BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Information provided is from on scene reports. Once official information is released the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.
July 3, 2020 incident approximately 11:15 pm. Time of report 1:45 am July 4, 2020
1:47 am update, divers were back in the water assisting the tow truck company hooking up cables to pull the car out of the water.
2:05 am update divers were out of the water and car was being pulled out by the tow trucks.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—Around 11:15 pm Mercer County Park Rangers and West Windsor Police requested West Windsor Fire Company and Princeton Junction Fire Company for a car in the water. West Windsor Emergency Services EMS evaluated one person on scene, who was the suspected driver. Hightstown Fire Company was requested for the dive team.
Boats searched the lake for the car in the water and it was found by the dock for the Mercer County Park Boathouse. Hightstown Fire Company put a diver in the water to check for any additional occupants and the vehicle was searched but no other occupants were found.
Crews were still on scene at 1:45 am waiting for additional tow trucks to arrive to pull the vehicle from the water.
Once West Windsor Police Department releases more information the story will be updated with further details.
WEST WINDSOR NJ (MERCER)—Police said a 2014 Freightliner tractor trailer was traveling north on US Route 1 and approaching a red traffic signal at the Fisher Place Intersection, when a 2013 Toyota Tacoma was traveling in the jug handle of US Route 1 South for Fisher Place and had a green traffic signal to cross US Route 1 about 9:39 pm last night.
As the Toyota crossed US Route 1, the Freightliner continued into the intersection where it struck the Toyota. The Freightliner then left the roadway took down a Traffic Signal and struck a utility pole causing live wires to fall. The Freightliner re-entered the roadway and came to a final uncontrolled rest after striking the center concrete barrier of US Route 1 according to police.
West Windsor Township Police, West Windsor Emergency Services, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company # 1 Station 43, and Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station 44, along with Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and Mercer County Paramedics were all sent to the scene.
The driver was found of the Freightliner was found unconscious and was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit in Trenton. The driver of the Toyota was transported to Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center.
Both vehicles sustained severe damage and the roadway was closed for 4 hours for the cleanup by NJDOT, power lines to be repaired by PSE&G. Mercer County Serious Collision Response Team along with the West Windsor Police Traffic Bureau are investigating.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday, I received a message from a young lady who messaged the police department to tell me that she is scared for her life and scared for her dad, her brother and her boyfriend. I have to say this message made me so sad. It made me hurt inside that the actions of someone in a profession whose very nature is to protect all and to serve the community broke that trust, committed this horrific act and sent a shockwave of anger and fear, which reached this young girl in West Windsor.
She went on to ask what we were doing to make sure this did not happen here and what we could do to improve community relations.
At this point, I was proud to say that as a police officer for 31 years and the Chief of Police I was confident in the men and women of the West Windsor Police Department. I was confident because we have spent a lifetime being a part of the community and making community policing the focus of our mission. I want our history to speak for itself. I want our social media over time to show how our officers truly care about all members of the community and have been there for them regardless of the situation. I have personally developed relationships with our religious communities and consider the leaders of the over 13 religious organizations in town my personal friends. We have stood side by side with them in laughter and celebration and stood in front of them in times of trouble.
I have also met with our African American Parent Support Group and have had serious conversations throughout the years about the police and its relationship with African American youth in West Windsor. We have worked hard to make sure our officers are seen as helpers and friends and this effort is ongoing and constantly evolves. I am thankful for the wisdom from both Joy and Latoya who are always welcome for coffee and a discussion on what we can do better.
We pride ourselves in well trained professional officers who exemplify Courage Knowledge and Integrity. These words are sewn into every West Windsor Patch and sewn into the fabric of each and every officer. Training is ongoing and never ends. In fact, training for our officers is a living, breathing life force which grows and evolves each and every year. Learning never stops. Whether it’s a quick lesson at briefing, an online training video and test or a training class, this learning continues. I am confident that this would never have happened in West Windsor because of the training of these officers and their respect for all life. Our officers are masters at de-escalation. When these dedicated men and women, who have faced COVID-19 each and every day without regard to their own safety and families, arrive on the scene, people breathe a sigh of relief because they know help has arrived.
We have already had roll call discussions on this horrific event and I have attached the words from one of my Sergeants about this training:
So I sat down this morning with 6 young officers when we were going on duty to talk about George Floyd and what happened. I solicited from them their opinions before giving them my opinion. My idea was to get their thoughts and then really give them an education on right/wrong, tactics, procedures, ethics and just plain caring for your fellow man, no matter what the circumstances. The conversation lasted over an hour and a half and I was surprised by their statements and thoughts. Not one of the young officers could find an inkling of justification. Each was appalled and embarrassed for how poorly some people represent our profession. Whereas I thought I was going to have to give some life’s lessons to the young ones, I didn’t have to. But, being me, I took the opportunity to still give the life’s lessons to reinforce what they already knew.
