MIDDLETOWN: POLICE BLOTTER

mtown-cop-carsBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A brief standoff with a knife-wielding man on Monday ended without injury and resulted in the man’s arrest for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Middletown police report.

The man, identified as James Wierzbicky, was holding a large knife in the backyard of a Navesink home when police arrived, said Lieutenant Detective Steve Dollinger. A number of attempts by police to get him to drop the knife were unsuccessful. After backup was called and a standoff with officers, he gave up the weapon and was arrested.

More police reports appear unedited below.

Read More »

DRUNK DRIVING RAMPANT IN MIDDLETOWN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-police-carThe recurring — and alarming — theme for Middletown’s police officers this week was dealing with alleged drunks crashing into things.

There were five reported car accidents in which the drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated, said Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger in his regular roundup of crime activity. One driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit a parked car, two crashed into utility poles, another man went through a road barrier and another ended up on the side of the road after crashing his vehicle, Dollinger said.

That’s not counting the two incidents of wrong-way drivers.

More reports from MTPD are unedited below.

Read More »

ROLLERBLADER ASSAULTED ON SKATE HOME

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-cop-carsA man rollerblading in the area of Brandywine Way in Middletown was assaulted by three men Sunday, police said.

According to Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, the unidentified victim was rollerblading home from a friend’s house when a car with three men in it drove by and the men started yelling obscenities. The car then pulled over and the three got out and attacked the victim, knocking him to the ground and hitting him in the head and face, Dollinger said.

Police were able to track down the car and arrested the three suspects — two from Keansburg and another from Port Monmouth — and charged each with simple assault.

Details and additional reports from Middletown police appear unedited below.

Read More »

FAKE COP BUSTED IN ROAD RAGE

mtown-police-carBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was a tense situation for one Garden State Parkway driver earlier this week who was being chased by a man claiming to be a State Police officer.

Beginning on the Parkway and continuing to Monmouth Avenue, a victim was chased in a road rage incident by a Manasquan man who continually flashed his lights trying to get the car ahead of him to pull over. Police said the man, Michael Keller, pulled out an I.D. and threatened the unnamed victim. Keller has no affiliation with the State Police, Middletown Detective Sergeant Steve Dollinger said.

He was placed under arrest for a handful of offenses.

Dollinger’s unedited reports of other criminal activity appear below.

Read More »

COPS: CLERK POCKETED CASH

mtpd-badgeBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An employee at the Target on Route 35 was taken from the store in cuffs last week after police say she pocketed cash that was supposed to go into the register for sales.

The Keansburg woman allegedly rang transactions on the cash register, then voided them and took the cash, Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger said in a roundup of police activity.

Details and more reports from Middletown police appear unedited below.

Read More »

RED BANK MAN VICTIM OF HIT AND RUN

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A 26-year-old Red Bank man was seriously injured after being hit by a vehicle whose driver fled the scene Tuesday night, police said.

The accident, which occurred on Route 35 south in Middletown, between Coopers Bridge and Navesink River Road, left the victim, whom authorities are not yet publicly identifying, in critical condition, Middletown Sergeant Fred Deickmann said.

Read More »

NEEDLES AND PIPES RULE POLICE REPORTS

middletown-pdBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Lots of drug arrests in this week’s police activity report in Middletown.

In one case, a man left a needle and bag of heroin in plain view at a parking lot, police alleged. In another, a woman’s probation officer found a weed pipe sitting on her table.

More details from MTPD are below. The reports, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, appear unedited.

Read More »

COPS SHUT DOWN MIDDLETOWN BAR

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-police-carMiddletown police shut down a bar/liquor store last weekend after an inspection showed none of the employees had state-issued cards to serve alcohol.

The inspection also yielded the arrest of two employees, one of which received additional drug charges when he was found to have cocaine in his possession, Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger said.

That crime report and others from the department appear unedited below.

