wittke; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Alan Geyer, with the investigation leading to this week’s sentencings.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations against the remaining defendant are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

21-555

Defense counsel: Lorraine Gauli-Rufo Esq., Verona, New Jersey


61-Year-Old Pedestrian in Critical Condition After Being Struck in Toms River

November 29, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday, November 29, 2021, at approximately 4:58 p.m., Toms River Police units were dispatched to the intersection of Vaughn Avenue and Windsor Avenue for a reported pedestrian struck. The initial investigation revealed Carl Cereghini, 61 of Toms River, entered the roadway in attempt to cross when he was struck by a vehicle travelling north on Vaughn Avenue. As a result of the accident, Mr. Cereghini sustained serious injuries and was flown to Jersey Shore Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.

The driver of the vehicle stated that Mr. Cereghini entered the roadway in front of them leaving no time for the driver to stop or avoid hitting him. There were no signs of impairment of the driver who did not sustain any injuries as a result of the accident.

The accident remains under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Ryan Fitzgerald.


Armed Robbery, Car-Jacking in Toms River

November 27, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, November 26, 2021 at approximately 4:10 PM multiple police units were dispatched to the area of Route 37 and Route 166 for a robbery in progress involving a handgun. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who stated that his vehicle was stolen at gunpoint from the parking lot of 10 Route 37 East. He further stated that he knew the suspects involved and had agreed to give one of them a ride to Auto Zone after their vehicle had broke down.

Once at Auto Zone, the victim’s acquaintance exited the vehicle and walked toward the store. The passenger door opened moments later and another male entered the vehicle and brandished a handgun demanding the victim’s belongings. The victim fled the vehicle and ran to a neighboring lot where notified police.

The suspect exited the parking lot in the victim’s vehicle, and continued westbound on Route 37 toward Manchester. Manchester Township Police were immediately notified and quickly located the vehicle traveling west on Route 37 near Lakehurst. Manchester officers stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of 401 Route 70, Lakehurst. The driver, Devin Copley-Clevenger, 20 of Lumberton, was taken into custody without incident.

A search of the vehicle was then conducted which yielded a loaded 9mm handgun with a high capacity magazine. The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit responded to process the vehicle.

Mr. Copley-Clevenger was charged with first degree robbery, first degree car jacking, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and fourth degree unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine. All charges were approved by The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

The incident remains under investigation by Detective Seaman. If you have information regarding this incident, please contact tseaman@trpolice.org.

Criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.


Pedestrian Struck in Toms River

November 27, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, November 26, 2021 at approximately 6:00 PM police units were dispatched to Hooper Ave, near the intersection of James Street for a reported pedestrian struck. While attempting to cross Hooper Avenue, Ebony Shepherd, 34 of Johnstown PA, climbed over the Jersey Barrier from east to west and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Ms. Sheperd was transported to Community Medical Center and subsequently airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick due to the severity of her injuries.

The driver of the vehicle exhibited no signs of impairment and was not injured as a result of the crash. Ocean County Sheriff Department’s CSI Unit also assisted at the scene. The accident remains under investigation by Traffic Safety Officer Mark Nater and Patrolman Will Resetar.


Toms River Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Loaded Semi-Automatic Rifle as a Previously Convicted Felon

November 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was charged with illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic rifle as a previously convicted felon, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Jeremy W. Barringer, 46, of Toms River, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Barringer was taken into federal custody this morning, appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court, and was detained.

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

On Oct. 24, 2021, at 3:05 a.m., Mantoloking and Bay Head police officers responded to the area of Herbert Street and Highway 35 in Mantoloking in response to a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a single vehicle. Officers found Barringer, a previously convicted felon, behind the wheel of his vehicle and observed a 5.56-millimeter semi-automatic rifle on the floorboard of the back seat of Barringer’s vehicle. The rifle was later found to be loaded with approximately 21 rounds of 5.56-millimeter full metal jacket ammunition. When officers ordered Barringer to step out of the vehicle, they observed that Barringer was wearing a tactical, bullet-proof vest and an empty handgun holster on his hip. After taking Barringer into custody, officers conducted a further search of Barringer’s vehicle and discovered a black 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with no serial number (commonly referred to as a “ghost gun”), loaded with 14 rounds of hollow-point ammunition, three 9-millimeter pistol magazines loaded with hollow-point ammunition, and three 30-round rifle magazines loaded with 5.56-millimeter ammunition.