What happened to Floyd is truly tragic and could always be avoided. Standing around and doing nothing is just as bad as being the ignorant weak person that takes a life. But I am certain that the young officers that I work with know better, would act differently and will keep passing that down to others throughout their careers. A sad day for everyone. There are no winners only losers. But a proud moment for me this morning.
I am truly sorry for George Floyd and his family. I can promise you this agency will continue to train and continue to be the protectors of this community and more importantly be part of its family.
I am always available for anyone who would like to meet and would like to discuss any issues. I have always had my door open for a coffee to anyone who would like one. I hope this helps explain to those who worry what I see and why I am not worried about the men and women of West Windsor Police and their interactions.
WEST WINDSOR, PRINCETON, TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) — New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and Mercer County officials today announced that Alexander Street/Road in Princeton and West Windsor is scheduled to reopen by the end of next week as the concurrent Mercer County and NJDOT bridge replacement projects near completion.
By the end of next week, Alexander Road is scheduled to reopen to traffic following the completion of two separate bridge replacement projects that concurrently replaced three bridges near each other on Alexander Street/Alexander Road in Princeton and West Windsor. Mercer County replaced two bridges and NJDOT replaced one bridge. The road is called Alexander Street in Princeton and becomes Alexander Road in West Windsor at the Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal, which divides the municipalities.
Mercer County is in the process of competing final paving and striping for its project. Once the County work is completed, NJDOT will have access to the portion of Alexander Road between the Bridge over the D&R Canal and the County Bridge so final paving can be completed on that part of Alexander Road. Once this work is complete, the road will reopen. The NDJOT Bridge over the D&R Canal is complete and the sidewalk opened for pedestrians on May 1.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Members of the West Windsor Police Department dropped in at Infocus Urgent Care with lunch for the staff there..Dr. Seeta Arjun and her staff have been testing residents for COVID-19 for days at her West Windsor location.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A man has been charged in connection to more than a dozen incidents in which he targeted the goodwill of restaurants during the current pandemic. The current coronavirus emergency have made many pizzerias and restaurants the cornerstone for food delivery. Many of the impacted pizzerias have either donated food or received calls from residents willing to pay for food to be donated to area hospitals or first responders to thank them for all they are doing.
The suspect Sudeep Khetani age 34 targeted the pizzerias and restaurants where he placed large food orders over the past month. Each time he indicated he would pick it up the order or it was intended for local police. In several of the follow up calls the pizzerias made to the phone number that placed the order, Khetani would make statements about Italians and wished they would be afflicted with the coronavirus. In total several thousand dollars have been lost by the pizzerias from the fraud in three counties.
In South Brunswick the following locations were targeted Kendall Park Pizzeria, Capriccio Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Pizza Delizia Restaurant, Giuseppe Pizzeria and Restaurant, and Pierre’s Deli. In addition pizzerias and restaurants in Montgomery, Plainsboro and West Windsor were victimized.
Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “It is incomprehensible that a suspect would play on the goodwill of so many during these difficult times. The suspect once placed an order saying it was coming to South Brunswick Police. We have had several residents send us food, which I appreciate tremendously, but this suspect has gone to a new low. Our businesses are all struggling and every dollar matters. I am not sure there is an adequate charge for what he is doing.” Khetani used a voice override service to mask his real phone number, but South Brunswick Detective Tim Hoover and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office Detective Ryan Tighe were able to track his true identity. They believe Khetani is currently in the Orlando, Florida area.
Detectives are working with Florida authorities where Khetani is was on probation for selling fake Disney World tickets. Detectives said Khetani is currently charged with theft, additional investigation is being conducted to determine if the crimes were bias in nature. Authorities are also looking at the series of cases as potential cyber harassment.
Despite these 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.
INCIDENT: 2020-8704 Harassment and Obstruction of Justice
DATE & TIME OCCURRED: 3/31/2020 at 1223 Hours
LOCATION OCCURRED: Wegmans Food Market, 240 Nassau Park Blvd.
