Federal Reserve Loses “Large Amount” Of Newly Designed $100 Bills – “Substantial” Number Of Bills Were Not Intended For Circulation Until 2013

October 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Unknown thieves stole a “large amount” of newly-designed $100 bills bound for a Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey on Thursday, the FBI said.

Frank Burton, Jr., spokesman for the FBI’s Philadelphia division, said the theft occurred at some point between when the shipment of bills landed at the Philadelphia airport on a commercial flight from Dallas at 10:20 Thursday morning, and when the shipment reached its New Jersey destination around 2:00 p.m., when the courier service transporting the bills reported some missing.

Burton declined to comment on the amount taken, but said it was substantial.

The missing bills carry a design that is not slated to reach circulation until 2013. They feature a large gold “100” graphic on the back, and an orange box on the front with a faint image of the Liberty Bell.

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US Government Pissed Away $6 Million In Taxpayer Funds On Totally Worthless “Text Against Terror” Program In New Jersey – Another $300 Million And 9 Years Wasted On Useless “Fusion Centers” That Targeted Innocent Americans

October 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. government has blown nearly $6 million on an experimental “anti-terrorism” program in New Jersey that encourages the public to send tips via text message from their cellular phones.

Since it was launched in mid-2011, the federally-funded “Text Against Terror” project has produced no credible tips, according to a local newspaper report that reveals the feds have poured $5.8 million into the initiative. Police in New Jersey claim 307 tips have been texted so far and that includes people “testing the system.”

Of the 307 text messages, 71 “referred to something regarding homeland security,” according to the New Jersey police chief quoted in the story. The majority of the 71 texts were investigated, the chief says, and “eliminated as a cause for concern.” In other words, the costly program, funded with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public awareness grant, is a cash cow that’s accomplished nothing.

The taxpayer dollars have paid for advertising time on local radio and television as well as fliers and ads on buses and trains. Other expenses include reserving a domain for unlimited texting capability. In a “rare instance” when a tip has required a follow-up, the New Jersey police chief says a state Joint Terrorism Task Force is available to get the job done. It includes state police, New Jersey’s transit and port authority police and the FBI.

News of this disturbing waste of public funds for an ineffective homeland security program comes on the heels of a U.S. Senate report blasting a huge post-9/11 counterterrorism program that’s received north of $300 million but hasn’t provided any useful intelligence. Even scarier is that DHS has covered up the mess from both Congress and the public, according to the bi-partisan investigators who conducted the lengthy probe.

The inept domestic counterterrorism program features fusion centers that are supposed to share terrorism-related information between state, local and federal officials. But nine years and more than $300 million later, the national centers have failed to provide any valuable information, according to Senate investigators.

Instead they have forwarded “intelligence of uneven quality – oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.” A review of more than a year of fusion center reports nationwide determined that they were irrelevant, useless or inappropriate.

None uncovered any terrorist threats nor did they contribute to the disruption of an active terrorist plot, the Senate report says. In fact, DHS officials acknowledged that the information produced by the fusion centers was “predominantly useless.” One branch chief actually said “a bunch of crap is coming through.” Evidently, the same thing applies to the costly New Jersey text experiment.

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Former New Jersey TSA Agent Pythias Brown, Convicted Of Stealing More Than $800,000 From Passengers – “We Steal From Travelers All The Time”

October 9, 2012

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – A TSA agent convicted of stealing more than $800,000 worth of goods from travelers said this type of theft is “commonplace” among airport security. Almost 400 TSA officers have been fired for stealing from passengers since 2003.

­Pythias Brown, a former Transportation Security Administration officer at Newark Liberty International Airport, spent four years stealing everything he could from luggage and security checkpoints, including clothing, laptops, cameras, Nintendo Wiis, video games and cash.

Speaking publicly for the first time after being released after three years in prison, Brown told ABC News that he used the X-ray scanners to locate the most valuable items to snatch.

“I could tell whether it was cameras or laptops or portable cameras or whatever kind of electronic was in the bag,” he said.

Brown often worked alone, screening luggage behind the ticket counters. He was frequently told the overhead surveillance cameras, installed to prevent theft, were not working.

“It was so easy,” he said. “I walked right out of the checkpoint with a Nintendo Wii in my hand. Nobody said a word.”

With more electronics than any one individual could need, Brown began to sell the stolen items on eBay. At the time of his arrest, he was selling 80 cameras, video games and computers online. Brown said the theft was comparable to an addiction.

“It was like being on drugs,” he said. “I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ but the next day I was right back at it.”

Brown was finally caught after selling a camera he stole from the luggage of a CNN producer. When he sold the camera on eBay, he forgot to remove the news networks’ logo stickers.

“I got complacent,” he said.
TSA’s culture of theft

But while Brown believes he might have been one of the worst thieves at the TSA, he imagines the agency’s culture makes it easy for others to do the same. Many officers don’t care about their work and complain about low pay and being treated badly, he claims, which prompts them to steal. To make it even easier to get away with, TSA managers also never search their employees’ bags.

The agency says it has a zero-tolerance policy for theft and terminates the contracts of all thieves within the TSA. In the past ten years, almost 400 TSA officers have been fired for stealing, 11 of which were fired this year.

ABC’s interview with Brown highlights the extent of the dilemma passengers face when traveling with valuables. Brown is just one of many officers caught in the act of stealing goods worth thousands.

In February, 2011, two TSA officers were arrested for stealing $40,000 in cash from a checked bag in New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Using an X-ray machine, the men found that the bag contained $170,000 and removed some of the money.

In the first two months of this year, a TSA baggage screener in Orlando was arrested for stealing valuables by hiding them in a laptop-sized hidden pocket in his jacket and selling the goods on Craigslist. And, a New Jersey-based agent stole $5,000 in cash from a passenger’s jacket as he was going through security

While in April, a Texas-based TSA officer stole eight iPads from checked bags, while another officer stole a $15,000 watch from a passenger at the Los Angeles International Airport in May.

“It was very commonplace, very,” Brown said, describing the frequency of theft within the TSA.

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New Jersey Locksmith Sells Keys To New York City For $150 – Keys Allow Control Of Elevators, Power, Access To Subway Gates, Some Firehouses, Traffic Lights, Contstruction Sites

September 30, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – This man has the keys to the city — and he’s selling them for a measly 150 bucks.

If the wrong person buys a set, we could all be in trouble.

Retired New Jersey locksmith Daniel Ferraris, 69, is hawking what he calls a “firemen’s key ring” — and what a terrorist might call a dream come true.

The set consists of five keys that would allow control of virtually any elevator in the city, could knock out power to municipal buildings and skyscrapers, darken city streets, open subway gates and some firehouse doors and provide full access to 1 World Trade Center and other construction sites.

Ferraris sold an undercover Post reporter the key-collection ring after posting his wares on eBay under the user name “thesixlever.”

Total cost: $149.95.

He agreed to hand them off at his home in Union City, just minutes from the Lincoln Tunnel, saying the keys “probably still work, but don’t try to use them.” He asked no questions.

Most of the keys did, in fact, work.

Three of the five are standard issue for members of the FDNY, and the set had a metal dog tag that was embossed with an FDNY lieutenant’s shield number, 6896.

The keys include the all-purpose “1620,” a master firefighter key that with one turn could trap thousands of people in a skyscraper by sending all the elevators to the lobby and out of service, according to two FDNY sources. And it works for buildings across the city.

That key also allows one to open locked subway entrances, gain entry to many firehouses and get into boxes at construction jobs that house additional keys to all areas of the site.

The ring sold to The Post has two keys used by official city electricians that would allow access to street lamps, along with the basement circuit-breaker boxes of just about any large building.

The sale of the newer of the two, a Yale 47 key, prompted concern from the city Department of Transportation.

“That key belongs on the key rings of our city electricians, not on the auction block,” an agency official said.

Former FDNY and NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir also sounded the alarm.

“These keys are issued to firefighters for emergency situations,” he said. “Just anyone having them is very dangerous.”

The sale outraged a former member of the FDNY.

“With all the anti-terrorism activities, with all the protection that the NYPD is trying to provide, it’s astounding that you could get hold of this type of thing,” he said.

He walked The Post through a couple of nightmare scenarios that would be possible with the help of such keys.

“Think about the people at Occupy Wall Street who hate the NYPD, hate the establishment. They would love to have a set. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk in and disable Chase’s elevators?” he said.

Or, he said, “I could open the master box at construction sites, which hold the keys and the building plans. Once you get inside, you can steal, vandalize or conduct terrorist activities.”

He said eBay and other online auction sites should stop such sales.

It’s unclear how many more such keys Ferraris has for sale.

But he continues to offer the FDNY elevator key, the master electrical-panel key and two traffic-signal keys on eBay.

He advertises the Yale 2642 key as a “City Wide MASTER key” and claims, “I also have some items NOT permitted for listing on eBay.”

He wrongly stated in the ad that “All items are OBSOLETE and have Not been in use in years.”

The former FDNY member said hawkers typically use the term “obsolete” to skirt eBay rules.

“It’s a security loophole that should have been closed long, long ago,” he said.

Officials at eBay did not return a call seeking comment.

Ferraris told The Post he has long collected FDNY keys from various sources — but he wouldn’t reveal how he obtained the five keys sold to a reporter.

“I get them from different places. I was a locksmith for many years, and I go to shows and get some from collectors,” he said.

He claimed the unauthorized items he mentioned in his ad were antique padlocks used by the New York City transit system, including a heart-shaped New York Rail Transit lock.

“For whatever reason, eBay doesn’t let you sell those items,” he said.

He did not return messages from The Post informing him that he had sold the keys to a reporter — or that merely having them could be illegal.

The NYPD says buying or selling official keys could be a crime — possession of burglar’s tools, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.

“It depends on the situation,” said an official at One Police Plaza.

“Are the keys stolen? If you use them, that could be possession of burglar’s tools, but you have to have intent to commit a crime. Just opening something with a key could be considered trespassing. But the real crime would be if you gain access to an area where you’re not supposed to be. That could be burglary.”

FDNY officials initially seemed to shrug off The Post’s findings.

After looking at photos of the keys The Post bought and being given a description, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said the department had “no way of knowing if those keys work, or what exactly they are meant to be used for.”

He did not comment on the fact that the department’s internal keys are being sold to the highest bidder and possibly exposing the city to a terror threat — and that they may have belonged to a current or former officer, Lieutenant 6896.

But later, another FDNY spokesman told The Post that the department is investigating.

“We don’t have anyone by that badge number,” he said.

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Parsippany New Jersey High School Students Plan Cafeteria Boycott To Protest Getting Screwed Out A Decent Meal By Michelle Obama – President’s Wife Stuck Her Nose Where It Didn’t Belong, Leaving Many Students Across America Hungry

September 28, 2012

PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY — Students at Parsippany Hills High School held a strategy session on Thursday to discuss a potential lunch strike, on Friday, over what they have called inadequately sized meals.

“This year you’re eating lunch and you’re like ‘Did I even eat?’ You’re not even full,” senior Brandon Faris told CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis.

New federal guidelines stemming from first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign have resulted in limits on protein and bread, and an increase in vegetables and fruits. The changes have also come at an increased cost.

All of it has also sparked a student campaign that has included online parody videos of students falling sleep in class and performing sluggishly in sports.

They hope to further their efforts with a cafeteria boycott that will cost the school money, and students like Faris said they want to know why they are paying the price for other people’s problems.

“If somebody’s obese why should someone like me who’s not obese have to suffer, and eat a small meal when I’d rather have a bigger meal?” he said.

Members of the food service industry told CBS 2 that new federal guidelines have caused a significant shift in portion size.

“There’s a lot less turkey on the sandwich, there’s 33 percent less turkey and the size of the bread has been reduced by a third,” explained Mark Vidovich, who runs Pomptonian Food Service.

The changes have caused some parents to step in and subsidize the small school lunches with brown bag meals from home.