The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; officers of the Mantoloking Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stacy S. Ferris; and officers of the Bay Head Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police William A. Hoffman, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, officers from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, and officers from the Toms River Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Mitchell A. Little, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

21-521

Defense counsel: Andrea D. Bergman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton


Missing Adult Male and Toddler Son Located Safe

November 15, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Sunday, November 14, 2021, at approximately 7:37 PM, police were dispatched to 5th Avenue regarding a missing adult male and his toddler son. The two had been missing for over eight hours with no means of communication or travel. A multi-agency search by Toms River Police Patrol and Detective Units, Toms River Fire Companies, and New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, ended at 9:48 PM when the father and son were located safe in the area of Cattus Island.

Thank you to Toms River Office of Emergency Management and Toms River CSO’s for responding to the search area in the event that medical attention, and/or long-term services were necessary. The incident is under investigation, there is no further information at this time.


H. Hovnanian Family Foundation Donated $5 Million To Community Medical Center In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Community Medical Center (CMC), an RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) facility, has announced the donation of a $5 million gift, given by local philanthropist Edele Hovnanian on behalf of H. Hovnanian Family Foundation. The gift will support capital renovations to the Emergency Department at Community Medical Center.  

“We are so grateful to Edele and the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation for their generous contribution to our Emergency Department renovations,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center. “This gift will help ensure that our community has increased access to care when they need it most and will play a vital role in bettering the health and well-being of Ocean County residents.”

“The Emergency Department benefits the entire community and is like the doorway to the hospital in many respects,” Ms. Hovnanian said. “We proudly support CMC’s Emergency Department putting its best foot forward. I’ve been very positively impressed with CMC’s vision and have absolute faith that the hospital is laying the foundation for what central New Jersey needs in terms of acute care.”

Ms. Hovnanian serves as President of Hovsons Inc., the company her father, Hirair, founded, and heads the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation. She and her four siblings learned at an early age from her father and her mother, Anna, how to think strategically about finances as well as leverage personal success to develop and support charitable causes and the local community.

“When my dad came to the United States from Armenia in 1951 to pursue higher education, he settled in the Toms River area after graduating from Villanova University,” said Ms. Hovnanian. “Central New Jersey is where our family has been since that day. CMC is the hospital many people use, and it’s an obvious place for us to give back to the community.”

Following her father’s example, Ms. Hovnanian doesn’t treat philanthropy differently from business. She evaluates the overall impact of a donation on the community using the business acumen she learned from working alongside her father to discern where philanthropy will have the biggest impact.

Supporting CMC’s state-of-the-art Emergency Department renovations met all the criteria. When completed, the $37 million upgrade—already partially finished—will transform the department. The renovated ED will include features such as air filtration and individual rooms with glass walls to prevent germs from spreading, efficient patient flow design, and at-hand access to tests such as CT scans, X-rays and ultrasounds.

To learn more about supporting Community Medical Center, call 732.557.8131 or visit www.cmcgiving.org

“Operation Checkmate” Dismantles Major Cocaine Networks

October 30, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced the culmination of a four-month-long cooperative, multi-jurisdictional investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Group 5, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, and New Jersey State Police – Trafficking Central Unit, in concert with many other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies. “The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force managed and directed three simultaneous multi-agency investigations into high level cocaine distribution in Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex Counties, as well as New York City. During the course of these investigations, approximately 50 additional law enforcement personnel were assigned to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force on a full-time basis. Multiple agencies – both within and outside of Ocean County – assisted in every aspect of all three investigations. The investigations, identified as “Operation Checkmate,” began in July 2021 and concluded this week,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