VICTIM: 52 year old W/F Resident of Monmouth Jct., NJ 08852
ACTOR: 16 year old B/F **IDENTITY NOT TO BE RELEASED Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618
OTHER INVOLVED: 36 year old B/F (Mother of Actor)–Present at the Scene Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618
DETAILS: On Tuesday 3/31/2020 at 1223 Hours, Ptl. Abade was working a security detail outside of the Wegmans Food Market when he was approached by an employee in regards to an altercation between (2) customers. Ptl. Abade entered the store and met with the victim who related the following; she had been waiting in line to checkout with her groceries. A young female, was standing in front of the cart behind the victim. The victim asked the young female is she would mind moving back. The female did not comply and responded with an attitude. The young female removed the mask (covering her face) and coughed at the victim.
Ptl. Abade met with the female and her mother. The mother indicated that they were working for Instacart. While waiting in line, the mother switched places with her daughter so they would not block the aisle behind them. The victim began swinging her arm in their direction and advising her daughter that she was too close to the victim. The mother & daughter claimed they had been behind their designated lines during the verbal altercation and not near the victim. The mother continued the verbal exchange with the victim because she didn’t want the victim speaking to her daughter in the manner she was.
Ptl. Abade met with an unaffiliated employee in the incident who indicated that the victim had asked the daughter to step back because she felt young girl was too close. The young girl was standing in front of her cart and NOT an appropriate distance from the victim. All (3) persons, victim, mother & daughter were engaged in a verbal argument when the daughter pulled her facial mask down, walked closer to the victim, and coughed towards the victim while claiming that she had the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The employee subsequently notified Ptl. Abade of the incident as it was still unfolding.
Det. Sgt. Lai picked up the investigation from there. The juvenile was determined to be uncooperative at the scene. After thoroughly & painstakingly gathering the facts in the incident Det. Sgt. Lai determined that the juvenile had harassed the victim by pulling down her facial mask, walking closer toward the victim, and cough towards the victim while claiming to have the deadly & highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition, the juvenile had been uncooperative with the investigation. Det. Sgt. Lai signed Juvenile Petitions against the 16 year old for Harassment and Obstruction of Justice pending a future Mercer County Family Court Appearance.
**NOTE**: Chief Garofalo wanted to let our community know that we fully support New Jersey AG Grewal and Mercer County Prosecutor Onofri in having zero tolerance for acts such as this. Chief Garofalo wanted to assure everyone that the WWPD will continue to bring those to justice who choose to victimize others. Supermarkets such as Wegmans have been deemed essential by the State of New Jersey and the WWPD will use its full resources to protect their staff and the general public during this time of need.
ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hankins Road is closed due to a motor vehicle accident where a car struck a utility pole. The Road is closed between Woodland Drive, East Windsor Township and South Lane West Windsor Township. The accident is reported in front of 121 Hankins Road.
Be prepared for the road to be closed for an extended time until the utility pole can be replaced.
The Robbinsville Township Police Department is on scene and the East Windsor Fire Company and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments responded to the scene.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Health Department is reporting 3 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the Township’s total to 4 residents. Public health investigations are actively underway and potential contacts will be notified. Our investigations have found that a symptomatic person positive for the illness attended a local gym. The facility has been notified by the Lawrence Township Health Department and management is in the process of contacting the membership directly. The individual attended the New Jersey Athletic Club located at 4152 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 between the hours of 4 pm and 7:30 pm on March 9th, 11th, and 12th .
The purpose of this notification is to increase awareness to potential contacts, to encourage selfmonitoring for symptoms and isolation from those most at risk to serious health outcomes. This report reinforces the importance for those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to stay at home. As more cases are observed in New Jersey, we are urging all people to practice social distancing.
The public is advised to practice social distancing, avoid crowds and take every day preventative steps to protect themselves and others. It is very important to stay home when you are ill and avoid others with symptoms. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve. If you become ill, you must call the doctor or hospital before you go. Wear a mask, if available.
Everyone and every organization must do their part to help prevent the spread of this virus. Working together as a team we can help lessen the impact of this outbreak on our local community.
The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight
Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight
Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight
Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area
PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.
These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.
The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.
Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight.
This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”
“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”
Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.”
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto My2020census.gov and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.
The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.
What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.
The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a three-month investigation last week with one arrest and the seizure of almost $8,000 in drugs, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Onofri stated that, on Friday evening, February 21, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Viktor Drobyshevskiy, as well as his Monroe Township residence on Fernhead Avenue. A motor vehicle stop of Drobyshevskiy was conducted at Meadow Road and the Route 1 bypass in West Windsor, NJ, and he was taken into custody without incident. Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct a narcotics search of Drobyshevskiy’s 2011 Mazda and Bela indicated positive to locating narcotics within the vehicle. A search warrant for the vehicle was obtained and detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, five tabs of LSD and eight grams of marijuana. The investigation revealed that Drobyshevskiy was transporting the LSD to sell at a party in West Windsor.
