RED BANK: POLICE TO HOLD CRIME FORUM

MCCONNELL MENNA 122314 2Police Chief Darren McConnell and Mayor Pasquale Menna at a community meeting on the recent shootings last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Responding to requests for increased community engagement, in the aftermath of recent shootings on the West Side, the Red Bank police department has scheduled an open forum for next week.

Here’s the announcement, sent out by borough hall Monday:

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RED BANK COPS “HAVE AN IDEA” OF SHOOTERS

rb community 122314Residents packed a hastily organized community meeting on the recent shootings Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank police believe they know who’s behind a recent spate of West Side shootings, including one Monday night, but are hamstrung by a lack of evidence sufficient to obtain search warrants, Chief Darren McConnell said Tuesday night.

“Do we have an idea who’s doing this? Yes, we do,” McConnell told a packed community meeting at borough hall, less than 24 hours after the latest gunfire, on West Westside Avenue, “but we can’t prove it yet.”

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RED BANK: COMMUNITY MEETING SLATED

just_in1A string of shootings on the West Side, including one Monday night, has prompted Red Bank officials to schedule a community meeting for Tuesday night.

From an announcement sent out by the borough at noontime Tuesday:

Mayor Pasquale Menna and Police Commissioner Arthur Murphy have scheduled a Community Meeting for 7pm tonight, Tuesday, December 23, 2014 in the Council Chamber/Courtroom on the first floor of the Municipal Building at 90 Monmouth Street to address concerns about a recent incident on West Westside Avenue.  Police Chief Darren McConnell will be available to address the situation.

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RED BANK: COPS WERE NEAR SHOOTING SCENE

rb shooting 122314A view east along West Westside Avenue, the scene of Tuesday night’s shooting, in which a parked car was struck by two bullets and at least eight shots were fired. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Off-duty Red Bank police officers out delivering Christmas presents for the PBA heard the gunfire in Monday night’s shooting on the West Side, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

“They were literally a block and half away” and immediately responded to the scene, on West Westside Avenue just a few doors east of Leighton Avenue, arriving even before nearby residents had called in the 8:39 p.m. shots, he said.

By the time they got there, however, the shooter or shooters, and any intended targets, were gone, McConnell said.

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RED BANK: SHOTS FIRED AGAIN ON WEST SIDE

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A vehicle was struck but no one was injured when shots were fired on Red Bank’s West Side Monday night, NJ.com reported.

The shooting occurred within the same three-block area of a November shooting that left two people critically injured and another shooting in which a parked car was shot up in broad daylight two days later.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS PAN COUNCIL RESPONSE

kirsten ramirez 112414Kirsten Ramirez speaks with police Captain Mike Clay after Monday night’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank residents put elected officials in the hot seat Monday night for their response to two shootings on the West Side earlier this month.

Addressing Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six-member council at a bimonthly meeting, West Westside Avenue resident Jill Burden criticized what she called a “lack of communication or even acknowledgement” of the concerns of neighbors following the shootings, which occurred less than two days apart.

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RED BANK: SECOND SHOOTING IN TWO NIGHTS

rb shooting 110814 2Police were still on the scene of the River Street shooting at 2 p.m. Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another shooting involving a parked vehicle rocked the West Side of Red Bank Saturday, the second such attack in little more than 24 hours, and the third in seven months.

But unlike the Thursday night incident, in which a man and a woman were shot and critically injured as they sat in a pickup truck, it’s unclear if anyone was in the car, let alone shot, when it was riddled with bullets on River Street shortly after midnight noon Saturday, police said.

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SEA BRIGHT ISSUES: LIBRARY, REDEVELOPMENT

sb council 011614Engineer Jackie Flor of T&M Associates discusses the impact on a parking lot paving project necessitated by the demolition of the Sea Bright Public Library. The dormant borough school building, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb school 011614Overlapping concerns about beachfront development, the future of the crumbling former school and the demolition of the public library dominated an issue-heavy meeting of the Sea Bright council Thursday morning.

Mayor Dina Long, who had opposed tearing down the library until a proposed combination library and bathing pavilion could be built, defended Saturday’s hasty demolition, but acknowledged that “perhaps it could have been handled in a different manner.”

“it was certainly no secret that that building was going to be abandoned after the last council meeting,” on December 17, she said at a crowded council workshop session. “But my concern going forward is that members of our own community felt there was a lack of transparency” about the timing of the action, which gave rise to conspiracy theories that are now “driving a wedge between” elected officials and residents, she said.

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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.

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AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR RED BANK WOMAN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

052011aAuthorities have confirmed that Thursday’s “police operation” in the area of the Upper Navesink River in Red Bank was part of an on-going investigation for a Bank Street woman who went missing last week.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said it had launched an investigation, along with Red Bank and Eatontown police, into the whereabouts of 26-year-old Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, right.

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COPS, CHOPPER ON SCENE AT RIVER STREET

chopperA helicopter hovered above the water at the foot of River Street Thursday morning as authorities conducted unknown “police operations.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

[Editor’s Note: This story is updated with information from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.]

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank and Monmouth County authorities are conducting “police operations” in the area of River Street, next to the primary school, which include a helicopter and police in a boat where Swimming River meets the upper Navesink River.

One official was overheard saying the efforts are related to a missing person report, but declined to confirm that information, and deferred all questioning to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni would not comment further on the activity, only saying it’s a “law enforcement operation.”

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PLOW STUCK ON RIVER STREET 24+ HOURS

Privately owned vehicles stranded in the weekend snowstorm aren’t the only ones hampering the street-clearing effort in Red Bank, it turns out.

redbankgreen came across this municipal truck stuck in snow, engine running, without any borough employees in sight, on River Street Tuesday morning.

Huh?

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