The three cocaine networks were responsible for the import of more than three kilograms of cocaine per week into the Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex County areas. Through sophisticated surveillance methods and undercover operatives, “Operation Checkmate” was successful in disrupting and dismantling illicit controlled dangerous substance (CDS) distribution activities in these three counties, as well as New York City, by the following individuals: Luis Feliz, 41, of New York; James Hemenway (also known as “King James”), 43, of Morganville; Dale McCord, 44, of Manalapan; Mark Capichana, 54, of Hazlet; Mark Kelber, 44, of Manalapan; and Andrew Contaldi, 47, of Brick. On October 26, 2021, “Operation Checkmate” closed with the apprehension of 24 individuals for various offenses involving distribution of controlled dangerous substances. Additionally, 24 search warrants were executed resulting in the seizure of more than four kilograms of cocaine, over 15 pounds of marijuana, in excess of $650,000 in United States currency, seven firearms (three handguns, three “ghost guns,” and one pistol grip shotgun), ten vehicles, and additional illegal narcotics.

The following individuals were arrested as a result of Operation “Checkmate”:

Luis Feliz, 41, of New York, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; and Financial Facilitation. Feliz is presently in custody in New York City, pending extradition to New Jersey.

James Hemenway, 43, of Morganville, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of MDMA in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms; two counts of Financial Facilitation; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Hemenway is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Dale McCord, 44, of Manalapan, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms; Possession of Marijuana; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Possession of a Weapon During Controlled Dangerous Substance Activity; Certain Person not to Possess a Firearm; three counts of Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine; and two counts of Financial Facilitation. McCord is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Mark Capichana, 54, of Hazlet, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Maintaining or Operating a Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility; Possession of Cocaine; and Financial Facilitation. Capichana is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Mark Kelber, 44, of Manalapan, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute; two counts of Possession of Marijuana; Possession of Oxandrolone; Possession of Trenbolone; Possession of Drostanalone; Possession of Mesternolone; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; and Certain Person not to Possess a Firearm. Kelber is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Andrew Contaldi, 47, of Brick Township, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; six counts of Distribution of Cocaine; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; and Financial Facilitation. Contaldi is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Andre Johnson, 45, of Freehold, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Cocaine; Maintaining or Operating a Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility; Financial Facilitation; and Witness Tampering. Johnson is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Brian Contey, 41, of Brick Township, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce, and Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. Contey is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Tyrone Finch, 36, of Parlin, charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Financial Facilitation; Possession of a Weapon During Controlled Dangerous Substance Activity; Certain Person not to Possess a Firearm; and Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine. Finch is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Alex Johnson, 47, of Brick Township, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Johnson was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

George Sirleaf, 47, of Keyport, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Sirleaf was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Terrence Brown, 44, of Matawan, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Brown was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Irene Patelaros, 46, of Morganville, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Patelaros was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

John Dolan, 46, of Matawan, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Dolan was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Shawn McCord, 25, of Matawan, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. McCord was charged on a warrant and released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Daniel Jeandron, 41, of Keyport, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Jeandron was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Alexander Nagy, 42, of Laurence Harbor, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Nagy was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

John Sozomenou, 46, of Matawan, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Sozomenou was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Joseph Horvath, 33, of Toms River, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Horvath was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Christopher Lyons, 42, of Matawan, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Lyons was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Robert Dazinski, 59, of Hazlet, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Dazinski was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Diana Roman-Porpora, 54, of Howell, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Roman-Porpora was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Bobbie Parsells, 42, of Keyport, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Parsells was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Daniel Votapek, 36, of Point Pleasant, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce. Votapek was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

“An investigation of this magnitude requires the cooperation of numerous law enforcement agencies and officers.” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Law enforcement officers at the local, county, state, and federal levels demonstrated outstanding teamwork in connection with this very wide-ranging, comprehensive investigation. This team of professionals literally worked around the clock for the last several months with a singular goal in mind: removing dangerous drug dealers from our streets. I am so grateful for the resolve and dedication exhibited by all the Officers and Detectives involved in “Operation Checkmate,’” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer recognizes the following agencies for their collaborative assistance and cooperation with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force in connection with this investigation:

– Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit

– Ocean County Regional SWAT Team

– United States Drug Enforcement Administration – HIDTA

Group 5

– Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force

– New Jersey State Police – Trafficking Central Unit

– New Jersey State Police Teams Unit

– New Jersey Air National Guard Counter Drug Task Force

– Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit

– Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force

– Matawan Borough Police Department and

– Matawan Borough Police Department K-9 Unit

– Keyport Borough Police Department

– Manalapan Township Police Department

– Ocean County Sheriff’s Office

– Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit

– Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit

– Barnegat Township Police Department

– Brick Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit

– Brick Township Police Department Special Response Team

– Brick Township Police Department K-9 Unit

– Beachwood Borough Police Department

– Berkeley Township Police Department

– Jackson Township Police Department

– Lakewood Township Police Department Drug Enforcement

Unit

– Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response

Team

– Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit

– Manchester Township Police Department Special Enforcement

Team

– Ocean Township Police Department (Waretown)

– Point Pleasant Borough Police Department

– South Toms River Police Department

– Stafford Township Police Department

– Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement

Unit

– Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services

Unit

– Toms River Township Police K-9 Unit

– Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office

– Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit

– Aberdeen Township Police Department

– Asbury Park Police Department

– Hazlet Township Police Department

– Hazlet Township Police Department K-9 Unit

– Keansburg Borough Police Department

– Marlboro Township Police Department

– Middletown Township Police Department

– Sea Bright Borough Police Department

– Old Bridge Township Police Department – Bureau of Narcotics

– Union Beach Borough Police Department

– Union Beach Borough Police Department K-9 Unit

– New York City Police Department – 50 Precinct Field

Intelligence Office

– City of New York Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor

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).

Toms River Police Respond To Barricaded Person

October 13, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at approximately 4:05 PM, police were dispatched to Patmas Drive for a reported emotionally disturbed male acting erratically in the residence with a bat and knives. Upon police arrival, family members were evacuated from the home and officers formed a perimeter around the property for the safety of the neighborhood, officers, and the male party.

The male opened the front door holding a bat and large knife, and after failing to obey officer’s commands, he closed the front door refusing to come out. Toms River Police Emergency Services Unit, and Detective negotiators responded to the scene and opened a dialog via phone. After telephone negotiations ended, a tactical team entered the home, quickly locating the male party, and he was taken into protective custody. He was transported to Community Medical Center for further treatment. There are no reported injuries during the incident.

Also assisting on scene were members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. These types of calls are unpredictable and extremely dangerous. We’d like to commend all of the first responders on scene for their professionalism and commitment to the safety of everyone involved.


Police Report Bomb Threat Cleared At Toms River High School South

October 12, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at approximately 6:45 AM Toms River Police were notified of an anonymous tip regarding a possible bomb at Toms River High School South. School administration was immediately notified and evacuated the building as a precautionary measure. Toms River Police and Ocean County Sheriff K9 bomb officers conducted a thorough search of the area and the school with negative results. Once cleared, students and staff returned to the building.

The tip came through an anonymous tipline with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. It was stated in the tip that the person was unsure if what they overheard was a joke or an actual threat and wanted to alert authorities just in case. We commend them for alerting authorities. See something, say something, it’s always better to be safe!




Dangerous Rip Currents At Jersey Shore Multiple Rescues In Toms River Area; One In Critical Condition Others Hospitalized

September 18, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Saturday, September 18, 2021, at approximately 11:20 a.m., police and EMS were dispatched to 2nd Ave and Ocean Terrace in Normandy Beach for a swimmer in distress. Witnesses reported that a male was caught in a rip current and struggling to keep his head above water. Joseph Gates of Hopatcong, entered the water with his surfboard and was able to keep the victim above water. Two additional surfers, Thomas Galbraith of Warren, and Colin Cronin of Lavalette, also entered the water with their surfboards and were able to assist Mr. Gates and the victim back to shore. There were no injuries and none of the involved parties required medical assistance.