“I certainly don’t want him to feel hungry,” said Kelly Caccavele, a parent of a Parsippany Hills student.

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Proposed New Jersey “Snookiville Law” Addresses Extra Costs To Towns From White Trash “Reality” TV Shows

September 26, 2012

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey towns could soon get help paying the extra costs of having drunken reality show stars wandering their streets.

The proposed “Snookiville Law” would let townships license reality show productions and levy fees on them to pay for additional police to control the cast members and the crowds drawn by the shows’ cameras, New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer said.

The legislation is named for Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” who was arrested for disorderly conduct in Seaside, New Jersey, two years ago, Dancer said.

While “Jersey Shore” is in its last season of taping, Snooki and co-star JWoww (Jennifer Farley) have been producing a spinoff show in Manchester, which is near Dancer’s central New Jersey district.

“This bill will permit local officials to make sure taxpayers don’t get ‘Snook’-ered or public safety is compromised when reality stars such as Snooki or JWoww come to town,” Dancer said.

The law would not prevent drunken reality stars from stumbling down the streets, Dancer said. “I can’t go as far as to say that would not happen.”

Dancer, a Republican, said he is not trying to discourage reality TV shows from taping in New Jersey, because production can bring money to a community. But it also “may cost taxpayers money by requiring additional services when cameras are rolling in town,” he said.

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New Jersey Lawmakers, Lead By Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, Introduce Bill To Require Pet Seatbelts – Targets Motorists With $1,000 Fine – Still No Fix For State’s Budget Deficit Or High Unemployment Rate

September 21, 2012

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, who owns a Pomeranian, five cats and a rabbit, has introduced a state bill that would require drivers to secure pets in seat belts, or pay up to $1,000 in tickets or fines. The $1,000 fine would be imposed only in extreme cases of animal cruelty, such as keeping a pet unsecured in the bed of a pickup truck, Bloomberg reported.

The fines would not apply to pets kept in crates.

Endorsed by New Jersey’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, legislation to require seat belts for pets has been in discussion in the state at least since the summer, not that such a bill doesn’t have its critics, who argue that more attention should be paid to the state’s budget deficit and 9.9 unemployment rate.

But Spencer defended the bill saying, lawmakers are “taught to multi-task.”

“This doesn’t limit my ability to address other issues for the people of New Jersey,” she said.

Other states, such as Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois and Maine have banned motorists from driving with pets in their laps, but New Jersey is apparently the first state to require that pets be strapped in.

Whether New Jersey’s and similar bills become the law, Melissa Ramirez, founder of Chicago-based Zerimax, which makes seat belts for pets, is already filling a new market niche. Launched in May, Zerimax was named in part after Ramirez’s dog Max, a miniature Pinscher, that became paralyzed in a car accident in 2008. While airbags protected the driver, Ramirez’s husband, Max was thrown across the car. Determined to protect other pets, Ramirez sells a variety of harnesses that range in price from $20 to $30.

“There was a void in the market with devices that were easy to use,” she said. “There are a lot but they were cumbersome and difficult.” Ramirez, apparently, is filling this void.

Zerimax’s sales have quadrupled every month since the company’s launch in May, according to Ramirez, who has a marketing background. With a Groupon deal that starts Sept. 22, Ramirez expects to sell around 70,000 harnesses by the end of the year, even without pet seat belt legislation requiring them.

But she cautions that if a bill such as New Jersey’s becomes law and other states adopt similar measures, cheap products could flood the market. Ramirez urges customers to look for quality when it comes to securing their pets.

“Check that items are sewn and not glued,” she said, and choose metal over plastic, she said. Make sure the safety device fits your pet properly. “Thirty pounds of dog can be distributed differently in a Greyhound,” she said. “Not all devices out there will fit your dog.” Ramirez suggests owners measure their pets and understand their girth.

“It would help to create standards so if the category grows,” said Ramirex, “ it grows properly.”

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Nutcase Veteran Robbinsville New Jersey On-Duty Police Officer Sgt. Mark Lee Broke Into Home For The Disabled, Assaulted Women In A Wheelchair And Her 4 Year Old Child, Stripped Off His Uniform And Gun, And Tried To Jump Out Window – After Arrest He Kicked Out Rear Window Of Patrol Car And Fled

September 19, 2012

ROBBINSVILLE, NEW JERSEY – A Robbinsville police officer was arrested last night after breaking into a family’s apartment and assaulting a mother in a wheelchair and her 4-year-old son, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said today.

Authorities say they have no idea why Sgt. Mark Lee, an 18-year department veteran, burst into the apartment at Project Freedom, a home for people with disabilities on Hutchinson Road. Knocking the woman from her wheelchair, Lee also allegedly went after the boy and assaulted him as well.

“He went berserk,” the father said of Lee this afternoon. “He broke in the house, knocked her down, tried to get on top of her.”

“Then he grabbed my grandchild,” he said. The officer said, “I want the boy, I want the boy.'”

Lee was charged with official misconduct, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, five counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer, and one count each of burglary, harassment and criminal mischief

The boy’s father, also in a wheelchair, was unable to help as the family’s home health aide fought back against Lee, the man said.

“He took his clothes off, gun, uniform, and pants, and tried to jump out the window,” the man said.

Fellow officers sent out on a 911 call of a woman being choked found Lee sitting on the couch, the prosecutor’s office said. They arrested him and took him back to headquarters.

While he was being transported, Lee allegedly kicked out a rear window of a patrol car and escaped. Officers chased him down and took him back into custody after a struggle, the prosecutor’s office said.

Lee was taken to the Crisis Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he remains. He has been suspended without pay from the police department. Lee was on-duty at the time of the incident.

The father said his daughter and grandson are in the hospital and are expected to recover.

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Readington Township And East Whitehouse New Jersey Firemen Charged With Stealing 80 Cases Of Monster Energy Drinks From Balloon Festival

September 17, 2012

READINGTON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY – About 80 cases of Monster energy drink were stolen at the Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning, and five volunteer firefighters were charged with the theft, Readington Township police announced today, Friday.

Another man was charged with stealing a 40-foot-high Monster energy drink inflatable display from the festival, which was held at Solberg Airport.

On Monday, July 30, the day after the festival ended, a representative from the Coca-Cola Co. contacted Readington Township Police to report the thefts. The victim explained he was the vendor for Monster energy drink during the festival and discovered that approximately 80 cases of the drink and the inflatable display were missing. The annual event ran July 27-29 this year.

A month-long investigation by the Readington police led to the identity of several witnesses and subsequently charges against six people, Sgt. John Insabella said. The police identified five of those charged as volunteer firefighters in Readington Township.

The Readington Fire Company is employed by the Balloon Festival to provide fire protection services at the event, police reported. Of the suspects charged, three are members of Readington Fire Company. They are Jordan Kaplan, 24, of Branchburg, Nicholas Magos, 25, of Branchburg and Lawrence Fogg, 69, of Flemington, police said. The remaining two firefighters are charged from the East Whitehouse Fire Company, police said: Shawn Brownlow, 22, and Casey Brownlow, 21, both of Whitehouse Station.

The two Brownlows, along with Kaplan, Magos and Fogg were each charged with disorderly persons theft, and released on their own recognizance pending a court action.

Jeffrey Becker, 22, of Annandale in Clinton Township was identified as the person who had taken the display, police said. He was charged with third-degree theft and also released pending his court date.

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Man Awarded $26,500 After being Shot In The Hand By Jersey City New Jersey Police Officer

September 14, 2012

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY – A man who was shot in the hand by a Jersey City cop three years ago will receive $26,500 in a legal settlement with Jersey City approved tonight by the City Council.

Joshua Lopez drove his car at a police officer during a traffic stop in February 2009, causing the officer to shoot at the car, striking Lopez in the hand, police reports said at the time.

Lopez’s attorney called the claims of self-defense “highly questionable” at a 2009 court appearance.

City attorneys recommended the settlement “because of the litigation risk involved,” according to the resolution approving the settlement.

The officer pulled in front of a car driven by Lopez on Feb. 15, 2009 because the car was illegally parked on Linden Avenue East near Route 169, police said at the time.

When the officer approached the car, Lopez backed up, pulled out and drove at the uniformed officer, trapping him against the marked police cruiser, officials said then.

The officer then fired four bullets, striking Lopez once in the hand, according to police.

Lopez, who lived in Kearny at the time of the incident, sped away from the scene, ending up in an Elizabeth hospital, where he told police he was the victim of a carjacking. officials said.

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Sussex County New Jersey Sheriff’s Department Locks Down School After A Pen Was Found Just Outside The Main Office

September 14, 2012

HOPATCONG, NEW JERSEY — The pen may very well be mightier than the sword. One, mistaken for a rifle round, was powerful enough to lock down Hopatcong High School.

Police said they were called to the school Wednesday just after 4 p.m. for a report of a rifle round found just outside the main office. The “round” had the imprint of a .338 on the casing around the primer, which was still in tact, police said.

Officers locked down the school, which was done for the day but still open to sports teams, police said. The Sussex County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit responded and searched the school for more rounds or explosives, but nothing turned up, and the school was reopened, police said.

When authorities reviewed school video, they saw the “round” coming out of a student’s bag, and the student was called to police headquarters, police said.

“When he responded, he showed the officers that this bullet was really a pen,” police said in a news release on the incident. “The bullet that would come out of the casing when fired has a pen attached to the end that would seat up against the powder. Unless one pulled on the bullet portion to try and separate it form the casing, there is nothing to show that this is not a live round.”

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Trenton New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack And 1/2 Dozen Others Arrested Amid Ongoing Federal Corruption Probe

September 10, 2012

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – Federal authorities arrested Trenton, N.J., Mayor Tony Mack and more than half a dozen other people early Monday in connection with an ongoing corruption probe, NBC 4 New York has learned.

Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni, a top campaign contributor, and six others were also taken into custody. Information on their attorneys wasn’t immediately available. Specific charges against the suspects are expected to be outlined by Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, later Monday.

Mack and the others arrested Monday were brought to the FBI office in Hamilton for processing and are scheduled to appear in federal court.

The arrests are the latest development in an ongoing federal investigation into alleged corruption within Mack’s administration, which has been marked by accusations of nepotism and reckless spending. In July, FBI agents searched offices in Trenton City Hall a day after raiding the mayor’s home. They also searched the home of his brother, Ralpiel Mack, and that of Giorgianni.

Mack’s administration has been in turmoil from Day 1, staggering from one crisis to another. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack’s own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door. Some left over questions about their credentials, others to face criminal charges.

In Mack’s first year in office in Trenton, a city of 85,000, he ran through a string of business administrators. The first resigned after a month, saying the mayor didn’t believe in “good government.” Another resigned just ahead of pleading guilty to embezzlement at another job.

Mack’s housing director quit after it emerged that he had a theft conviction. His chief of staff was arrested trying to buy heroin. His half-brother, whose authority he elevated at the city water plant, was arrested on charges of stealing.

Questions have also been raised about how he financed his campaign for mayor.

A former longtime city employee sued the mayor late last year. The parks department employee said she was let go after refusing to dole out jobs for the mayor’s friends, refusing to give federal grant money to people who didn’t apply and for inquiring about city funds she said were missing.

The ex-employee also said she was replaced by a Mack supporter who never showed up for his $40,000-a-year job.

A former campaign aide told NBC 4 New York he disassociated with Mack when he “saw the way he was going.”

“This is not a surprise,” Jerell Blakley said of the probe into Mack’s activities. “A lot of people in Trenton were of the opinion — not of if, but when.”

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Manalapan New Jersey “Overrun” With Anti-Semitic Graffiti

September 7, 2012

MANALAPAN, NEW JERSEY – Just 10 days before the High Holidays a New Jersey community woke up to find swastikas and anti-Jewish graffiti all over town.

The photographs show the images neighbors woke up to in Manalapan on Thursday morning — swastikas on street signs, mailboxes, a cable box and a sign saying “kill the Jews” on a picket fence, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported Friday.