Detectives with the MCNTF, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Monroe Township Police Department executed a search warrant for Drobyshevskiy’s residence after he was taken into custody. During the search, detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, approximately 10 grams of psilocybin, 232 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber rifle, a 9mm handgun and $505 in cash.
Onofri stated that the total amount of LSD seized was about one and a half ounces with an approximate street value of $7,500. The psilocybin and marijuana have approximate street values of $200 and $250, respectively.
Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.
Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe Township Police Department, and the Hamilton and Princeton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Steinert wresting team held their Senior Day at a tri meet at home today. During the first meet Steinert won their match against West Windsor Plainsboro South with a team score of 45-19, individual scores below:
132lbs. Steinert: Anthony Verdi (w: Pin 1:00) WWPS: Jason Carrol 138lbs. Steinert: Dan Fernandez WWPS: Paranav Anil (w ) 145lbs. Steinert: Josh Muller WWPS: Alex Yu (w ) 152lbs. Steinert: Dennis Divilla (w: Pin 1:50) WWPS: Rocco Valentine 160lbs. Steinert: Dante Hawkins (w: Pin 0:24) WWPS: Shyam Kumar 170lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: Murali Thirumalai (w ) 182lbs. Steinert: Clayton Resch WWPS: Ireayo Kuku (w: Pin 1:42) 195lbs. Steinert: Will Laster (w: Pin 0:59) WWPS: Franco Valentiene 220lbs. Steinert: Yousef Yaakoub WWPS: FFT 285lbs. Steinert: Larry Premah (w ) WWPS: FFT 106lbs. Steinert: Anthony Lapiana WWPS: FFT 113lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: FFT 120lbs. Steinert: FFT WWPS: FFT 126lbs. Steinert: Matthew Ancelc WWPS: Mikey Eltvedt
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–On Monday January 27, 2020 the West Windsor Police Department Award Presentation was held at the West Windsor Township Council Meeting. The following have received awards and recognition:
1. Sgt. Michael McMahon A Letter of Recognition is awarded to Sgt. Michael McMahon for his service on New Jersey Task Force One. Sgt. McMahon is a founding member and for over 20 years he has volunteered his time and dedicated his service as a Rescue Specialist for New Jersey Task Force One. During this time, Sgt. McMahon has been part of search and rescue teams that have been deployed to numerous states to conduct water rescues, water evacuations, wide area searches for lost or injured, preliminary damage assessment, and to provide humanitarian assistance.
2. Ptl. Frank Zicha A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. During the early morning hours of July 29, 2018 Ptl. Zicha conducted a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle containing two occupants. During his investigation, Ptl. Zicha located a large amount of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and marijuana within the vehicle. In addition, the occupants of the vehicle were in possession of a stolen 9mm handgun. Both occupants were subsequently arrested and lodged in county jail. Ptl. Zicha is commended for his proactive police work.
3. Sgt. Lee Brodowski, Ptl. Kyle LaForge, Ptl. Christian Crawford, Ptl. Peter Buchanan and Dispatcher Austin Fountain
Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Sgt. Brodowski, Ptl. LaForge, Ptl. Crawford, Ptl. Buchanan and Disp. Fountain for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 13, 2019 patrol units were dispatched to a residence in response to a hang up 911 call. Upon arrival, it was determined that a domestic violence incident had taken place that involved the use of a knife by a mentally disturbed subject. The subject fled the area prior to patrol’s arrival. Through the combined efforts of Sgt. Brodowski, Ptl. LaForge, Ptl. Crawford, Ptl. Buchanan and Disp. Fountain, the officers were able to successfully locate and apprehend the dangerous individual.
4. Ptl. Melissa Nagy, Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Ptl. Melissa Nagy, Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On June 16, 2019 Ptl. Melissa Nagy. Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey responded to a residential burglary. Upon their arrival they met with the callers and observed that forced entry was made to the residence. As Ptl. Nagy, Ptl. Montgomery and K9 Mackey cleared the residence, K9 Mackey led officers to the two suspects who were hiding in the attic. Both suspects were arrested and charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and drug offenses.