At approximately 12:30 PM police and EMS were dispatched to 8th Avenue and Ocean Ave in Ortley Beach for multiple swimmers in distress. A 22 year old female from New Fairfield, CT was the first swimmer to be pulled out of the ocean by friends and was treated by EMS and transported to Community Medical Center by a Toms River Ambulance. At this time she is stable and expected to make a full recovery.

A 29 year old male from Freehold was the next victim to be pulled out of the ocean, also by friends. He was conscious and treated by EMS as he was transported to Community Medical Center with medics on board. He is listed in stable condition.

The third victim, a 27 year old female from Brookfield, CT, had been going under water multiple times and appeared to not be moving. A rescue wave runner from Seaside Heights Fire Department was able to rescue her and bring her to shore. The firefighters onboard the wave runner performed CPR as they brought her to the beach. Once on the beach, EMS and medics continued CPR and were able to regain a pulse prior to her being transported to Community Medical Center. At this time she is listed in critical condition.

Police officers cleared the township’s ocean waters of all swimmers due to the dangerous water conditions.

See United States Lifesaving Association about Rip Currents and NOAA and USLA Rip Current Safety Toolkit



Rip Current Statement

Coastal Hazard Message
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021

DEZ004-NJZ014-024>026-190000-
/O.CON.KPHI.RP.S.0008.000000T0000Z-210919T0000Z/
Delaware Beaches-Eastern Monmouth-Atlantic Coastal Cape May-
Coastal Atlantic-Coastal Ocean-
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021

...HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING...

* WHAT...Dangerous rip currents.

* WHERE...In New Jersey, Coastal Ocean, Atlantic Coastal Cape
  May, Eastern Monmouth and Coastal Atlantic. In Delaware,
  Delaware Beaches.

* WHEN...Through this evening.

* IMPACTS...Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away
  from shore into deeper water.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Entering the surf is discouraged. If caught in a rip current,
relax and float. Don`t swim against the current. If able, swim in
a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face
the shore and call or wave for help.


Toms River Man Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide

September 15, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 15, 2021, Roberto Sandoval-Guerrero, 38, of Toms River, pled guilty to Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b(1), before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C., relative to the death of Daniel Cintron on September 5, 2020.  At the time of his sentencing on November 19, 2021, the State will recommend a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.  Sandoval-Guerrero also pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

On September 5, 2020, the New Jersey State Police received a report of a pedestrian having been struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Garden State Parkway South at or near mile-marker post 86 in Toms River, with said vehicle then fleeing the scene.  The investigation determined that Daniel Cintron had previously been involved in a minor motor vehicle accident with another driver, Frank Puglisi.  The men exited their vehicles and were in the process of exchanging insurance information on the shoulder of the Parkway when they were struck by a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer operated by Sandoval-Guerrero.  Mr. Puglisi was struck on his left arm, while Mr. Cintron was thrown into the lanes of travel where he was run over by passing traffic.  Mr. Cintron was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Further investigation revealed that Sandoval-Guerrero continued to operate the vehicle southbound on the Garden State Parkway; he ultimately abandoned the vehicle on the shoulder and fled on foot.  Sandoval-Guerrero was eventually located in the area of Route 9 and Church Road and taken into custody.  Sandoval-Guerrero has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Leimbach who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, New Jersey State Police, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Sandoval-Guerrero’s guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.


State Police Charge Man with Vehicular Homicide in Fatal Boating Crash in Toms River

June 9, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Colonel Patrick J. Callahan and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that Juan A. Fernandez II, 18, of Towaco, N.J., has been charged with vehicular homicide as a result of a boating crash in Toms River that killed Corey T. Molinari, 19, of Whippany, N.J. and injured 4 others.