“I saw the commotion, swastika signs and ‘kill the Jews.’ I’ve been here 14 years, never seen anything like it,” resident Howard Weitz said.

At least 12 swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate appeared along Taylor Mills Road, a main residential street in town, and on several side streets, painted mostly in red.

Some believe the perpetrators did this to spread hate to the entire community. Western Monmouth County is home to tens of thousands of Jewish families served by several synagogues.

“I don’t know why that neighborhood in particular was targeted, but the whole area has been great for the Jewish community,” said Keith Krivitzky, executive director of the Jewish Federation.

Throughout Manalapan, N.J., swastikas were painted in red on mailboxes. signs and fences. (Photo: handout)

Krivitzky said he’s not sure who would do something like this.

“You don’t know. At the very least it’s a wake-up call and should be an educational opportunity to come together and say this isn’t tolerated, acceptable, not who we are and it isn’t welcome here,” Krivitzky said.

While most of the homes targeted belong to Jewish families, residents pointed out that anyone seeing a swastika anywhere should feel some pain and disgust — knowing it’s a message of hate and persecution.

The hate crime happened just one day after the Jewish Federation held a community-wide security preparedness training to help keep the High Holiday observances, a time of peace.

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New Jersey State Attorney General Claims That New York City Police Department Is No Longer Spying On Muslims In New Jersey

September 5, 2012

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Muslim leaders in New Jersey say the state attorney general has assured them that a New York Police Department unit that conducted surveillance of Muslim groups is no longer operating in the state.

Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa (kee-AY’-sah) declined to comment following the private meeting Wednesday in Newark, but several attendees confirmed the account.

It was the first meeting of a Muslim outreach committee the attorney general established in May. He formed the group after announcing that a review of NYPD activities found the agency had not violated any New Jersey laws.

The NYPD has defended its surveillance of Muslim businesses, students and groups in New Jersey as legal.

The surveillance, revealed in a series by The Associated Press, angered many Muslims and resulted in a federal suit against the NYPD.

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Savage Brown Beast Charged With Murder In Camden New Jersey After Slashing Throat Of 6 Year Old Boy As He Slept – Also Stabbed His 12 Year Old Sister

September 4, 2012

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY – A Camden, New Jersey man has been charged with murder for allegedly slashing the throat of a 6-year-old Camden boy. Police say he told investigators he was smoking a combination of marijuana and PCP, known as “Wet” just before the killing.

Osvaldo “Popeye” Rivera, 31, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Police say Rivera slashed Dominick Andujor’s throat as he slept in his home on the 900 block of Ware Street early Sunday morning, killing him. Andujor’s 12-year-old sister Amber also suffered stab wounds and is in critical condition at Cooper Hospital in Camden. She underwent surgery on Monday and is expected to survive. Two other children in the home at the time of the attack were not injured.

According to investigators, the 12-year-old ran from the home after the attack and went to a neighbor’s home for help. She identified her attacker as what sounded like “Poppy”.

Interviews led investigators to learn that Rivera lived in the area and went by the nickname “Popeye.” Rivera was known to spend nights at an apartment on the 3200 block of River Road and police found him there about 4 p.m. Sunday hiding between a mattress and a bedroom wall, according to Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk.

Police also found blood-stained sneakers that matched bloody footprints in the home on Ware Street. Charges were filed against Rivera about 2 a.m. Monday morning, said Faulk.

“Several citizens came forward and showed the courage to provide information, which helped lead to the initial apprehension,” said Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Lieutenant Frank Falco, who oversees the investigators in the office’s homicide unit.

“Also deserving of credit are homicide detectives from our office and Camden who worked around the clock and Camden’s SWAT team, which arrested the individual at the residence on 32nd Street and River Avenue,” said Falco.

Investigators from the prosecutor’s office said during an interview Rivera stated he had smoked “Wet” prior to the killing.

Members of the Camden community are raising money to help Dominick’s mother pay for his funeral.

“She’s trying to be strong,” said Wanda Padilla. “It’s a pain that no one would ever want to go through. But she’s trying her best to be strong.”

Rivera is scheduled to be in court Tuesday afternoon. Neighbors also plan to hold a candlelight vigil for Dominick Tuesday night.

This is the second time there appears to be a connection between this drug and the slaying of a child, according to investigators.

Chevonne Thomas is believed to have been smoking “Wet” prior to beheading her son Zahree on August 22 in Camden. Thomas then killed herself.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office says in recent years there have been several other murders in which “Wet” appeared to have played a part. This drug has a particularly catastrophic effect on people, making them incoherent, hallucinatory and, in some cases, violent. The prosecutor’s office says it and the Camden Police Department are concerned about its use in the city and will be taking steps to curb the market for this exceedingly dangerous and destructive drug.

A homicide detective told NBC10’s Katy Zachry he estimates “Wet” is involved in 60 percent of Camden’s homicides.

Rivera is being held at the Camden County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

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Broke: Camden New Jersey To Disband Its Police Department

August 26, 2012

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY – Crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey – often referred to as the most dangerous city in the United States—is getting rid of its police department.

In the latest example of a cash-strapped municipality taking drastic measures to deal with swollen public sector liabilities and shrinking budgets, the city plans to disband its 460-member police department and replace it with a non-union “Metro Division” of the Camden County Police. Backers of the plan say it will save millions of dollars for taxpayers while ensuring public safety, but police unions say it is simply a way to get out of collective bargaining with the men and women in blue.

“This is definitely a form of union-busting,” Camden Fraternal Order of Police President John Williamson told FoxNews.com. “This method is unproven and untested, to put your faith in an agency that doesn’t even [yet] exist.”

Camden County Mayor Dana Redd has said layoffs of the city’s police force will begin by the end of the month. Only 49 percent of current city police officers will be transferred to the new county division, whose members will begin a four- to five-month training program.

“The officers who are getting laid off are going to have to be the ones who train their replacements,” Williamson said.

The department has been under the control of the state since 2005, when a power struggle between then-Mayor Gwendolyn Faison and the department prompted Faison to ask the state to take over. That arrangement is set to expire and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has thrown his support behind the transition to county control, which he indicated will help keep costs down.

“A county police force that has a reasonable contract, and that’s going to provide a huge increase in the number of police officers on the streets here in Camden, is a win for everybody,” Christie said at a recent event at Rutgers-Camden University, where he signed a reform bill for higher education. “I’m willing to put my name on the line for this concept.”

But Williamson told FoxNews.com his organization understands the budgetary constraints the city faces and said the FOP has made concessions such as dropping a shift pay differential.

“We tried to give them what they wanted, but they asked that we drop all and any lawsuits that officers have against the city,” he said, noting he personally has a suit pending against the city’s police chief.

Repeated requests for comment to Redd’s office were not returned.

Earlier this week, a meeting was held with officials from neighboring border towns for a progress update and how the plan would affect their communities. A minor fracas broke out when Chief Joseph Eisenhardt of the Barrington Police Department—a town that does not border Camden—was denied access to the meeting, causing police chiefs from eight other municipalities to walk out. While some suspect he and the other chiefs were there to show solidarity with the Camden city police, Eisenhardt said the county’s other municipalities fear that Camden will soak up all of the county police department’s resources.

“The county’s resources would be sent to problem areas like [the city of] Camden, taking away from the patrolling of other towns in the county,” Eisenhardt said. “There is a crisis, but this is not the solution.

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Savage Black Beast Calls Camden New Jersey 911 After Cutting Off 2 Year Old Son’s Head – Then Does The Right Thing And Kills Herself

August 24, 2012

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY — A 33-year old mother called 911 to admit decapitating her 2-year-old son just minutes before stabbing herself to death, officials said Thursday.

Authorities say the recorded conversation shows Chevonne Thomas initially blamed her boyfriend for killing Zahree.

But she quickly admitted she was the one responsible.

“You know what, I did it, I’m lying, I’m lying, I’m lying, I did it,” Thomas said in the call to emergency dispatch that was released Wednesday night.

The first officers on the scene found the toddler’s body on the first floor of the home.

He had been beheaded and stabbed several times.

Upstairs officers could hear Thomas still on the phone with 911.

The officers were unable to reach her before she stabbed herself in the throat.

During a search of the home, officers discovered the boy’s head in the freezer.

The coroner’s report shows the boy was alive when he was decapitated.

Court records show that in 2010, Zahree was taken away from Thomas because she left him alone in a car after she took drugs and passed out in a nearby park.

Thomas was ordered to undergo treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders, according to the Department of Children and Families, but eventually regained custody of Zahree, the Associated Press reported.

Court records show Thomas faced dozens of judgments and liens filed in civil court in New Jersey dating back to 2002, according to The AP.

Neighbors say earlier in the day Thomas was outside blowing bubbles with her son.

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Irvington New Jersey Police Chase Ends With Crash, Injury Of Innocent Third Party, And Death Of 13 Year Old Boy

August 21, 2012

IRVINGTON, NEW JERSEY – A 13-year old boy who helped carjack a Jaguar died when a police chase ended in a crash on Sunday night in Irvington, N.J.

Police started chasing a vehicle at 10 p.m. that had been reported carjacked on Sunday afternoon.

The driver refused to stop and took off. Police pursued the car, which continued to attempt to elude apprehension. The vehicle hit another car at Clinton Avenue and Sanford Avenue and then hit a utility pole.

A boy, who was a passenger in the carjacked vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three juvenile occupants in the vehicle were apprehended at the scene by Irvington officers. They were a 14-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year old.

Police did not release the names of any of the teenagers.

An occupant of the civilian vehicle involved in the crash was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police say they found a weapon in the carjacked vehicle.

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Hero(s) Takes Out Newark New Jersey Red Light Cameras – Camera Vs. Gun, Camera Always Loses :)

August 11, 2012

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Someone with a gun is apparently settling scores with those red-light traffic cameras so reviled by New Jersey motorists.

Two of the devices were shot in Newark today, police said.

Red-light cameras at the intersections of Broad and Murray streets and Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard were given the same treatment as that ill-fated hotel room TV that enraged Elvis.

“The Newark Police Department is in the early stages of their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the damaging of two of the city’s red-light photo cameras,” Detective Todd McClendon, a police spokesman, said. “The cameras were struck by apparent gunfire during the early morning hours.”

The cameras were disabled after the shootings, but were being repaired today, he said. There were no injuries and police had not identified a suspect. The cameras were expected to be up and running again shortly.

Newark is home to 19 of the 85 red-light cameras in New Jersey.

They are polarizing devices. Motorists and some politicians consider them Big Brother contraptions that are little more than a money grab by municipalities. Mayors and some police officers tout them as devices that reduce accidents while bringing much needed revenue to towns.

On June 19, the state announced it was suspending 63 of the cameras — including all 19 in Newark — over concerns amber lights did not give motorists enough time to get through intersections. The suspension was lifted July 25 after the state said all cameras were found to meet standards.
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Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) wants to ban the red-light cameras, but didn’t condone treating them like target practice.

“People feeling that frustrated about these automated tax machines — just wait a little while,” he said. “The truth will win out in the end, and we’ll get rid of them.”

Mohamed Diallo, a sunglasses and purse vendor at the corner of Broad and Raymond, is used to seeing work crews perform maintenance on the red-light camera. But he has never seen the crews phone police to remove something from the camera case and put it in a plastic evidence bag.

Three large bullet holes pierced the side of the black box housing the camera that pointed south on Broad.

Diallo said he didn’t notice anything wrong until a fleet of police cars arrived about 5 p.m. today.

“Somebody,” he said, “was really angry at the camera.”

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Army Spy Blimp Over New Jersey Military Base Where Hindenburg Exploded

August 9, 2012

NEW JERSEY – The Army is testing its $517 million spy blimp in the skies over the New Jersey military base where the German airship Hindenburg crashed in 1937.

The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle spent more than 90 minutes around Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Ocean County on Tuesday.

Manufacturer Northrop Grumman says the 302-foot long airship is designed to be a high altitude observation platform.

