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RED BANK: ‘GOING HOME’ FOR FIREFIGHTER

Engine 96 of the Westside Hose Company, bearing the casket of slain Red Bank volunteer firefighter Andrew Hill, leads a procession past the Leighton Avenue firehouse Tuesday. A contingent of pipes and drums, with representatives from Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex and Hudson counties, played ‘Going Home’ as the cortege passed, en route to a cemetery in Tinton Falls. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: HONORS FOR SLAIN FIREFIGHTER

Firefighters gathered at Calvary Baptist Church for a special service in memory of Andrew Hill prior to his funeral. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank firefighters gave a formal sendoff Tuesday to one of their own, a 26-year-old volunteer slain just blocks away from the firehouse where he found his purpose in life, in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

In an open casket at the Calvary Baptist Church on Bridge Avenue, Andrew Hill‘s remains were dressed in the formal blue firefighters’ uniform he’d recently finished paying for.

Outside, the fire engine on which he’d answered numerous alarms waited to carry his casket to a cemetery.

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RED BANK: STREET VIGIL HONORS FIREFIGHTER

Lit by candles and streetlights, participants shared memories of Andrew Hill at the event. Below, Hill in a selfie posted to his Facebook page last November. (Above photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On the Red Bank corner where he suffered a fatal stab wound, dozens of mourners gathered for a hushed vigil in memory of 26-year-old firefighter Andrew Hill Saturday night.

Many wore t-shirts bearing the emblem of the firehouse where he served, located just four blocks away. And everyone, it seemed, had been affected by Hill’s irrepressible positive attitude.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTER’S FUNERAL SET

A tribute marks the place on Tilton Avenue where Andrew Hill was found stabbed early Sunday. He died a short while later at Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank emergency personnel are planning a white-glove sendoff for one of their own next week.

Volunteer firefighter and first-aider Andrew Hill, 26, died early Sunday, shortly after he was stabbed on Tilton Avenue at the corner of Bank Street, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

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RED BANK: MURDERED FIREFIGHTER RECALLED

Andrew Hill in a 2015 Facebook photo. Below, fire Chief Stu Jensen’s badge bore a black band in memory of Hill and others. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

He had just made the last payment on his dress blues, the uniform that Red Bank volunteer firefighters wear to ceremonial occasions like the Memorial Day remembrance of colleagues who have died in the previous year.

But 26-year-old Andrew Hill was absent from Monday’s ceremony. Instead, he was among those being honored less than 36 hours after he was murdered just four blocks from the firehouse he loved.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTER STABBED TO DEATH

The scene of Saturday night’s killing. Neighbors said the victim was seen lying in the roadway in front of the van seen above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank volunteer firefighter was stabbed to death early Sunday morning and another borough man was charge with his killing, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office reported.

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RED BANK: FATAL SHOOTING CONFIRMED

Investigators on the scene at 97 West Sunset Avenue in Red Bank at 9 a.m. Wednesday, where police confirm a fatal shooting took place overnight.

Officials have not yet released details, but a relative of the victim said he was a 34-year-old man who did not live in town.  (Click to enlarge)

KILLER OF TWO GETS TWO LIFE TERMS

SuspectsAntonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left, will not be eligible for parole. Co-defendants Samson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras testified against him.

The triggerman in 2009’s vicious double homicide on Red Bank’s West Side in has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced Friday.

Under a sentence handed down Friday morning by State Superior Court Judge Ronald Reisner, Antonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, a 24-year-old borough resident, will not be eligible for parole for his role in the killings February 10, 2009 killings of Sidney Wakefield, 26, of Long Branch  and Joseph Fann, 23, of Middletown.

The sentencing comes two months after a jury in Freehold convicted Suarez-Perez on two counts of first-degree murder.

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SHOOTER FACING LIFE FOR DOUBLE HOMICIDE

SuspectsAntonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left, faces two life terms after co-defendants Samson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras, right, testified against him.

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank man is expected to be sentenced to two life terms in prison without eligibility for parole after a Monmouth County jury found he was the trigger man in a vicious double homicide in the borough three years ago.

After a two-month trial, Antonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the early-morning killings on Locust Avenue in February, 2009, said Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Marc LeMieux.

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YARBROUGH DEATH INSPIRES CALL FOR UNITY

yarbrough-vigil3 Mourners gathered outside the Bank Street house where a melee led to the fatal knifing of Larry Yarbrough and the serious wounding of another man on August 7. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

yarbrough-vigil2By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Almost a week after the stabbing death of Larry Yarbrough, friends and relatives by the dozens filled a Red Bank street Saturday to push for action against his alleged killers while urging others to band together to prevent another tragedy from happening again.

Members of Yarbrough’s family led a procession down of about 200 down Shrewsbury Avenue to the Bank Street scene of the killing and held a vigil at a makeshift memorial where balloons, candles, pictures and bottles of liquor lay next to the sidewalk.

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LANDLORD CLAIMS POST-MURDER BURGLARY

yarbrough-memorialA curbside memorial to stabbing victim Larry Yarbrough decorates a tree outside 9 Bank Street. Below, the home’s cleared-out living room, with a broken window boarded over. (Click to enlarge)

living-roomThe owner of the Red Bank house that was the scene of a fatal knife-and-bottle melee early Sunday says the house was burglarized soon after crime-scene tape was removed by police Monday afternoon.

Landlord Sandra Meva tells redbankgreen that tenants contacted her shortly after investigators allowed them to return to the house at 9 Bank Street around 1 p.m. Monday and told her the house was in the process of being burglarized in broad daylight.

“They were just pulling stuff – their stuff – out of the house,” Meva said of the burglars.

Police, however, have a different account.

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COPS PROBE BANK STREET HOMICIDE

9-bank9-bank-door2Red Bank police and investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutors office are investigating a homicide committed at 9 Bank Street at around 3 a.m. Sunday. Glass from a broken window and storm door litter the front porch, right. Sources tell redbankgreen two victims were stabbed, and one died, but official confirmation and details were not immediately available. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK’S CRIME RATE PLUNGES

hot-topic rightEven with a rare double homicide, Red Bank’s crime rate plummeted in 2009, according to data released today by the New Jersey State Police.

The agency’s annual Uniform Crime Report indicates that both violent and non-violent crime rates fell in the borough from 2008, when no homicides occurred.

The number of reported rapes dropped from four in 2008 to one last year, and the total number of violent crimes fell by nearly half, from 57  to 30, the report says.

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TWO COP PLEAS IN LOCUST AVE. MURDERS

SuspectsSamson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras, right, have agreed to testify at the trial of alleged gunman Antonio  ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left.

Two of the three men charged in last February’s double slaying on Locust Avenue in Red Bank have agreed to testify against the alleged shooter, according to a report published by the Asbury Park Press on Friday.

Borough resident Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras and Fair Haven’s Samson Theodore Hearn, nicknamed ‘Freedom,’ have already entered guilty pleas to a charge of hindering apprehension, Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw tells the newspaper.

They face up to five years in prison, and are expected to be sentenced after the trial of Antonio Suarez-Perez, nicknamed ‘Mingo,’ who authorities say brutally shot two men in an attempt to steal cocaine at about 1:35a February 10. Read More »