On Sunday, June 13, at approximately 1:13 a.m., troopers from the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau responded to Antiqua Avenue for the report of a serious vessel crash in Barnegat Bay. Upon their arrival, officers from the Toms River Police Department and local first responders were on scene treating the injured. Four occupants were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and Corey Molinari was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

As result of the investigation led by the Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, along with the NJSP Crime Scene Investigations Unit and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, detectives determined that Juan Fernandez II was operating a 2014 Bennington Pontoon boat in the Barnegat Bay when he struck Intracoastal Waterway Marker #26 head on. After the crash, he was able to navigate the vessel to Antiqua Avenue where he met Toms River police and first responders. Initially, Fernandez claimed that there were a total of six occupants on the vessel, but through various investigative means, detectives later determined that there were a total of nine occupants on the vessel prior to the crash, three who were let off just prior to the collision. At the time of the crash, two occupants were ejected.

As a result of a toxicology report on blood obtained from Fernandez on the morning of the crash and information obtained as a result of the investigation, the New Jersey State Police working in cooperation with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office charged Juan A. Fernandez II with Vehicular Homicide (2nd Degree), Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide (3rd Degree), and Hindering (Third Degree).

Juan A. Fernandez II was arrested in Boonton, N.J. on Wednesday, September 8. He was taken to NJSP Tuckerton Station where he was processed and then later lodged at the Ocean County Jail pending a bail detention hearing.

The case is being prosecuted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.


Related MidJersey.News story here:

19 Year Old From Whippany, NJ Killed In Boating Accident; 5 Others Injured When Pontoon Boat Strikes Marker



Toms River Man Indicted On Terroristic Threats And Causing False Public Alarm

August 12, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 12, 2021, an Indictment by a Grand Jury sitting in Monmouth County was returned against David Giordano, 36, of Toms River, on charges of Terroristic Threats in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a, and False Public Alarms in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3c, relative to an incident that occurred on April 12, 2021. These charges were presented to a Monmouth County Grand Jury due to a conflict arising out of the fact that Giordano’s threats were made against the Ocean County Judiciary.

On April 12, 2021, three videos were uploaded to a public YouTube Channel entitled “Toms River Police are the Best.” These videos included images of Giordano, news coverage of Giordano’s previous arrest in connection with painting a blue line on Hooper Avenue, images of the Ocean County Justice Complex as well as Toms River Township Town Hall – followed by a video of a homemade bulldozer destroying public buildings in Granby, Colorado in 2004. The videos also included graphics stating the person posting the video would turn Toms River Township Town Hall and the Ocean County Justice Complex “upside down.” An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit determined that Giordano produced and posted the videos to the YouTube Channel.

On May 3, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Berkeley Township Police Department executed court-authorized search warrants on two residences – one in Toms River and the other in Berkeley Township – where Giordano is known to reside. As a result, Detectives recovered and seized several items containing digital evidence. A motor vehicle stop was subsequently performed by Toms River Township Police Officers on a vehicle operated by Giordano. Giordano was arrested and taken into custody without incident. Although initially detained in the Ocean County Jail and then transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institution shortly after his arrest, Giordano was released on July 21, 2021 pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Shanon Chant-Berry who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Berkeley Township Police Department, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Giordano’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).


52 Year Old Killed In Toms River Accident

August 9, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday, August 9, 2021, at approximately 7:00 AM, police and fire units were dispatched to Route 571 near Oak Ridge Parkway for a motor vehicle accident with entrapment and a vehicle fire. Claudine Silvestri, 52 of Toms River, was traveling westbound on route 571 in the left lane when she suddenly drifted into the right lane and struck a curb and a guard rail according to a witness. The vehicle then veered to the left and entered the oncoming traffic lanes where she collided head-on with a sign truck before her vehicle caught fire.

Upon arrival, Police officers and EMTs extinguish the fire. Ms. Silvestri was trapped inside and had to be extricated from the vehicle. She was pronounced at the scene.

Along with Toms River Police, Toms River EMT‘s, Pleasant Plains and Silverton Fire Companies, the Ocean County Prosecutor‘s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI, and Berkeley Hazmat reported to the accident scene.

The accident remains under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officers Mark Nater and Ryan Fitzgerald.