It can be operated by a crew or by remote control.

Army spokesman John Cummings tells the Asbury Park Press the primary objective of the maiden flight was to perform a safe launch and recovery.

The airship is 100 feet longer than the Goodyear Blimp and is filled with helium.

The Hindenburg was filled with hydrogen when it burst into flames at Lakehurst, killing 36 people.

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TSA Incompetence And Bad Screening Equipment Causes Chaos At Newark New Jersey International Airport

August 6, 2012

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials say United Airlines checkpoint operations at Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport were shut down Sunday after TSA and local authorities tried to find a passenger that wasn’t fully screened.

The Terminal C shutdown threw vacation plans and flight connections into chaos. Law enforcement sources told Fox 5 News there wasn’t just one close call here – there were two and both had to do with potential bomb making materials.

The lines were long and frustration was high at Newark Airport after the incidents. The TSA says a woman who set off an alarm managed to get past a screening point and onto a flight to Cleveland without being checked for what caused the alarm.

The TSA says it notified the Port Authority Police after the incident. The Port Authority says every single passenger had to be re-screened.

Law enforcement sources told Fox 5 News what officials left out of their public statements – that the woman had tested positive for residue of possible explosive material on her hands, and slipped away from the TSA before she could be thoroughly screened.

About two hours earlier there was another incident that was detailed in a report obtained exclusively by Fox 5 News. Sources say a positive explosives alert it was generated by an oversized checked bag that set off an alarm for possible explosives material.

The bag went missing for about 45 minutes. The TSA says the bag was eventually found and the Essex County Bomb Squad determined it was not a threat.

But the snafu started a very tough day for travelers.

Port Authority Police had to assist with crowd control while TSA agents contended with long lines of passengers waiting to get on their flights.

United Airlines says after the three hour shutdown, flights resumed and they were able to accommodate most passengers.

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Mansfield Township New Jersey Police Arrest Man On Bogus Charges For Wearing Superhero Costume – No Laws In State Prohibit What People Can Or Can’t Wear – Has Been Doing It For Months

August 6, 2012

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY – The attorney for a New Jersey man dressed in a superhero outfit when he was arrested last Wednesday thinks police overreacted.

William Ware characterized the arrest of Matthew Argintar as “a classic case of overkill.”

Police said Argintar, 23, was wearing a mask, a bulletproof vest, elbow and arm pads, a cape and carrying handcuffs when he was arrested July 31 outside the Home Depot on Route 57.

“I’m not aware of anything in the law that would prohibit anyone from dressing how they choose to dress,” William Ware told CBSNewYork.com. Ware is representing Argintar.

“Whether he was in a tuxedo, scuba outfit, or however he was dressed that day, there’s nothing preventing anyone from dressing how they choose.”

Police charged Argintar with disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of handcuffs. If convicted, Argintar could face up to seven months in county jail.

Matthew Argintar is shown in a mask on his arrest on Aug. 1, 2012. (credit: Mansfield Township Police)

“There is nothing illegal about what he did that day,” Ware said. “I’m of the opinion police acted prematurely.”

Argintar, an Army veteran, said he was trying to inspire hope by dressing like a superhero. He told the Lehigh Valley Express-Times he had been “doing this for months” at night. “We are out there to try and inspire hope because that’s what the people need right now: Hope.”

“His entire intention was to be someone to help people,” Ware said. “We may not necessarily take that road. His intentions were all good. His intentions were pure. I think the police seized on this opportunity and I think it is a classic case of overkill.”

Ware disputed previous reporting suggesting Argintar was approaching people in the parking lot. Ware said instead “people were walking up to him” and “the last thing he wanted to do was cause any public alarm.”

Mansfield Township police declined to speak with CBSNewYork.com about the arrest.

Ware acknowledged people are on edge after James Holmes allegedly opened fire on a crowded theater in Aurora, Colo. during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“The timing is unfortunate,” Ware said. “Some people might disagree with the timing, but from his viewpoint it was perfect timing, because he thought he was trying to turn it on his head.”

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Gold Necklace On 3 Year Old Being Held By 71 Year Old Grandmother Snatched By Savage Black Beast In New Jersey Who’s Twice Been Imprisoned For Selling Drugs

August 5, 2012

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY – A Jersey City felon has been charged with snatching a necklace from a 3-year-old girl who was in the arms of her 71-year-old grandmother, officials said.

Shamar Woodson, 32, of Oak Street, was charged with robbery following the 4:15 p.m. incident at Academy Street and Bergen Avenue Thursday, a police report says.

Woodson robbed the girl by “physically grabbing, pulling and removing a gold chain from juvenile victim (name omitted) causing a scratch on the victim’s neck,” the criminal complaint says.

Witnesses pointed police in the direction Woodson had fled and officers canvassing the area spotted him and he was identified as the robber, an official said.

Woodson shook his head when his bail was set at $75,000 cash only at his first court appearance on the charges this afternoon in Central Judicial Processing court via video link from Hudson County jail in Kearny.

Woodson was in prison from July 28, 2000 to Nov. 15, 2001 and Sept. 19, 2002 to May 12, 2006 for three counts each of drug distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, and drug possession, corrections records say.

On Tuesday, a 55-year-old woman who was standing with her grandchildren on the corner of Forrest and Bergen avenues was robbed of a gold chain by someone riding a bicycle

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Aisha Indicted After Biting Atlantic City Police Officer In 3am Casino Incident

August 4, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – New details were released today in the indictment of a Philadelphia police officer by an Atlantic County grand jury.

According to prosecutors, Officer Aisha Pleasant, 36, was arrested at Caesar’s Atlantic City casino early on the morning of March 4 after an altercation with Atlantic City police.

Pleasant, a three-year veteran, had refused a 3 a.m. request by security to leave the casino. Police responded and were escorting Pleasant off the property when she assaulted one of the Atlantic City officers, biting him on the hand, said Jim McClain the acting Atlantic County Prosecutor.

Pleasant struggled with the officers until she was subdued and handcuffed. She was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and trespassing. On June 19, the grand jury was charged with assault of a police officer and related counts.

Philadelphia police announced Wednesday that Pleasant would be suspended with intent to dismiss, but had released no further information.

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Car Veered Off Road And Became Airborne, Cleared 6 Mini Coopers At Auto Dealership Before Damaging 2 And Landing Upside Down On The 7th – Why Yes, There Was A Woman Driving…

August 3, 2012

WEST WINDSOR, NEW JERSEY – A car that veered off Route 1 during the rush-hour commute this morning hit a fence and went flying over six Mini Coopers at an auto dealership before landing upside-down on a seventh, police said.

The woman who was driving the car survived and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation, police said.

The accident took place at 8:33 a.m. on northbound Route 1 just past Quakerbridge Road, near the BMW of Princeton dealership, Lt. William Bastedo said.

“It went off the road approximately 122 feet prior to the BMW dealer, drove on the grass, hit a fence and went airborne,” Bastedo said.

In addition to taking out the dealership’s sign, the car damaged a total of nine Mini Coopers, and was significantly damaged itself when it landed on its roof. Police did not explain how all the Minis were damaged.

The driver was extricated by arriving fire crews, and was taken to University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro for a precautionary evaluation of her neck and back.

The woman may have suffered a medical emergency while behind the wheel, but police are still investigating, Bastedo said.

The accident caused a “traffic nightmare,” the township police said in a news release.

Bastedo said that the highway was not blocked at all, but rubbernecking led to significant delays at the tail end of the morning commute.

“From what I heard on the radio, it was backed up to Interstate 95,” he said.

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Dickhead Port Orange New Jersey Police Officer Michael Garay Told Woman To Show Him How Her Husband Choked Her, Arrests Her Just For Touching Him – Entrapment

July 28, 2012

PORT ORANGE, NEW JERSEY – A Port Orange police officer asked a woman to show him how her husband tried to strangle her and when the woman put two fingers on the policeman’s neck, she got arrested, records show.

Officer Michael Garay, responding to a domestic disturbance, charged Claudia Ambroziak, 58, with battery on a law enforcement officer, although he asked the woman for the demonstration, police reports state.

“I asked Claudia to show me how Joe (Ambroziak) choked her,” Garay wrote in his report. “Claudia was able to place approximately two fingers and her thumb around the front of my neck…was able to apply pressure to the front of my neck.”

Garay said he then grabbed Claudia Ambroziak’s hand “before she was able to apply any more pressure to my neck,” and charged her with battery on a law enforcement officer, according to his report.

The incident happened when Garay responded to a domestic disturbance call at 10:57 a.m. Wednesday at a Hoyt Drive home in Port Orange. Joe Ambroziak told Garay his wife of 33 years kicked him in the back while they were arguing and tried to attack him. Joe Ambroziak told the officer he protected himself by placing his right hand around Claudia Ambroziak’s neck.

And when interviewing Claudia Ambroziak, Garay asked her to show him how her husband choked her. The woman jumped off the couch and said “I’ll show how you how he did,” and reached out to place her fingers on the officer’s neck.

She got arrested for touching the officer. Claudia Ambroziak was also charged with domestic battery.

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Trenton New Jersey Police Officer Richard Takach Suspended Being Photographed Sleeping In His Patrol Car

July 27, 2012

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY — An off-duty city police officer has been suspended without pay after he was photographed sleeping in his patrol car between extra duty assignments Wednesday morning.

Officer Richard Takach, a 12-year member of the force, had worked a 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift and a side job from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., a police union official said. In a photo posted on Twitter, he was shown sleeping during an hour-long break before his next extra duty shift was to resume at 8 a.m.

Takach was in his city police uniform and in a marked patrol car when he was photographed. He is scheduled to have a departmental hearing Monday.

Detective Peter Szpakowski, a police spokesman, said an internal affairs investigation is under way. He declined further comment.

George Dzurkoc, president of Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 11, said Takach was technically off-duty at the time.

“The suspension is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “It doesn’t appear that the department is doing a thorough investigation on things before overreacting with comments in the paper about officers’ wrongdoings.”

He said he is confident the suspension will not be upheld.

“At the end of the day, you are going to find out that this is an unwarranted suspension,” he said.

Attorney Stuart Alterman, of the Marlton-based Alterman & Associates, LLC, who is representing Takach, said the officer was “resting.”

“He was photographed in his car while he was on his time, not being paid, on a break,” said Alterman. “He was looking the other way, wearing sunglasses … he was probably taking a break and he was resting.”

Alterman said Takach was fully aware of his surroundings.

When asked if he was asleep, he replied that he was “resting.”

The assignment he was working was an emergency extra-duty assignment that came after a transformer explosion in the city late Tuesday night, Alterman said.

Takach was on the scene as PSE&G officials worked to make repairs, and at 7 a.m. he was relieved for an hour until the next crew of utility workers arrived at 8 a.m. to resume work.

Alterman said the city police department’s manpower has been compromised by layoffs and attrition, and that Takach was filling in to meet an immediate need. The story has left out his unblemished record, he said.

Calls to police director Ralph Rivera Jr. yesterday were not returned.

It is not the department’s first time a photo has depicted a uniformed officer at rest. Lt. Paul Messina, who has been promoted to acting captain and placed at the helm of the department’s administrative section, was disciplined in 2003 and 2007 for falling asleep while on duty.

The incidents were captured on video that was widely viewed on the internet and led to him being nicknamed “Captain Sleepy.”

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See Something, Say Something – Alert Building Superintendent Finds And Reports Apartment In New Jersey That New York City Police Officers Use For Spying

July 25, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY – It’s an audiotape the New York Police Department hoped you would never hear.

A building superintendent at an apartment complex just off the Rutgers University campus called the New Brunswick Police 911 line in June 2009. He said his staff had been conducting a routine inspection and came across something suspicious.

“What’s suspicious?” the dispatcher asked.

“Suspicious in the sense that the apartment has about — has no furniture except two beds, has no clothing, has New York City Police Department radios.”