5. Ptl. Frank Zicha A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 1, 2019 Ptl. Frank Zicha was patrolling the area of the Overlook Center when he located a suspicious person. After further investigation the subject was found to be a wanted person who had recently escaped from the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. The subject was in need of his medication, had a history of attempted murder and was considered extremely dangerous. Ptl. Zicha should be commended for his aggressive police work, which led to the apprehension of a dangerous person.
6. Lt. Stephen Skwierawski, Sgt. David Jelinski, Det. Jason Jones, Det. William Jones, Det. Christopher Van Ness, Det. Nick Barber, Det. Eric Woodrow, and Ptl. Christian Crawford Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Lt. Skwierawski, Sgt. Jelinski, Det. Jason Jones, Det. William Jones, Det. Christopher Van Ness, Det. Barber, Det. Woodrow, and Ptl. Crawford for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. In 2018 and 2019 West Windsor Township was experiencing numerous residential burglaries throughout the township. Using various investigative methods, the West Windsor Police Detective Bureau tirelessly investigated these cases and developed a suspect. After the suspect information was disseminated to Patrol Officers, Ptl. Crawford took the initiative to locate the suspect’s vehicle, which ultimately led to his arrest. At the conclusion of the investigation, the suspect was charged and indicted on over 25 counts of burglary, over 10 counts of attempted burglary, and over 20 counts of theft.
7. Sgt. Frank Bal, Sgt. Lee Brodowski, and Ptl. Melissa Nagy On August 6, 2019 Sgt. Bal, Sgt. Brodowski and Ptl. Nagy responded to a residence for a family disturbance involving a drug addicted family member who was trying to steal property from her parents’ residence. Officers facilitated a family meeting, assisted in locating a rehabilitation facility that would accept the family’s insurance, and spoke to the individual about her life choices. The Officers’ empathetic actions convinced her to go to rehab, which she successfully completed.
8. Ptl. Frank Zicha and K9 Hodge Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha and K9 Hodge for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. During the early morning hours of May 29, 2019 Ptl. Frank Zicha conducted a motor vehicle stop. During his investigation, Ptl. Zicha deployed narcotics K9 Hodge to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle. K9 Hodge indicated for the presence of narcotics within the vehicle. A search of the vehicle and driver located 26 bundles of heroin packaged for distribution. Ptl. Zicha’s partnership with K9 Hodge has proven to be a valuable tool in removing drugs off the streets of West Windsor.
9. Ptl. Brian Mahon, Ptl. Kyle LaForge and Maureen Gallagher Ptl. Brian Mahon and Ptl. Kyle LaForge are presented with Life Saving Awards and Maureen Gallaher is presented with a Citizen Commendation for their roles in conducting CPR to a motor vehicle accident victim. On November 6, 2018 Ptl. Brian Mahon and Ptl. Kyle LaForge responded to a motor vehicle collision. A 24 year old driver was reported to have no pulse and was not breathing. Maureen Gallagher, who was a nurse in a nearby senior living facility, initiated CPR on the victim until the arrival of patrol officers, who took over life-saving efforts. The victim regained a pulse and was able to breath on his own. The quick actions by Mrs. Gallagher, Ptl. Mahon and Ptl. LaForge were instrumental in saving the victim’s life.
10. Tricia and Kurt Baker Tricia and Kurt Baker are presented Citizen Commendations for their cooperation, support and willingness to assist the West Windsor Police Department and the West Windsor Community with compassion, empathy and professionalism during severe times of crisis. The partnership we share assisting residents is invaluable. Their tireless efforts are immeasurable and worthy of commendation.
11. Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca , Ptl. Walter Silcox , Jackie Galdieri and Willie Neal Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca and Ptl. Walter Silcox are presented with Medals of Distinction. Jackie Galdieri and Willie Neal are presented Citizen Commendations. On June 15, 2019 New Jersey Transit employee Jackie Galdieri noticed a subject at the Princeton Junction Train Station who was emotionally distressed and had wounds on her wrists. Galdieri spoke with the subject and offered her help. Realizing that something wasn’t right, Galdieri determined that the quickest resource for help was to call 9-1-1. As Galdieri contacted 9-1-1 the subject jumped off the platform and onto the train tracks. A bystander at Princeton Junction Train Station, Willie Neal, immediately sprang into action and jumped onto the train tracks to help the subject. Mr. Neal attempted to remove the subject off the tracks as he reassured her that people love her. Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca and Ptl. Walter Silcox arrived and immediately entered onto the train tracks without regard for their own safety. Working as a team, Ptl. LaRocca, Ptl. Silcox and Mr. Neal were able to remove the subject from the train tracks and get her the help she needed. All subjects should be commended for their quick actions and personal bravery.