Read More »

DAD, SONS BUSTED IN M’TOWN DRUG STING

middletown-pdBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A father and two sons were arrested after a lengthy undercover investigation by Middletown police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, police said.

The three-month investigation led to the arrests of Dean, Christopher and Peter Sadecki, all of 12 Walada Avenue, said Detective Sergeant Steve Dollinger. Authorities seized cash, a variety of drugs and a sport utility vehicle at the family’s Port Monmouth home.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN SEEKS KABOOM COMPENSATION

cooper-bridgeA view of the Navesink River from Cooper’s Bridge, where Middletown officials are concerned more people will gather this year to see the fireworks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While the sky lights up and music blasts across the Navesink River Sunday, and Red Bank’s north end is bursting with crowds and pre- and post-show traffic, Middletown, too, will have its share of it all.

But unlike Red Bank, the neighboring township is footing the bill for the police overtime the event necessitates.

Not fair, say Middletown’s leaders, who share concerns that, with a new fee this year to watch the Kaboom fireworks show at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank, more people are apt to catch the view from the north side of the river, making more work for its police force.

“It’s gotten worse every year,” said Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger, who called Middletown the fireworks’ “incidental victims.” “It’s not an event that we sanction, but we’re left having to deal with the police and crowd control.”

Read More »

VANDALS HIT MULTIPLE MIDDLETOWN PARKS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAConcrete steps at Tindall Park in Middletown were among targets of vandalism the last week, police said. (Photo courtesy of Middletown police; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Joy rides on newly sodded fields. Smashed steps. Portable bathrooms knocked over.

Middletown’s park system took some destructive and costly hits this past week as targets of vandalism, police said.

They aren’t sure who’s behind the thrashings yet, but they’re offering a cash reward for anybody who can lead to an arrest and conviction.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN-CHARGED INMATE HANGS SELF

zachary-sullivan-arrestBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An Oklahoma man who was arrested for hiding outside a Port Monmouth home with an explosive device last year committed suicide while being held in Monmouth County jail, the Associated Press reports.

Zachary Sullivan — who the AP reported as 18 years old, but was 28, according to Middletown police — apparently hanged himself Friday morning in the shower area of the Monmouth County jail, where he was being held for crimes he was accused of committing in Middletown.

Authorities will conduct an autopsy, although the news service said the death was not ruled as suspicious.

Read More »

TEEN BUSTED FOR NAVESINK BURGLARY

mtown-police-carA Middletown police cruiser. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In this week’s roundup of police activity, Middletown police made a burglary bust at a home off Navesink River Road. An 18-year-old is accused of breaking into the home while the owners were on vacation, stealing jewelry and electronics worth about $16,000, and then using the homeowners’ car to deliver the stolen items to be pawned.

More police activity, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, appears unedited below.

Read More »

M’TOWN COPS MAKE RX FRAUD ARREST

By DUSTIN RACIOPPImiddletown-pd

Middletown police busted a Keansburg man late last month for allegedly submitting a false prescription for 120 Oxycodone pills at a pharmacy in the Navesink section of town.

The investigation also yielded forgery and receiving stolen property charges, police said.

More reports, unedited, appear below.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN COP ALLEGES RACIAL BIAS

mtown-police-badge1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A veteran Middletown police officer has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming racial discrimination at work and is calling for removal of the chief of police and another township officer.

The complaint, filed in state Superior Court in Freehold last month by an attorney for Patrolman Darrin Simon, an African-American originally from Trinidad, says Simon was subject to “egregious discriminatory misconduct,” and cited instances of receiving racial slurs and being called “boy” and “coon.”

Simon, who was made a full-time officer in 1997, names Police Chief Robert Oches and range master James Griffin. Simon’s attorney, Clifford Van Syoc, said Oches and Griffin are related and that Oches may have tried to cover up Griffin’s actions.

This is the second time Simon has alleged bias incidents in 2009. The first suit was not filed, township Attorney Brian Nelson told the Asbury Park Press.

Read More »

FULL OF VODKA, COVERED IN BLOOD

mtown-cop-carsBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Drugs and alcohol dominate the Middletown police blotter this week, which includes at least two drunken driving arrests in which the drivers are alleged to have had open bottles of liquor in their cars and several arrests for possession of illegal meds and marijuana.

The reports from Middletown Detective Sergeant Steve Dollinger appear unedited below.

Read More »

THE WEEK IN REARVIEW: MAY 15-20, 2011

chopper1A helicopter search Thursday was part of an investigation into the whereabouts of missing Red Bank woman. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Busy last week prepping for the rapture?

Whatever you missed is all here, below, waiting for you.

Read More »

DRUG ALLIANCE SPEAKS HARSH TRUTH

drug-alliance1Children and adults packed the auditorium at the Middletown Arts Center for the eighth annual Reaching Out To Prevent Substance Abuse symposium. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Weed’s days as the gateway drug might be numbered.

“Most kids who abuse drugs now, they take their first hit of whatever it is from their parent’s medicine cabinet,” said Middletown police Lieutenant John McGuire.

McGuire, sitting on a panel of law enforcement, government and school officials at Middletown Arts Center Wednesday, said the trend in town over the last decade is children — and he meant children — getting their first exposure to drugs through prescriptions.

Along with the other panelists, McGuire was charged with exposing an auditorium overflowing with middle school-aged children, and some parents, to the dangers of drugs and alcohol, in what former mayor Tom Hall said was a forum meant to be as honest and uncomfortable as possible: Middletown drug alliance‘s eighth annual Reaching Out To Prevent Substance Abuse symposium.

Read More »

PRISONER BUSTED IN 2008 BURGLARY

mtown-cop-carsBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In this week’s recap of Middletown police activity, a high school girl was assaulted  at school, a teen was busted trying to buy whiskey and a prisoner was charged for a gas station burglary that occurred three years ago.

Details, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, are below and appear unedited.

Read More »

COPS: DRUNK DRIVER CRASHES IN WORK ZONE

authorities2aBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown police made several arrests over the weekend, including one of a man accused of drunkenly smashing a vehicle into the back of a paint truck and another police said caused a noisy ruckus outside a home in the Belford section of town.

Details of the police reports are below.

Read More »

THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

11-wreathA wreath was placed at Piping Rock Park in Rumson, where a plaque honors borough residents who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was a week that started fraught with emotion, as news broke in a national address by President Obama late Sunday night that a commando team had wiped the face of evil in the Western world, Osama bin Laden, off the earth.

For those around The Green, it was a bittersweet measure of justice, as scores of residents in our area lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks masterminded by bin Laden.

It hit particularly close to Middletown, which lost 37 people in the attacks. We were out Monday morning talking to those who paid their respects at Middletown’s serene 9/11 memorial garden, near the train station.

And the week went on from there.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN MULLING TRAFFIC CAMS

mtown-red-lightThe town intends to install three to five red light cameras. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Drivers in Middletown might start thinking twice before speeding up to catch the yellow light before it goes red.

After receiving proposals from several vendors, the township is considering installing traffic light cameras to nab drivers running red lights.

The cameras could be installed by the end of this year, Administrator Anthony Mercantante said. The question is where?

Read More »

M’TOWN COPS REACH DEAL TO SAVE JOBS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown’s police department will stay intact, after the second and last remaining police union in contract negotiations with the township came to an agreement on a four-year deal over the weekend.

Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 124, following the lead of the department’s other union, Superior Officers Association, struck a deal with the township that will save six jobs that were on the chopping block.

Read More »

PARKS AND REC JOBS LOST; TOP COPS SPARED

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In a last-minute deal Friday, one of the Middletown’s two police unions came to an agreement that will save four department jobs, while the other got an extension through the weekend to decide whether to accept a deal to preserve six positions.

Meanwhile, a handful of parks and recreation employees retired and nine others were laid off after their bargaining unit failed to strike an agreement with the township, said Mayor Tony Fiore.

Read More »