“Really?” the dispatcher asked, her voice rising with surprise.

The caller, Salil Sheth, had stumbled upon one of the NYPD’s biggest secrets: a safe house, a place where undercover officers working well outside the department’s jurisdiction could lie low and coordinate surveillance. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the NYPD, with training and guidance from the CIA, has monitored the activities of Muslims in New York and far beyond. Detectives infiltrated mosques, eavesdropped in cafes and kept tabs on Muslim student groups, including at Rutgers.

The NYPD kept files on innocent sermons, recorded the names of political organizers in police documents and built databases of where Muslims lived and shopped, even where they were likely to gather to watch sports. Out-of-state operations, like the one in New Brunswick, were one aspect of this larger intelligence-gathering effort. The Associated Press previously described the discovery of the NYPD inside the New Jersey apartment, but police now have released the tape of the 911 call and other materials after a legal fight.

“There’s computer hardware, software, you know, just laying around,” the caller continued. “There’s pictures of terrorists. There’s pictures of our neighboring building that they have.”

“In New Brunswick?” the dispatcher asked, sounding as confused as the caller.

Police refused to hand over tape

The AP requested a copy of the 911 tape last year. Under pressure from the NYPD, the New Brunswick Police Department refused. After the AP sued, the city this week turned over the tape and emails that described the NYPD’s efforts to keep the recording a secret.

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The call sent New Brunswick police and the FBI rushing to the apartment complex. Officers and agents were surprised at what they found. None had been told that the NYPD was in town.

At the NYPD, the bungled operation was an embarrassment. It made the department look amateurish and forced it to ask the FBI to return the department’s materials.

The emails highlight the sometimes convoluted arguments the NYPD has used to justify its out-of-state activities, which have been criticized by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and some members of Congress. The NYPD has infiltrated and photographed Muslim businesses and mosques in New Jersey, monitored the Internet postings of Muslim college students across the Northeast and traveled as far away as New Orleans to infiltrate and build files on liberal advocacy groups.

In February, NYPD’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, Andrew Schaffer, told reporters that detectives can operate outside New York because they aren’t conducting official police duties.

“They’re not acting as police officers in other jurisdictions,” Schaffer said.

In trying to keep the 911 tape under wraps, however, the NYPD made no mention of the fact that its officers were not acting as police. In fact, Lt. Cmdr. William McGroarty and Assistant Chief Thomas Galati argued that releasing the recording would jeopardize investigations and endanger the people and buildings.

Renting under a false name

Further, the apartment, No. 1076, was rented by an undercover NYPD officer using a fake name that he was still using, New Brunswick attorneys told the AP.

“Such identification will place the safety of any officers identified, as well as the undercover operatives with whom they work, at risk,” Galati wrote in a letter to New Brunswick.

The city deleted that name from the copy of the tape that it released.

Reached by phone Tuesday, McGroarty declined to discuss the New Brunswick operation. But the recording offers a glimpse inside the safe house: a small apartment with two computers, dozens of black plastic boxes and no furniture or clothes except one suit.

“And pictures of our neighboring buildings?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes, the Matrix building,” Sheth replied, referring to a local developer. “There’s pictures of terrorists. There’s literature on the Muslim religion.”

New York authorities have encouraged people like Sheth to call 911. In its “Eight Signs of Terrorism,” people are encouraged to call the police if they see evidence of surveillance, information gathering, suspicious activities or anything that looks out of place.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the police department’s right to go anywhere in the country in search of terrorists without telling local police. And New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa has said he’s seen no evidence that the NYPD’s efforts violated his state’s laws.

Muslim groups, however, have sued to shut down the NYPD programs. Civil rights lawyers have asked a federal judge to decide whether the spying violates federal rules that were set up to prevent a repeat of NYPD abuses of the 1950s, when police Red Squads spied on student groups and activists in search of communists.

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Broke-Ass And Pathetic Middletown New Jersey Sold $140 Delinquent Sewer Bill Lien To Investor – Costing Homeowner $50,000

July 24, 2012

For Dominick Vulpis, a $140 sewer bill has become a $50,000 nightmare. delinquent

Vulpis didn’t know he had a big problem with the four-year-old bill until last December, he said, when he was served with papers notifying him that he had lost his Middletown, N.J., home to foreclosure. Neither he nor his wife were notified of the foreclosure process until the final judgment was granted last December, he said.

“It was never brought to my attention until it was too late and we were served with papers saying we had to move out of our house,” said Vulpis, a 60-year-old plumber. “I may pay a bill late, but I pay them. I’m not trying to beat anyone for $140.”

Incredibly, that $140 debt snowballed to the loss of his home after the town sold the lien on his property to an investor, an increasingly common practice as cash-strapped cities and towns try to raise badly needed revenues to close widening budget gaps.

Vulpis eventually got the foreclosure overturned and didn’t have to move out of his house, but not before his attorney negotiated a settlement with the investor. His mortgage company put up $37,500, which was paid to the investor and will be added to Vulpis’ mortgage balance, according to his attorney, who is now negotiating a loan modification with the lender. Combined with attorney fees and added interest for the higher mortgage balance, Vulpis’ total tab could top $50,000.

Though situations like the one that ensnared Vulpis are still relatively rare, such tax lien sales are landing more people in foreclosure proceedings as the weak economy batters local government budgets and homeowners’ finances. A recent report by the National Consumer Law Center estimated that local governments raised some $15 billion with tax lien sales in 2010, the latest data available.

Until recently, the bulk of tax liens sales were for unpaid assessments on failed or unfinished commercial developments, according to Anthony Mercantante, the administrator for Middletown Township, which sold Vulpis’ tax bill.

“Now you’re seeing more and more single-family homes pop up on the tax lien list,” he said. “They’re owner-occupied homes with people who are having trouble keeping up with their tax payments.”

Local governments have long used tax lien sales to offload the burden of collecting unpaid taxes and recoup cash from homeowners who missed payments. The rules governing such sales vary from state to state, but typically involve auctioning off past-due property tax bills.

Investors bid for the right to collect the debt plus interest that can run as high as 18 percent, attorney fees and other expenses that are not capped in some states. The rules typically give the homeowner a grace period to pay off the investor and reclaim their property. But the tough economy has made that harder to do.

“People who used to be able to rely on their kids can’t really do it anymore,” said Laura Newland, an AARP attorney in Washington, D.C., who helps defend homeowners in tax lien foreclosures. “The kids are unemployed and struggling themselves and don’t have the money to help out.”

If the homeowner can’t come up with the money, the investor can foreclose on the home and negotiate a larger settlement. Once the foreclosure is granted, they can claim the entire equity in the property — a payoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars for buying a tax lien worth just a few hundred dollars.

“Investors will say to the grave, ‘We’re in it just for the interest: We don’t want to deal with someone’s house,’” said Newland. “For some of them I think that’s true. For others, based on their litigation tactics, that can’t be true.”

John Makely / NBC News

Dominick Vulpis and his wife LindaRose Vulpis stand in the kitchen of their house which they almost lost over a $140 water bill from their town.

Does it help fill tax coffers?
Critics of the practice argue that such outsized profits for third-party investors produce no added benefit to municipal tax coffers, despite the potentially devastating consequences for homeowners.

“Property tax collection procedures should encourage repayment rather than property loss,” said NCLC attorney John Rao, who prepared the recent report. “And they should not provide an opportunity for speculators to earn huge profits off of homeowner distress.”

For the investor who bought Vulpis’ water bill, the settlement represents a payoff of more than 260 times the original bill.

Vulpis said the investor, Approved Realty Group, doesn’t deserve such an outsized return.

“I think he stuck me up without a gun, this guy,” said Vulpis. “If he was a nice guy he could have said, ‘OK, I understand what happened, give me $5,000 for my troubles.’ But he wanted a lot of money.”

Approved Realty Group did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Attorneys who defend homeowners in these cases say they can be costly to fight.

“I have represented people for years,” said Newland. “Part of that is because the calendar is so full.”

Housing advocates note that among the hardest hit are elderly and unemployed homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure. Subprime borrowers are also disproportionately vulnerable. During the housing boom, many subprime lenders wrote loans to low-income borrowers without including the cost of tax payments to entice them with artificially low estimated monthly payments. Most prime loans require that a mortgage servicing company set up and manage an escrow account to accumulate property taxes and insurance premiums monthly and then pay those bills on the homeowner’s behalf.

Defenders of the practice selling tax liens argue that late payments are more than just an inconvenience for local tax collectors: They raise costs that will eventually have to be borne by homeowners who pay on time.

“If we have to make a quarterly tax payment to the board of education of $10 million but we’ve only collected $7 million because people are slow in making their tax payments, we would have to bridge that gap by financing it and paying interest on that,” said Mercante. “So all the other taxpayers are paying a penalty because someone else is paying their taxes. (Selling tax liens) seems a little bit cold, but taxes by their nature are a cold process.”

Moreover, they say, the vast majority of tax liens sold to investors are settled before a foreclosure judgment is granted.

“All of the protections that exist for the homeowners in foreclosure law continue to exist,” said James Brooks, program director at the National League of Cities. So selling a tax lien is not selling a deed to a property. The homeowner whose lien has been sold is still protected by all the relevant aspects of law.

But attorneys say homeowners often aren’t given proper notice to defend their home from seizure before it’s too late.

Two years ago, the District of Columbia sold a tax lien on the home Stanley Stefan lived in for nearly 40 years. The problem started six years ago, after district tax officials erroneously revoked a homestead exemption, which has since been restored, he said. But Stefan, a 68-year-old retired chauffeur, said he didn’t learn until this year that there’s still an unpaid balance on his tax bill, which an investor is now trying to collect, with interest. Stefan has hired an attorney to try to reverse the tax sale.

“I want my property and no payment: I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong,” he said. “I paid what I owed. I shouldn’t be held accountable for a mistake the district made.”

Some states and local governments have moved to protect homeowners from the harshest outcomes. Last year, New York City passed an ordinance that allows homeowners to work out payment plans when they fall behind, caps the rate investors can charge on uncollected tax bills and banned tax lien sales for debts of less than $2,000. The law also made it easier for homeowners to apply for an exemption that prevents their liens from being sold. As a result, the number of tax lien sales has dropped 24 percent so far this year, according to the New York City Comptroller’s office

“It helps to strike a balance between those two imperatives: the need for cities to raise more revenues and to make sure that actions the city takes are not creating further harm for lower income families that are already feeling the pinch,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, a New York group that lobbied for the changes.

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Dumbass Voorhees New Jersey Police Officer Jeffrey Tyther Suspended And Charged After Using Motor Vehicle Database And Facebook To Stalk Woman Motorist

July 24, 2012

VOORHEES, NEW JERSEY – Authorities say a police officer in New Jersey misused his powers and computer in a bid to friend a woman on Facebook.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk says 44-year-old Voorhees Patrolman Jeffrey Tyther used the motor vehicle database to gather personal information after the woman drove pass him in his police car.

Authorities say the 14-year veteran of the police force used the information to find the woman on Facebook and attempted to “friend” her.

Authorities say Tyther emailed the woman when she didn’t respond and identified himself as the police officer who had waved at her.

The woman told a co-worker, who contacted police.

Tyther is suspended without pay, charged with computer theft and violating the motor vehicle record law.

It’s not known whether he has an attorney.

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Berlin Borough New Jersey Police Chief Michael Kim Arrested And Charged After Beating His Wife With A Chair – She Now Claims Injuries Were From A Heating Pad Attack…

July 19, 2012

BERLIN BOROUGH, NEW JERSEY — The top cop in Berlin Borough has been charged with simple assault in the wake of an alleged domestic incident this month involving his wife.

But both acting Police Chief Michael DeLorenzo and his wife Kim are hoping the 45-year-old’s name will be cleared at a municipal court hearing scheduled for Thursday.

According to Evesham police, the 23-year-veteran officer was charged with simple assault after officers responded for a reported early-morning dispute at a Marlton home on July 2.

An ensuing investigation determined DeLorenzo had allegedly struck his wife with a chair, “causing injury that was visible to officers,” police said.

Due to the injuries, DeLorenzo, who had left the home, was charged after he came to Evesham police headquarters.

But in reaching out to the Courier-Post on Monday, DeLorenzo’s wife, Kim, called the whole incident a “horrible mistake,” saying she was never struck by her husband.

“He never did anything,” she said of Michael. “I’m doing everything I can to fix this for him. He never struck me with anything.”

Kim said she had been drinking at the time and became angered when Michael left the home during an argument and that she subsequently called police.

She said Monday that the alleged injuries found by police were from a heating pad she sleeps on.

Kim said she later went back to police in attempts to get the charges dropped and said she plans to make the same appeal in court on Thursday.

John Sitzler, DeLorenzo’s attorney, declined to comment on the specifics of the incident on Monday but said he too expects the charges to be dropped on Thursday.

In the meantime, DeLorenzo continues to work in an active duty capacity, Sitzler said.

DeLorenzo was named to the acting police chief’s position in April, according to borough records.

Berlin Borough officials declined to comment on the matter on Monday.

Speaking to domestic violence cases in general, Evesham police Lt. Joseph Friel said state statutes require an officer make an arrest if an injury is observed during a domestic violence investigation.

“When we have probable cause at the scene to believe someone is injured as part of a domestic violence dispute we make an arrest,” he said.

And because of the nature of the investigations, police never dismiss a domestic-violence related charge before going to court, Friel said.

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office is overseeing the investigation into the matter.

Per state attorney general guidelines, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office will conduct an internal investigation into the matter since DeLorenzo is a police chief.

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Trenton New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack’s, Brother’s, And Sex Offender Donor’s Home Searched During Middle Of The Night Raids By FBI

July 19, 2012

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY — The FBI says it searched two other homes during a middle-of-the-night raid of the house of Trenton, N.J., Mayor Tony Mack.

Tax records show the properties belong to Ralphiel Mack, the mayor’s brother, and to Joseph Giorgianni, a convicted sex offender who donated to Tony Mack’s run for mayor.

Federal authorities will not say what they are investigating.

The mayor says he has not violated the public trust but declined further comment.

Telephone messages seeking comment from his brother, a high school football coach in Trenton, and from Giorgianni were not returned.

Mack’s two-year administration of New Jersey’s impoverished capital city has been marked by accusations of cronyism and reckless spending. Questions have also lingered about the financing of his campaign at a time of personal financial problems.

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Serial Sex Offender Arrested 169th Time After Groping Woman On New Jersey Train

July 18, 2012

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY – A registered sex offender from Brooklyn has been arrested on charges he groped a New Jersey woman aboard a PATH train on two occasions, Port Authority police said.

Gian Verdelli, 61, was arrested Monday in Jersey City by undercover officers, who identified him by using a cell phone photo the 28-year woman took of her alleged attacker after a July 3 incident. She said the same man had also groped her on June 30.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The alleged serial groper would target crowded rush hour trains, naturally pressing his flesh against other passengers and molesting young women, authorities said.

Verdelli is charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Verdelli had 168 prior arrests, the majority of which were for sexual offenses, officials said.

The arrest had many women who ride the PATH train concerned and outraged.

“There should be laws that keep people like that in jail a little bit longer,” one commuter said.

Another woman said she is always on guard during her commute and will move away if she spots someone suspicious.

Verdelli is being held without bail.

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New Jersey State Corrections Officer Rickey Muse Arrested, Charged With Lying To Police About Fatal Shooting And Ignoring Persons Tampering With The Crime Scene – Said He Didn’t Know Nothing, Then Changed Story

July 18, 2012

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY — A state corrections officer is accused of lying to investigators about a fatal shooting and turning a blind eye as others tampered with the crime scene.

Rickey Muse, 33, was at a barbershop in the 1200 block of Haddon Avenue when a passing van was riddled with gunfire, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. A 17-year-old in the van, Reynaldo Morales, was killed and two others were injured.

Muse failed to call 911 after the shooting and allegedly gave false information to homicide detectives, according to prosecutor’s spokesman Jason Laughlin.

He said Muse also did not act as someone removed shell casings from the sidewalk outside the Supreme Barber Shop. Muse did not remove the evidence himself but was “aware it was happening and did nothing to prevent it,” Laughlin said.

He said Muse, who identified himself as a corrections officer, initially told investigators he neither saw nor heard anything. However, the city man later changed his story.

“It’s offensive that a law enforcement officer, who has the affirmative duty to report any information regarding a crime, would act like a street thug by providing false information,” Prosecutor Warren Faulk said in a statement. “Such conduct will not be tolerated.”

Muse, a six-year veteran most recently assigned to a Trenton facility, was charged with hindering apprehension after turning himself in to police, Laughlin said.

A representative of the state Department of Corrections could not be reached for comment.

Laughlin said Muse was a regular customer at the barbershop, which was itself shut down after the shooting.

Authorities have said the shop is believed to have connections to Bloods gang factions believed to be responsible for three homicides last week, including the death of Morales.

Investigators believe the deadly violence began July 10 when 27-year-old Ralph Carstarphen was gunned down near Roberts and Royden streets in the Cooper Plaza area.

The next day, two masked men fatally shot 19-year-old Jovan Aponte in the 800 block of Walnut Street around 3 p.m.

Four hours later, the gunfire erupted outside the barbershop, killing Morales.

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Flat Rock New Jersey Police Officer Charles Richard Sanders Jr. Pleads Guilty To His Part In Illegal Gambling Operation – Trenton City Employee Pleads Guilty For A Slap On The Wrist After Agreeing To Testify Against Officer

July 12, 2012

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – An employee of the City of Trenton and a former Flat Rock police sergeant pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal gambling operation.

Kevin James Sargent, 35, of Grosse Ile and Charles Richard Sanders Jr., 46, of Gibraltar were arrested in January for conducting an illegal gambling operation involving wagers on professional and college football games conducted on city time with taxpayer resources, according to a release from the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

Sargent currently works for the Trenton Department of Public Works. Trenton City Administrator Jim Wagner said Sargent will remain an employee as long as he has not violated employment agreements. Wagner declined further comment.

Sargent pleaded guilty to 14 counts of illegal sports betting, a misdemeanor offense, before Judge James Chylinskion of Wayne County Circuit Court on March 28, 2012, and agreed to testify against Sanders. Sargent will be sentenced to two years probation.

Sanders, no longer a Flat Rock police officer, is set to face sentencing before Judge Vera Massey Jones on Aug. 10, 2012, at Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit.

Sanders pleaded guilty to two counts of felony misconduct in office before Jones on July 11. Each count carries with it a possible sentence of five years in prison. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette noted his office will seek incarceration for Sanders, according to the release.
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New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union Branch Releases Smartphone App That Allows Users To Secretly Record Police Stops

July 3, 2012

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – New Jersey’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken its mission of policing the police to smartphones.

The ACLU has released an app called “Police Tape” that lets users secretly record police stops.

The ACLU’s Alexander Shalom said the app is easy to use.

“There’s really only three buttons that the user needs to deal with,” Shalom said. “There’s a know your rights button that educates the citizen about their rights when encountering police on the street, in a car, in their home or when they’re going to be placed under arrest, and there’s a button to record audio and a button to record video.”

WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reports

Shalom hopes the app will deter police officers from misusing their power.

“You can think back to when Rodney King was beaten at the hands of the LAPD,” Shalom said. “For years, we’ve watched the police on video and that’s led to reforms and police accountability, but now that cellphones and smartphones are becoming more ubiquitous, people have this ability to videotape. It really is a cutting-edge tool to ensure accountability in the 21st century.”

The app lets users record audio and video discretely with a stealth mode that hides the fact that the recording is happening.

Shalom said officers would also have a harder time deleting the recorded incidents.

“Unlike a recording that’s just done in the standard camera or video mode on someone’s telephone, it’s a little more complicated to find these files and delete them. So it can theoretically be done but it would take a far more tech-savvy police officer to do it,” Shalom said.

Users can store the recording on their phones or send a copy to the ACLU-NJ for backup storage and analysis of possible civil liberties violations.

WATCH: How Does It Work?

The app is currently available for Android users and a version for iPhones is in the works.

The New York branch of the ACLU released a similar app, called “Stop-and-Frisk Watch,” last month.

ACLU leaders said the only other branch with an app like this one is New York.

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Veteran New Jersey State Police Trooper Staff Sgt. Steven M. Jones Stole Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Gasoline From State Fuel Pumps – Gets Sweet Retirement Deal With Pension That Doesn’t Include Prison Time

June 26, 2012

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY — For more than three years, a veteran State Police trooper stole thousands of dollars worth of gasoline from state fuel pumps for his personal vehicles without being detected — and when authorities did catch on, he was not charged criminally and was allowed to retire with pension.

Disciplinary records obtained by The Star-Ledger show Staff Sgt. Steven M. Jones admitted in April that he stole 3,128 gallons of gas valued at $7,038 from October 2007 to March 2011. The 25-year trooper then retired under a negotiated plea agreement with internal affairs.

At the same time that Jones was fueling up on the taxpayers’ dime, a government watchdog warned the State Police it was not doing enough to track gas use by troopers.

“There are documented cases where abuses have been discovered,” the Office of the State Auditor said in a 2008 report. “However, systematic monitoring is not performed.”

The findings echoed the auditor’s concerns raised a year earlier about weaknesses in how the state monitors fuel fill-ups for its entire fleet — a system overseen by the state Treasury Department, which at the time vowed to make improvements.

Five years later, the state has yet to award a contract that would enact safeguards to curtail state troopers and other employees from stealing gas.

“Until all safeguards are in place, there remains a risk of abuse,” said Peter McAleer, spokesman for the state Comptroller’s Office, which documented weak oversight over vehicles used by the Department of Children and Families in 2009.

The Treasury Department said it is now reviewing contract proposals for a new system to monitor fill-ups through real-time reporting of details such as who requested the gas and how much was pumped. Officials would not say if there is a timetable for awarding a contract.

“These types of things, particularly high-tech systems like this, tend to take awhile to actually get the contract in place,” a spokesman for Treasury, Bill Quinn, said.

In the case of trooper Jones, a spokesman for the State Police, Acting Sgt. 1st Class Brian Polite, said the incident focused on the “inappropriate actions of one individual.”

“A thorough internal investigation was conducted and appropriate disciplinary actions were taken,” Polite said.

He did not respond to questions about how the theft went on for years without being detected, how Jones was caught or what is done to monitor gas use.

Jones was suspended without pay in March for about two weeks before retiring under the plea agreement with internal affairs. Records show he forfeited his accrued personal, holiday and vacation time, which was worth roughly the same amount that he stole in gas. He is also barred from holding another law enforcement job in New Jersey and from obtaining a gun permit for retired officers, records show.

The State Police Retirement Board last month reduced Jones’ pension from 65 percent of his final salary to 50 percent because of the theft and also revoked his medical benefits. Last year, Jones earned a regular salary of about $105,000, not including overtime and other pay, according to state payroll records.

During the board’s hearing, Jones, 47, said he was a recovering alcoholic but did not always follow his treatment routine during the time he stole the gas. He also said he worked a large amount of overtime but could not overcome his debt, which led to his actions.

“Sometimes I do things I don’t normally do,” Jones said. He did not return a phone call seeking further comment.
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Jones was not charged criminally, and case law prevents a police officer’s admission during an administrative review to be the basis for subsequent criminal charges. A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, Paul Loriquet, declined to comment specifically about the case.

“If we have sufficient proof that a law enforcement officer has committed a crime, we’ll prosecute that officer, as we would any other individual that committed a crime,” Loriquet said.

A source familiar with the case said it was reviewed by prosecutors at the Attorney General’s Office and there was not enough evidence to bring charges. The source was not allowed to discuss criminal investigations and requested anonymity.

The state Auditor’s report in 2008 noted the weak protections of the State Police’s fueling system. Most gas cards are assigned to individual patrol cars, though some are “transient” cards that can be used by any trooper at a particular barracks.

Three sources with knowledge of the State Police’s fueling system said it relies largely on the honor system and not every fueling yard has cameras to deter abuse. The sources requested anonymity because they were not allowed to speak with the media.

In addition, though fuel pumps ask for a badge number after a card is swiped, a trooper can enter anyone’s badge number and get gas. The auditor’s report said that makes tracking individual usage difficult.

“Having a more secure identification number associated with each transaction would make monitoring more effective,” the report said.

In its review of the state’s entire fuel monitoring system in 2007, the auditor noted there were multiple fill-ups on the same day, fill-ups exceeding fuel tank capacities and inconsistent mileage tracking.

The state has in the past charged public employees for stealing gas.

In 2008, the Attorney General’s Office charged a dozen public employees, including six with ties to the Department of Children and Families, in connection with stealing about 1,400 gallons of gas for their personal vehicles from government-run pumps.

In response to the arrests, the Comptroller’s Office reviewed the department and found hundreds of questionable fuel transactions and weak oversight. McAleer, the spokesman for the office, said the department has since made substantial improvements.

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Former Asbury Park New Jersey Councilwoman Call For Enforcing Bathing Suit Ban On Beach Boardwalk – Worried “Skimpy Attire” Threatens Imaginary “Classy” Image She Has Of Asbury

June 26, 2012

ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY – It’s against the law to wear a swim suit on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

Former Councilwoman Louise Murray is pressing the city council to enforce the ordinance, which was adopted more than 40 years ago.

The ordinance says: “No person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or the public walks adjacent thereto.”

Murray tells The Star-Ledger of Newark she’s worried allowing boardwalk bar and restaurant patrons to wear skimpy attire threatens Asbury’s “classy” image.

Deputy Mayor John Loffredo tells the newspaper it’s up to businesses to set dress codes and the city doesn’t have the resources to enforce the ban.

Changing rooms that once were connected to the beach by tunnels and catwalks disappeared years ago.

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Hainesport Township New Jersey Considers Fines Of Up To $2,000 For Feeding Birds

June 25, 2012

HAINESPORT, NEW JERSEY – PLEASE stop feeding those wild turkeys!

That may be the only humane way to deal with a foul flock of birds in Hainesport Township, New Jersey that seems to be getting increasingly aggressive.

“They come after my car all the time,” Melanie Morton told the Burlington County Times.

Morton said she even witnessed a wild turkey attacking a jogger one day.

“It was terrifying,” Morton said.

Morton decided to investigate a little more; find out why the wild turkeys were hanging around her neighborhood. She claims a neighbor has been feeding them. So now the town is considering an ordinance to ban folks from feeding the birds. Violators would faces fines up to $2,000.

Larry Hajna, with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, estimates there about 30 wild turkeys, but only a handful of true troublemakers.

“There appears to be a couple of bad actors. . .a couple of bad turkeys giving the flock a bad name.”

The don’t-feed-the-birds public hearing is set for July 10.

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New Jersey Shuts Down Red Light Cameras In 21 Cities After Finding They Don’t Meet Legal Requirements For Yellow Light Timing

June 21, 2012

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) yesterday ordered a halt to red light camera ticketing in 21 cities. The agency became concerned drivers are being shortchanged and the law violated after learning that 63 of 85 photo ticketing intersections failed to meet legal requirements for yellow signal timing. The agency prohibited ticketing at these locations pending certification of each individual intersection’s timing.

“It has come to the attention of the department that the pilot program legislation specifies a formula to determine the proper duration of the yellow light in a traffic signal that differs from the legally required, nationally accepted formula that NJDOT or municipalities use when installing traffic signals,” NJDOT explained in a statement yesterday.

NJDOT said any camera operating with an overly short yellow will be removed from the camera program. In 2008, lawmakers skeptical of the motives behind photo ticketing inserted a provision into the camera program authorization that put in place one of the most stringent yellow timing provisions in the country. Their goal was to reduce the likelihood that municipalities and private vendors would exploit timing deficiencies to generate ticketing revenue. The National Motorists Association, which helped push for the signal timing law, believes the claims of photo enforcement proponents have been undermined by municipalities in New Jersey.

“Even with the law, the program was not implemented properly,” NMA’s New Jersey chapter coordinator Steve Carrellas said. “It goes to show that camera enforcement should never be allowed since it’s almost never fair to motorists.”

According to NJDOT, only 22 out of 85 intersections were certified with an appropriate yellow signal timing. The law specifies a typical 35 MPH intersection must have at least 3.5 seconds of yellow time, and a 45 MPH intersection would be 4.5 seconds, and so on. Most cities achieve shortened yellow times by posting speed limits far below the actual travel speed of traffic. The law prevents this with a provision specifying that the yellow time can only be set according to the speed at which 85 percent of traffic moves. The net result is that the law mandates significantly longer yellows.

“This requirement aims to ensure that the traffic signal is timed properly to provide motorists with sufficient time to avoid a violation and fine by entering an intersection when the light is red,” NJDOT explained.

The Texas Transportation Institute concluded in 2004 that yellows shorter by a second than the ITE recommended amount generated a 110 percent jump in citations (view report). The vast majority of those extra violations happened within the first 0.25 seconds after the light turned red (see chart).

Ohio and Georgia have similarly tough statues, requiring one second be added to the yellow time of any intersection that has a red light camera. In Georgia, implementation of the law produced an immediate 80 percent reduction in violations, so much that the state’s primary photo ticketing vendor, Lasercraft, was forced to sell its business.

New Jersey’s automated ticketing ban applies to Newark, Linden, Wayne, Palisades Park, Union Township, Springfield (Union County), Roselle Park, Rahway, Englewood Cliffs, Pohatcong, Piscataway, Edison, East Windsor, Lawrence, Cherry Hill, Stratford, Monroe, Brick and Glassboro.

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Nutcase Clifton New Jersey Police Officer Richard Klementovich Arrested After 10 Hour Standoff And Charged With 13 Counts Of Attempted Homicide

June 19, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA – The off-duty New Jersey police officer arrested at his estranged wife’s Philadelphia-area home faces 13 counts of attempted homicide following a 10-hour standoff in which he opened fire with a high-powered rifle.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what sparked the standoff in Doylestown involving a Clifton Township, N.J., police officer.

Forty-two-year-old Richard Klementovich was taken into custody late Sunday night. The standoff started just before 2 p.m. after police were called to the home over a neighborhood dispute.

Authorities say officers were under fire as soon as they arrived at the home. One officer suffered minor injuries from shrapnel.

Officials say Klementovich eventually surrendered to negotiators. He was arraigned early Monday on dozens of charges including aggravated assault. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

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Clifton New Jersey Police Officer Richard Klementovich Nuts Up And Starts Shooting At Pennsylvania Police Officers

June 18, 2012

DOYLESTOWN TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA – An off-duty police officer opened fire Sunday at Pennsylvania authorities dispatched to address a “neighbor dispute,” wounding one officer and pelting several police vehicles with bullets, authorities said.

Doylestown Township police received its call around 1:44 p.m. ET about an apparent quarrel in the community of about 17,500 people, which is located about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, Pennridge Regional Police Department Chief David Mettin told reporters.

About 15 minutes later, a man inside a residence began shooting at approaching authorities.

“One officer has been injured by shrap metal and two police vehicles have been shot,” Mettin said late Sunday afternoon. “And an armored personnel vehicle also was struck.”

Mettin did not give details on the condition of the wounded officer. But he did identify the alleged shooter as Richard Klementovich, a 42-year-old Clifton, New Jersey, police officer.

Sgt. Robert Bracken with the police department in Clifton, which is about 15 miles northwest of New York, confirmed one of its officers is involved in the incident. But he did not identify the department member by name.

He added that Clifton police are on the scene in Doylestown, about 75 miles to southwest, working with authorities there on the matter.

The man was barricaded inside the residence Sunday night, with law enforcement authorities from a host of agencies stationed nearby. Mettin said crime scene and negotiations specialists are among those on site, as are members of the local district attorney’s office and county detectives. He urged local residents to stay inside their homes.

“This is an ongoing incident right now, it changes every few minutes,” Mettin said.

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New Jersey Lawmakers Place Value Of A Dog 100 Times Higher Than A Human Child

June 4, 2012

NEW JERSEY – If I took my dog, and placed him unrestrained in the backseat of my car, this is what would happen: He’d stand at the window and whimper until I opened it. I’d open it a crack or all the way, he wouldn’t care. He’d stick his nose out or his head out, depending on how much window I gave him. I could drive from here to California and that would be that.

Is this safe for the dog? Well, probably not the safest thing. Having him securely fastened would be the safest thing. Also the best thing for me too, as it would automatically dismiss the notion he might try and jump into the front seat.

The state of New Jersey agrees with me on the “not the safest thing” front and under a 1996 state law against animal cruelty, I could be in for some hefty fines if ol’ Sparky is unrestrained. Minimum of $250, up to $1,000, and the possibility of being charged with a disorderly persons offense, which would just jack up the cost even more. The law, as written, states someone cannot “carry a living animal or creature in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner.”

And now the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(NJSPCA) is using this law to stick it to pet owners who let their pets roam free in the car. They had a press conference and everything the other day.

“We’re trying to educate people about distracted driving,” said Mairin Bellack, a public information officer with the Motor Vehicle Commission. “You can’t have your dog sitting on your lap, or sticking its head out the window.”

It’s part safety for the dog, part making sure drivers aren’t distracted, she said. Bellack also wanted to point out if your dog is calmly sitting in the backseat, you’re not getting pulled over. Police and the NJSPCA are just looking for distractions and safety issues. And if you get caught? As stated, the hefty fines of $250 to $1,000. Plus a disorderly persons offense.


If I took my three-year-old son, and placed him unrestrained in the backseat of my car, this is what would happen: He’d be jumping all over the place. He’d definitely try and climb into the front seat. He’d probably attempt to take the wheel. He’d end up on my lap. He’d punch me in my nose. We’d probably crash and die and maybe take a few people with us.

Clearly, this is not safe for the child, for myself, or for anyone else on the road. Thankfully, the state legislature back in 1983 saw fit to enact a law to make sure any child under the age of 8 is legally forced to be properly restrained in a car or booster seat.

Now that’s smart, good government there. Got to keep those kiddos safe and got to make sure the driver isn’t distracted.
And if a police officer — the NJSPCA would have no jurisdiction here — but if a police officer pulled me over to find my child unrestrained and loose in my car, I’d be in big, big trouble to the tune of $10.

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Savage Beast Charged After Strangling 92 Year Old Woman For Change During Door To Door Burglary Spree

June 4, 2012

ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY – Police have a suspect in custody in the case of a 92-year-old woman murdered inside her own house.

Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow announced Monday that Daniel Rios, 38, was charged in the murder of Annette Hempel inside her Elizabeth home.

The prosecutor said Rios knocked on the door and when Hempel opened it he pushed himself in.

“She attempted to scream. He put his hand on her face and pushed her a distance into the living room, onto the floor and then he strangled her,” Romankow said. “He acknowledged that he did this, killed this lady.”

Investigators told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan that Rios walked away with only $360 worth of coins that he took over to a machine at a grocery store and turned into bills. Detectives said Rios had burglarized dozens of homes since January, including one by Hempel’s house, an incident resulting in him being chased by neighbors.

“He would walk home to home, ring door bells. If occupants didn’t answer he would break into their homes,” Elizabeth Police Det. Thomas Koczur said.

Detectives said Hempel was the only victim who made the mistake of opening the door to Rios, a man with a lengthy criminal past that includes burglary and drugs.

“It’s good he’s arrested for what he did. She’s 92 years old. She didn’t deserve this,” neighbor Louis Mojsea said.

Neighbors said even at her advanced age Hempel, who lived with her sister and walked to mass at this church every weekend, was energetic.

“She was always doing something. My brother saw her gardening in the backyard. She would walk to the grocery store and get the paper,” neighbor Fran Bullosa added.

Rios’ last known address is in Elizabeth, but no one answered the door.

“I am afraid we didn’t know. I didn’t see him,” neighbor Julia Calderon said.

Rios was being held on $1 million bail. He’s expected to make his first appearance in court this week.

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Report Of Man Confessing To Church Prayer Group That He Killed 6 Year Old Boy In New York City Was Reported To Camden New Jersey Police By A Relative Decades Ago

May 28, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A member of Pedro Hernandez’s family walked into a Camden, New Jersey, police station in the 1980s and reported that Hernandez told relatives and others that he had killed a boy in New York and threw the body near a Dumpster — but there’s no indication anything came out of that report, the family member told CNN.

“You feel like they didn’t believe you. I felt empty and a little bit mad,” the relative said. “I was expecting something else.”

Now, 33 years after Etan Patz disappeared, Pedro Hernandez stands accused of choking to death the 6-year-old youngster after luring him to the basement of a corner grocery store in New York City and throwing away his body inside a trash bag.

The family member, who CNN has agreed to not identify, said there was no receipt of paperwork to document the information provided — nor was the relative ever contacted again about the report.

“Police asked whether I was mad at him (Hernandez),” or had an ulterior motive, the source added.

Hernandez allegedly confided the information to a New Jersey church prayer group that included some members of his family and his then-spiritual adviser, the source told CNN.

At 19, shortly after Patz’s disappearance on May 25, 1979, Hernandez left his job as a stock clerk and returned to his mother’s home in North Camden, New Jersey. The attempt to tell police that Hernandez might have killed a child happened a few years after that.

CNN has not been able to reach Camden police for comment.

“When he moved home, he was really nervous and shaking all the time,” the family source said of Hernandez. “He constantly had diarrhea, and he spent a lot of time just looking out the window,” the source added, saying the behavior was out of character for Hernandez.

Hernandez also allegedly told his first wife that he had killed a boy, according to the source. CNN has not been able to reach her. The two divorced, and Hernandez has remarried.

Before Hernandez was picked up for questioning last week, the family source was visited by police and asked about any previous confessions from Hernandez about killing someone.

Surprised to be contacted after so many years had gone by without hearing anything, the family member asked, “What took you so long?”

The family member didn’t get an answer and doesn’t know what prompted police to visit.

The relative had no explanation for why no other relative spoke up years ago. “Maybe they didn’t want to get involved,” the source said. “I wasn’t going to stay quiet. I have a conscience.”

On Friday, when Hernandez’ defense attorney announced in court that his client has a long psychiatric history, is on medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and suffers from hallucinations, the family source was surprised.

Attorney Harvey Fishbein said Hernandez — who was on suicide watch at Bellevue Hospital on Sunday — has not entered a plea due to a pending psychiatric evaluation.

New York police say they tracked down Hernandez after a tipster they won’t identify contacted police last month. The person came forward after seeing publicity surrounding the FBI’s search of an unrelated basement in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, a half block from Etan Patz’ home.

New York police have not responded to a request for comment about the latest development.

But in a press conference Thursday, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said no family members or spiritual advisers ever contacted police. It’s not clear whether Kelly was referring to the New York Police Department or any police department.

The Patz case was the first of several high-profile cases that catapulted concern about missing children to the forefront of national consciousness.

The relative of Hernandez is concerned about what Etan Patz’s parents must be going through.

“At this moment, they must be hoping this is the right guy, and they don’t go through this again,” the source said. “It’s going to be like a nightmare for them, if it turns out it’s not Hernandez.”

“They must want to know the truth and get this over with,” the relative added. “At least they will know.”

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Pedophile Catholic Priest Thomas Harkins, Removed From Ministry Over Sex Abuse Allegations, Working For TSA In Sensitive Security Post At Philadelphia Pennsylvania Airport

May 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA,PENNSYLVANIA – The CBS 3 I-Team has learned that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over sex abuse allegations now holds a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport.

The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day. But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.

The I-Team asked Harkins about the suit as he was leaving his shift at the airport.

“I have nothing to say,” was Harkins’ reply.

The new lawsuit, filed in federal court against the Camden Diocese says quite a bit. It accuses Harkins of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl 10 to 15 times in 1980 and 1981. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the alleged victim, claims the abuse occurred while Harkins was a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, NJ, with one assault even occurring in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory.

The I-Team asked Harkins if the traveling public should be worried.

“No, they shouldn’t be,” he said.

“The public should not be worried with you in a position like this despite your past?” reporter Ben Simmoneau asked.

“I have nothing to say,” Harkins repeated.

He then used his TSA badge to walk into a restricted area where our cameras could not follow.

“They should know who they’re hiring,” said Karen Polesir, a Philadelphia spokeswoman with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She believes Harkins’ TSA job is inappropriate.

“As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that.”

A TSA official tells the I-Team Harkins’ title is “Transportation Security Manager, Baggage,” meaning he deals mostly with luggage, not passengers.

“Sure, that’s his title,” Polesir said. “That doesn’t mean that’s where he stays, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fill other roles when necessary.”

The TSA says all its employees go through a criminal background check before they’re hired, but because these cases are so old, criminal charges were not filed. A spokesman says the Camden Diocese settled the first two lawsuits with Harkins’ accusers–it has not seen this suit just yet.

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West New York New Jersey Mayor Felix Roque Arrested After Hacking eMail Account And Website Associated With Constituents Efforts For Recall Election

May 24, 2012

WEST NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY – A New Jersey mayor and his son were arrested Thursday by the FBI for allegedly hacking into an email account and website tied to a recall effort — and then intimidating those associated with the site.

Felix Roque, 55, the Democratic mayor of West New York, N.J., and his son Joseph, 22, allegedly accessed and cancelled the domain registration for Recallroque.com, a website that was critical of the mayor and associated with a movement to recall him in early February.

Joseph Roque learned how to hack email accounts and GoDaddy.com, a domain registration company, by searching the Internet, according to a criminal complaint unsealed after the arrests.

After RecallRoque.com was taken down, the criminal complaint says, Roque placed a telephone call to the proprietor of the website — “Victim 1,” a government official in Hudson County, N.J. — to say that the page had been taken down by “high government officials and that everyone would pay for getting involved against Mayor Roque.”

Roque also allegedly tried to intimidate those involved with the website, telling “Victim 1” that he had a friend on the CIA: “A friend of mine. he works in the — I can’t tell you — three letters — CIA. You know. That’s how I get information. So what I’m doing is not very kosher.”

The announcement of the arrests was made by U.S. Attorney for the district of New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman.

“In this case, the elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their constitutional rights to criticize the government,” Fishman said.

The Roques are charged with gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers; causing damage to protected computers; and conspiracy to commit those crimes. (Go Daddy contends that their security systems were not breached, but instead that the recall website was brought down due to unauthorized access of the email address associated with the domain registration account.)

Felix and Joseph Roque are scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday.

The town of West New York has a population of less than 50,000.

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Savage Black Beasts Put Baby In Landromat Washing Machine – Camden County New Jersey DOESN’T Charge Suspects – VIDEO

May 23, 2012

CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – Putting a 1-year-old inside a washing machine isn’t smart, but it’s also not criminal.

That was the decision of a Camden County prosecutor’s office in at least one New Jersey case, after determining that a baby sitter and her acquaintance were not criminally liable for their decision at a Camden laundry on May 11.

“This was not an intelligent choice to put the baby in the washing machine, but it was not a crime,” said prosecutor’s office spokesman Jason Laughlin.

The incident was captured on the store’s security camera and has since gone viral.

It shows a man placing the child inside the machine and shutting the door, which apparently locked. The washer began its cycle with the baby inside.

The two people then appeared to panic and tugged at the door, unable to open it until an employee unplugged the machine.

“He was scared,” said employee Kong Enh. “I’m upset about what happened but I’m extremely gratified that the child is doing well.”

The baby suffered minor injuries, Laughlin said.

“By looking at the video it is clear there was no attempt to harm the child,” he said.

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Savage Black Beast Stabbed 2 Canadian Woman To Death During Unprovoked Attack In Atlantic City New Jersey – One Victim Was 80, The Other 47

May 22, 2012

ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY – Two female tourists were stabbed to death in what appears to have been a random and unprovoked attack in Atlantic City Monday.

At about 10 a.m., an officer on patrol in the 1900 block of Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City saw a 44-year-old woman, identified as Antoinette E. Pelzer, stabbing another woman. The officer drew his gun and ordered Pelzer to drop the knife. She complied and was taken into custody.

Police say an 80-year-old woman and a 47-year-old woman, both Canadian residents, were stabbed multiple times in the upper body region and taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center where they succumbed to their injuries.

It is unclear if the victims are related; their names are being withheld pending family notification.

Witnesses say Pelzer was attempting to rob one of the victims of her purse. There is no indication the victims and suspect knew each other, according to investigators.

Pelzer had a driver’s license from Pennsylvania and police are looking into where and how long she has been staying in Atlantic City. Those who knew Pelzer are shocked to hear of the news.

“She’s a very good girl, she’s very upstanding and has been a very good friend of mine,” said one woman who did not wish to be identified.

Pelzer is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and robbery. She was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, but it is anticipated that there will be additional charges due to the deaths of the victims. Bail was not set as of 6 p.m. Monday.

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Douchebag Union County New Jersey Police Officer Gives Man Who Saved 5 Year Old Son From Falling Down 35 Foot Ledge Two Tickets

May 22, 2012

UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – A New Jersey dad got the scare of his life when his 5-year-old son almost ran off a steep embankment, and though the man saved the boy from falling, he couldn’t stop his Jeep from going over the precipice and into a river below.

The reward for his ordeal? Two traffic tickets from local police.

Frank Roder, a construction worker from the town of Winfield Park, had taken his son, Aidan, down to the Rahway River to feed ducks Thursday. But when he stopped briefly before settling on a parking space, the impatient boy jumped out and took off — straight toward a ledge 35 feet above the river, Roder recalled.

“He hopped out, and I thought that was OK, I was just going to park,” Roder, 38, said, but “he just took off, made a beeline for the edge.”

The panic-stricken father jumped out of the cab of his 2006 Jeep Commander and raced after the errant boy, catching him just feet from the edge.

That’s when Aidan, eyes as big as saucers, looked behind Roder and said, “Um, Daddy …”

Roder turned in time to see the Jeep nosedive down the embankment and land in the muddy water.

Roder hugged the boy and waited as Union County police converged on the scene over the next few hours. A crane pulled the Jeep out, and amazingly, it started right up, though Roder is pretty sure his insurance company will count it as totaled.

He was counting his blessings when a young cop approached him and handed him two tickets. One was for failure to produce the insurance card, which was somewhere in the waterlogged cab. The other was for failing to use his emergency brake.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Roder said. “He said, ‘If you would have taken the five seconds to apply the brake, this never would have happened!’

“I say, ‘Really? And if I did and my boy stepped over the edge and fell instead of the Jeep, then were would I be?’ He says, ‘Jail, for child endangerment.'”

Too awful to contemplate is the fact the Roder almost took his six-week-old son Joel along for the ride.

“At the last minute, I told my wife to take him,” Roder said. “I can’t even think about that.”

Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska told FoxNews.com that his officers have some discretion about when and when not to write a ticket. But he said he just didn’t have enough information to second-guess what this officer did.

“It probably could have gone either way,” Vaniska said. “I can’t comment on the discretionary practices of an officer, but certainly, the fellow will have an opportunity to tell his story in court.”

Municipal Court is where Roder might get some sympathy — and maybe forbearance on those tickets, which are for $50 and $60. His date is May 30.

“I don’t care, I’ll pay it,” Roder said. “It’s just the principle. When something like that happens so fast, I could give a rat’s a– about the car.”

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