12. Detective Jason Jones A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Detective Jason Jones for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 13, 2018 the Sally Beauty Supply store was robbed at gunpoint by masked individuals, placing its female employees in fear of death. Detective Jason Jones immediately began investigating the incident and within several hours he was able to develop workable leads that ultimately identified three suspects. Further investigation by Detective Jones helped identify one of the suspects as having committed several other robberies in the area. All three suspects were arrested and incarcerated.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ– For complex incidents such as this MidJersey News has decided to post the entire press release provided by the police department to retain accuracy in reporting. Ed Note: Knowing this area and covering many stories in the past, if it were not for the quick actions by the West Windsor Police not getting people out of the way of the train, this incident would of ended with fatalities. Good work WWTPD!
NCIDENT: 2019-32500 DWI, Amtrak Train Striking Vehicle on Tracks, Damage to (2) Marked Patrol Vehicles
DATE & TIME OCCURRED: 11/19/2019 at 11:57 pm
LOCATION OCCURRED: West Bound Amtrak Train Track underneath Route #64 Bridge (just north of Washington Road at the Princeton Junction Train Station)
ACCUSED: Amna S. Ahmed 23 year old A/F Resident of Saddle Brook, NJ 07663
OFFICERS: 1) Ptl. A. Pollini #99 2) Ptl. B. Heath #103 3) Ptl. C. Crawford #108
Traffic Sgt. F. Bal #467
Sgt. A. Magistro #473
Traffic Officer F. LaTorre #68
Det. E. Woodrow #101
NJ Amtrak Police Department Police Officer G. Holman—Lead Investigator of Amtrak Train Collision
DETAILS: At 11:57 pm on 11/19/2019, Patrol Units were detailed to the West Bound Train Tracks underneath the Route #64 bridge for a vehicle that was disabled on the Amtrak Train Track. Ptl. Pollini arrived on scene in Car #11 while Ptl. Crawford parked nearby in his patrol car. Upon arrival, Ptl. Pollini discovered the disabled vehicle, a 2012 Toyota Camry, facing in an easterly direction on the West Bound Amtrak Track. The vehicle had been driven there by Amna S. Ahmed, who was on scene and met with Ptl. Pollini. In addition, on an access road next to the train tracks was another vehicle, a white BMW, that was occupied by Amna’s father and sister, who had arrived to provide her assistance. Dispatch began to make notifications to stop all train traffic due to the Toyota Camry being on a track and the persons in such close proximity to the train tracks. Immediately afterward, Ptl. Heath arrived on the scene and parked Car #4 directly behind the BMW. As Ptl. Heath began exiting his vehicle, West Bound Amtrak Train #639 was approaching at a high rate of speed. Ptl. Pollini began alerting everyone of the impending impact. Ptl. Pollini, Ptl. Crawford, and Amna took cover behind a building along the tracks. Amna’s sister & father remained in the BMW and the sister moved the car up slightly. Ptl. Heath ran for cover behind the concrete bridge abutment as the Amtrak Train struck the Toyota Camry. The train struck the Toyota and sent heavy debris flying toward the area where our Officers had just been standing. The Toyota was destroyed and sent directly into Car #11 which sustained extensive damage. Car #4 sustained moderate damage, and the BMW had moderate damage after being pelted by a shower of debris from the Toyota. Train #639 sustained heavy damage to the Engine Car #652 as well as numerous other trailing train cars. Although the debris field was extensive and sent with such incredible force, no one was struck & there were no reported injuries due to the quick actions of our Officers. The debris cone extended past Washington Road. The train traffic disruption lasted approximately (3) hours. As of the time of this release, all tracks are reportedly fully operational. Amna was determined to be DWI at the scene and was transported to WWPD Headquarters for processing. Amna was issued summonses for Reckless Driving & DWI and released pending a future appearance at the West Windsor Municipal Court.
**NOTE: The still photographs are from In Car Camera Videos (Car #11 and Car #4) just prior to the impact of Train #639 and the Toyota Camry.
OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE: Lt. Lee #359
DATE OF RELEASE: 11/20/2019
************** *Please note that charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Chief Garofalo has authorized the release of a portion of Video from this incident showing the Amtrak Train colliding with the Toyota Camry on the track track. The Camry then strikes Car #11 violently as Ptl. Pollini and Ptl. Crawford lead Amna to cover behind a building.
Dash from police car of collision. Viewer Discretion Advised: