Charlie Kratovil

Charlie is a community organizer in New Brunswick, and a Rutgers journalism graduate. He can be reached at (732) 993-9697 or editor@NewBrunswickToday.com.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Few may know it, but there's an important connection between two criminal cases prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.

    The two scandalous, seemingly unconnected stories reveal different facets of the city's corrupt underbelly, including the bribery accusations that rocked its Water Utility nearly one year ago.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County

    SOUTH RIVER, NJ—While the high-profile races in Middlesex County's November 7 elections were all landslide victories for incumbents favored to win, many local races for municipal and school offices came down to the wire.

    Just three votes separated victory and defeat in the South River Borough Council race, according to preliminary results. Meanwhile, the winners and losers in the borough's Board of Education race were separated by just 77 votes.

  • Photo Credit: Tom Franklin

    This article is part of a statewide series called Voting Block, which is a collaborative reporting effort to encourage civil political discussion and more informed voters in neighborhoods across New Jersey ahead of this fall’s gubernatorial election. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As New Jersey prepares to elect a new Governor on November 7, the Hub City's booming downtown boasts more residents than ever before, giving the neighborhood a chance to flex its political muscle in a way that it has never done before.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hoping to become the next Governor, Phil Murphy drew dozens of locals to Gambino's Inn on Remsen Avenue, a crowd that included one-third of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners.

    Just 15 minutes before Murphy's "town hall" event on October 25, the board was supposed to meet for the first time since a scathing federal audit questioned over $1.4 million in spending.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, DE—The number two man at New Jersey's largest hospital chain surrendered to authorities in Delaware on October 27 after being charged with a slew of creepy crimes.

    So far, RWJBarnabas Health Systems has been quiet about the criminal charges against their one-time Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Gerald "Jay" Picerno.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) failed to properly administer federal funds and could face funding cuts as punishment, according to a scathing audit by federal authorities.

    Despite the poor optics, the NBHA has refused to release its Corrective Action Plan, a document that might respond to the "weaknesses in the Authority’s governance, management, and operations" identified in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) audit.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Corruption Bureau of the state's Division of Criminal Justice secured indictments against two longtime city workers on September 29.

    The two indicted public officials, meter reader William Ortiz and clerk Joseph DeBonis are both 55 years old and have been with the city's water utility since the 1990's.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An aggravated assault outside of a well-known bar near the Rutgers University campus generated another Rutgers crime alert on Saturday, September 16.

    At approximately 12:58 AM on that night, a man waiting in line outside the Olde Queens Tavern on Easton Avenue reportedly "became engaged in a verbal exchange with five unknown males," according to the crime alert released by Rutgers University Police Department.

    (Police)
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    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Sayreville man was arrested on September 12 and charged with "selling medical records that he stole from a storage unit in East Brunswick," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Authorities stated that "over 1,000 medical records," which contained confidential personal information, were stolen and then sold, allegedly by Fernando Rios.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A young man accused of stabbing a fellow student with a box-cutter on Delafield Street has been released from county jail to await possible indictment and trial.

    Robert Mannifield, age 20, is apparently a student at Rutgers University and a member of the Tau Kapa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, a fact that was first reported by The Tab.

  • Photo Credit: The South Amboy Sayreville Times

    SAYREVILLE, NJ–A police officer lost his job after admitting he covered up his patrol car's dashboard camera while running a “quick, personal errand.”

    James P. Pizzillo, age 33, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree charge of tampering with public records on August 3.

    Pizzillo was admitted into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program by Judge Michael Toto on September 25.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office had recommended one to five years of probation, without any jail time.

    (Police)
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    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A murder case that begin with the body of an 18-year-old man being found on Conrail property in Perth Amboy led to a murder charge against a man from El Salvador who was arrested over 200 miles away on unrelated charges.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) identified the young victim as Perth Amboy resident Jose David Guardado-Leiva on August 28, three days after his body was found by a passerby near William Street.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (10/23): The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office announced that Michael “Maniac” Martin, the second of the two suspects wanted in this case, has been arrested by Philadelphia Police.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old city resident was fatally shot while sitting in a parked car on Fulton Street, about an hour before midnight on the evening of August 18.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Perth Amboy man was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for a previously undisclosed kidnapping in 2014 , according to an announcement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Francisco Green, age 35, was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault after a 7-day jury trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick back in January.

  • Photo Credit: Legacy.com

    SOMERSET, NJ—An 18-year-old man from Park Street shot and killed Chamari Webb, an 18-year-old woman on Battle Place in the Somerset section of the Township on August 9, according to authorities.

    The tragic killing took place on the block where the young woman resided shortly before 8am on a Wednesday morning.  Webb was hospitalized and pronounced dead by 8:29am.

    According to authorities, the suspect and victim encountered one another at a Millstone Road deli shortly before the fatal shooting.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A powerful official with several public jobs, including a key role at the city's parking authority, became the second person in the city's history to be fined for violating New Jersey's Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL).

    Leonard Bier, a longtime attorney for the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), will be required to pay just $200 as punishment for multiple ethical violations that were brought to light by this newspaper in March 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    MONROE, NJ—Michael Tuhy, 30-year-old Township resident, is facing charges of lewdness, third-degree endangering sexual contact with a child, and making terroristic threats following his July 13 arrest.

    According to the initial complaint filed against him, Michael A. Tuhy threatened a 14-year-old boy and asked the boy to perform oral sex on him.  It also stated that Tuhy exposed his penis and urinated in front of the victim.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: GoFundMe.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Authorities confirmed that they have arrested a North Brunswick man they believe is responsible for the city's second homicide of 2017.

    The fatal shooting occurred on Seventh Street, two blocks north of the New Brunswick Middle School, at around 10:30 am on July 14.

    In a press statement three days later, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) identified 25-year-old Christian Cortes as the shooter who took the life of Desiree Alvarado, a 38-year-old mother of four.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 13, Detectives arrested a registered nurse from Perth Amboy who worked at both of the New Brunswick's hospitals on charges of sexual assault.

    Wilber Hernandez, a 29-year-old who previously worked at three different hospitals in Northern New Jersey, is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with two different patients since he started working at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital on July 25, 2016.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick's police department continues to fight accusations of corruption and racism from a number of litigants, including some of its own police officers.

    Taxpayers have already paid over $341,000 for private attorneys to defend seven-term Mayor James Cahill and two other officials in two explosive cases filed more than five years ago.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On April 6, the Rutgers University Board of Governors quietly passed a new policy that makes any student activity that disrupts "University activity, class lecture, adminstrative function, or official University business" an offense under the school's "Student Code of Conduct."

    The new policy is a revision to a so-called "disruption policy" that has existed since 1974, according to President Bob Barchi.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 1, Alberto Rivas took over one of the judiciary's most powerful positions, after the New Jersey Supreme Court made him Middlesex County's Assignment Judge.

    Rivas replaces Travis Francis, who retired from the bench after 10 years as Assignment Judge and more than 25 years in the Middlesex Vicinage.

    “I am humbled and honored at the confidence the Chief has expressed in me,” Judge Rivas said. “I look forward to working with our talented group of jurists and staff.”

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It didn't take long for Immigrations and Cutoms Enforcement (ICE) and the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) to find a way to work together.

    Just four months after a policy was put in place limiting NBPD's co-operation with ICE agents on immigration matters, at least two local cops were spotted at the scene of a federal cocaine bust that brought a slew of agents from ICE's Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) to the city.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—While most residents were taking in the festivities during the 4th of July, residents of one Fourth Ward neighborhood experienced a "large disturbance," according to police.

    Allegedly, a man was waving around a weapon that looked like a handgun—but may have turned out to be an imitation firearm—on the grounds of the New Brunswick Housing Authority's Scwartz-Robeson public housing complex.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The family of a victim killed earlier this year, just a few steps from his Hamilton Street apartment will soon be served justice.

    According to the June 26 press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), the three men accused of taking the life of 29-year-old Enrique Perez Galindo, a father of four kids who was killed during a random robbery, have pled guilty to manslaughter.

    (Police)
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    FRANKLIN, NJ—Authorities are investigating a string of shootings that took place over the Memorial Day weekend in the Somerset section of the Township.

    County Prosecutor Michael Robertson said the first shooting took place on Friday, May 27, at approximately 8:58 p.m.

    Following a 9-1-1 call, the Franklin Township Police Department (FTPD) responded to a report of gunshots fired at a Minetta Road residence.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—A contractor whose company made tens of thousands of dollars working for the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) was arrested in an unrelated burglary in East Brunswick.

    John Solazzo, a 53-year-old resident of Monroe and a relative of the county's disgraced former Sheriff, is also the owner of a company that specializes in "property upgrade and management," according to numerous invoices he has submitted to the authority over the past several years.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—The Lietenant Governor and a former Ambassador to Germany celebrated their victories in the primary election for the state's highest office on June 6.

    Both Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy will face off in November's general election, along with up to five independent candidates who submitted petitions to get on the ballot.

    Murphy was widely favored to secure the nomination, but Guadagno's path was more competitive.  Both secured about 48% of the vote statewide.

  • Photo Credit: Somerset Co. Prosecutor's Office

    FRANKLIN, NJ--A 31-year-old resident of Whittier Avenue, in the Somerset section of the Township, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a four-year-old child, according to authorities.

    The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office (SCPO) announced the charges, specifically second-degree sexual assault of a minor less than 13 years of age, and third-degree endangering welfare of a child, against David Lutz on May 26.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's Fire Director has crashed another city-owned sport utility vehicle (SUV), at least the fourth such vehicle he has damaged since 2004.

    It marks the 20th crash of the man's driving career, and that's despite  several years spent with his license suspended a total of eighteen times.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A 49-year-old ticket agent for NJTransit has been arrested and charged with official misconduct, theft, and forgery over a scam to sell counterfeit tickets at New Brunswick's downtown train station.

    John A. Davey, who hails from East Brunswick and worked at the agency for 29 years, is set to appear on June 13 at Veteran's Courthouse in Essex County, where the charges were filed.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Lambasting his opponent's fundraising and campaign spending as "pay-to-play at its worst," a Middlesex County politician running for Governor took aim at the system of how political parties select candidates that appear on the "party line."

    A Sayreville native who has been an Assemblyman for 21 years, John Wisniewski survived his own campaign finance scandal in 2012, but re-invented himself after becoming the lone member of the legislature to support the Presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—County law enforcement is being unusually quiet about a Sayreville police officer that was caught covering up his patrol car's on-board camera for reasons that remain unclear, according to a document obtained by New Brunswick Today.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) has been known for its secrecy, especially in cases where fellow law enforcement officers are the defendants, but this case stands out among the rest.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Retired Hub City firefighter Dell Walker passed away on April 11 at the age of 55, leaving behind many friends and memories.

    Walker had just recently quit the firefighter job, after more than a year of being suspended without pay, and he faced the prospect of several years in prison.

    But, in the wake of his death, he was remembered by many in the community as one of the New Brunswick High School (NBHS) Zebras' best athletes of all-time.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Stephen Roca

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Another board member has quit what is the third-worst housing authority in the United States, according to federal government's Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS).

    Frank Simpson officially resigned from the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners on March 17, leaving them without a required member who is also a resident of the agency's housing.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 1, Middlesex County's government passed a new policy limiting collaboration with federal imigration agents, but the County's Sheriff was nowhere to be found.

    The new policy comes two months after an incident at the County Courthouse in New Brunswick where a man was reportedly handcuffed and turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by officers working under elected Sheriff Mildred "Millie" Scott.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    OLD BRIDGE, NJ—A 44-year-old Staten Island man was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot at a limousine company in Old Bridge on May 16.

    The man, who authorities did not identify, was "wounded at about 9 a.m. Tuesday at a limousine company located on Route 9 in the township," according to an official statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief William Volkert of the Old Bridge Police Department.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MyMerryChristmas.com

    SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—Six men from Jersey City were arrested and charged in connection with "participating in a telephone scam that netted more than $120,000 from their victims," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    According to the official MCPO statement, "victims were led to believe they owed money to the IRS and would be arrested if they did not make restitution."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On May 8, Roland E. Amos, age 44, was sentenced to up to 80 years in state prison for fatally shooting his nex-door neighbor in 2014.

    After a hung jury in his first trial, Amost was found guilty of murder, hindering his own apprehension and weapons charges by a jury earlier this year.

    Amos' victim, 43-year-old Brian A. Hoey, died in the arm's of his girlfriend and eight-year-old daughter before help could arrive at the Belcourt Townhomes in North Brunswick.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of the three Exxon stations located in the city's First Ward was the scene of armed robbery on May 9 at 11:36pm, according to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    The incident was first reported publicly on RLSMedia.com the following morning, and later that day, NBPD Detectives arrested the man they believe was behind the incident at a hotel in South Brunswick.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating the May 6 shooting that injured two juveniles on the grounds of the New Brunswick Apartments, located on Commercial Avenue in the city's First Ward.

    New Brunswick Today's Facebook page was the first media outlet to report the incident, which eventually led to an official New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) press statement. 

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a robbery that led to a footchase and the victims being threatened with a sharp object, according to a Rutgers crime alert.

    The incident occurred in broad daylight at 5:50pm on May 11 at one of New Brunswick's most interesting open spaces: Antilles Field.

    The two-tiered field is located on the Douglass campus of Rutgers University, on a ridge high above Route 18 with an impressive view of downtown New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Comedians looking for a punchline often turn to New Jersey, but New Brunswick typically flies under the radar, escaping the scrutiny of media outlets that tend to focus around the state's capital, or its largest city.

    And it's even harder to gather, share, and find local news that's not funny, especially in smaller NJ towns and cities like New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating an early-morning assault and robbery in the city's Sixth Ward.

    On May 9 at approximately 2:40am, a man affiliated with Rutgers University began conversing with another man on Delafield Street between Bristol and Courtlandt Streets.

    But, soon after, the other man struck the victim, "took items of value, and then fled in an unknown direction," according to a Rutgers University crime alert issued later that day.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A bizarre chapter in Hub City corruption history has concluded, about one year after four young men were first caught selling parking spaces in an abandoned parking deck that had been slated for demolition.

    All four worked as valets the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), the notorious agency that runs eight public parking decks, handles on-street parking enforcement, plus rents and manages several pieces of commercial real estate in downtown.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After alerting to the public to a creepy home invasion that saw a man find his way into a woman's Sixth Ward bedroom in the middle of the night, police announced they arrested someone in connection with the crime.

    A 25-year-old man named Curtis Smith, who some news reports identified as "homeless," was arrested on May 4 and charged with burglary and harassment in connection with the May 3 incident.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    CARTERET, NJ—Another unidentified body was found in Middlesex County on May 2, this time in Carteret.

    According to a May 3 press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), "the body of an unidentified male has been recovered from under a pier on the Arthur Kill."

    The body was discovered by "passersby, who called police," according to the release.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (5/26/17): This article has been updated with new information provided by the Board of Elections, and the full petition for recount is included below.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The upset in the city's April 25 school board election has been overturned after a questionable recount led to an additional vote for Emra Seawood, setting up another electoral showdown.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    FRANKLIN, NJ—On May 3, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that the privately-run county "Crime Stoppers" is offering "rewards of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction" of the shooters behind as tring of "non-fatal shootings."

    It started at approximately 3:35 p.m. on April 19, when Franklin Township Police Department (FTPD) responding to reports gunshots found a 29-year-old New Brunswick man outside of a residence on Fuller Street.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Three men were slashed or stabbed at approximately 2:44 am on April 16 following a birthday party on Delavan Street, according to NJ.com.

    The injured partygoers were all members of the same family including two brothers and their father.

    One brother was reportedly celebrating his 30th birthday, but ended up taking a family trip to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    SOUTH AMBOY, NJ—Two men perished and three more injured in a head-on collision that occured in the early morning hours of April 16 on Route 9.

    At first, authorities believed that 51-year-old Percell Livingston, of East Orange, was driving the wrong way on the highway when his minivan hit another similar vehicle driven by 31-year-old Miguel Mendoza-Chong, of Perth Amboy.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A probation officer who once worked at a New Brunswick courthouse has admitted to taking bribes to ensure that a man was able to complete probation even if he failed drug tests.

    The case, State of New Jersey v. Rhonda Battle, was moved to Union County's Superior Court because of her former job in Middlesex County.

    Battle, a 48-year-old woman from Roselle, pleaded guilty to a single count of official misconduct, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    DUNELLEN, NJ—A 27-year-old man from this small town has been arrested and charged with intentionally driving his 1999 Chevrolet Lumina into a pedestrian who had just gotten out of the vehicle amid a dispute, according to authorities.

    The alleged vehicular assault occurred on Orange Street—just a few blocks from the Dunellen train station—at 10:48pm on April 5.

    Police tracked down Eric Locke, a 27-year-old resident of the borough, who they say fled the scene of the crime.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An Elizabeth man pleaded guilty to a second-degree aggravated assault charge for attacking a 30-year-old woman with a pipe and leaving her for dead.

    Mickey Vanderpool, age 61, severely beat the woman "sometime in June 2016," according to an official statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Vanderpool then left the unnamed victim for dead in Raritan Center, a large industrial park in Edison.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In an election where just one vote separated winner and loser, everyone who voted for Yesenia Medina-Hernandez can say they single-handedly decided the contest.

    It's not yet clear if this spells the beginning of the end for the political establishment's stranglehold on local politics.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—They say every vote counts, and this election proved it.

    In another historic first, one of this year's Board of Education (BOE) races was too close to determine all of the winners on the night of the election.

    New Brunswick has had annual school elections since 2013, but this is the first time they were close, according to unofficial results.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the first time in history, four seats on the New Brunswick Board of Education (BOE) will be elected at the same time on April 25.

    Following the unexpected resignation of board member Franchesca Fowler last summer, the BOE will be electing four people this year, instead of the usual three.

    Voting will take place at the regular polling places in New Brunswick, including many district schools, between 7am and 8pm.

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    SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ--Authorities announced on March 28 that they had charged a member of the clergy with stealing approximately $700,000 at his side job at a local repair company.

    Robert Keith, a 46-year-old West Orange resident, was charged with credit card theft, money laundering, forgery, theft by unlawful taking, and unlawful use of a credit card, according to the official statement.

    (Police)
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    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The girls' bathroom at East Brunswick's vocational and technical high school campus was the scene of a stabbing that sent a 15-year-old to the hospital on March 22.

    The names of the alleged perpetrator and the victim are not being disclosed by authorities at this time.

    An official statement said that a 17-year-old girl had been charged with "stabbing a 15-year-old classmate at the campus."  According to NJ.com, the victim was stabbed in the face during the attack.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Middlesex Co. Prosecutor's Office

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Authorities announced on March 22 that a township resident had been arrested and charged with possessing illicit images of children on his home computer.

    Lawrence Lapczynski, age 47, was arrested one day earlier and charged with a single count of possession of child pornography, according to the official statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—The disgraced former head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was sentenced to no time in prison for his admitted acceptance of a bribe, thanks in part to letters from dozens of supporters.

    Many of the letters in support of David Samson, the powerful attorney who once ran the bi-state agency's Board of Commissioners, came from former public officials or high-powered business leaders from around New Jersey.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two highrise apartment buildings in downtown New Brunswick, including the county government's former headquarters, were quietly sold last year, but it's proven to be a challenge to find out the sale price.

    Both the buyer, Oxford Realty Group, and the seller, Pennrose Properties, have not responded to inquiries about the multi-million dollar deal.  Records available at the County Clerk's Office also did not provide basic information about the sale.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—The county's top law enforcement official announced on March 20 that his agency was seeking the public's help in identifying a man who was found dead in Perth Amboy last August.

    The unidentified man's body was found in the woods near the intersection of Riverview Drive and Herbert Street, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating an aggravated assault that was reported to have occurred in the early morning hours of March 8, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), the lead agency in the case, did not publicize the incident, which only came to light due to the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD).

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—A local man has been found guilty of murdering his next-door neighbor in the summer of 2014, after a second trial that followed a "hung jury."

    The "retrial" began on January 18 in the Middlesex County Courthouse, located in downtown New Brunswick.

    On February 28, 44-year-old Roland E. Amos was found guilty of fatally shooting Brian A. Hoey, who was 43 at the time and left behind a longtime girlfriend and their eight-year-old daughter.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Local police reminded city residents that "anyone who legitimately works for the City will have proper identification" after a Tunison Road resident was scammed by imposters.

    "If a resident has any doubt, they should call the police department before letting anyone have access to their residence," reads the Nixle alert issued to community members on February 27.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex Co. Prosecutor's Office

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 23-year-old Highland Park man is facing a slew of criminal charges after he allegedly approached a woman on the street at gunpoint, before kidnapping, beating, and sexually assaulting her in front of her nine-month-old child.

    Brandon O. Cox has been charged with at least 16 counts in the violent attack that occurred on Harper Street in the quiet town on February 19.

  • Photo Credit: Google.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The school district's top official confirmed what an anonymous source told New Brunswick Today about an incident where students at New Brunswick Middle School were made to run outdoors in cold weather.

    Superintendent of Schools Aubrey Johnson said on January 18 that he was aware of the controversial December 23 incident, which rubbed some in the school community the wrong way.

  • Photo Credit: Carlos Ramirez

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police say they have apprehended three men responsible for the death of 29-year-old Enrique Perez Galindo, who died after being robbed near his home on Hamilton Street.

    The victim was apparently "stabbed and robbed of cash outside his apartment" at about 2:30 a.m. on February 25, according to statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Perez Galindo "managed to return to his apartment," according to the statement, but he was pronounced dead at 2:39 a.m.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police were investigating a shooting that took place in downtown New Brunswick, just one block from the city's train station during the early morning hours of February 25.

    But, instead it was the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) that alerted the public to the shooting with a "crime alert," which noted that "descriptions of the perpetrator [were] limited."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    ISELIN, NJ—A 22-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) was charged with exchanging "lewd photos" and "sexually explicit messages" with a 12-year-old boy.

    Zachary Motta, age 22, was arrested at his home on the morning of February 24 and is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and possession of child pornography.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 29-year-old man from Newton was sentenced to five years in state prison for causing a head-on crash that killed two men in Woodbridge on July 10, 2014

    Andrew Frazell pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide on September 26, 2016, admitting he was drunk when he drove a 2005 Jeep Liberty the wrong way on a Garden State Parkway exit ramp, striking a 2005 Honda Accord, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SOUTH AMBOY, NJ—Detective Matthew Barcheski became the first police officer in 2017 to be charged with crimes by Middlesex County's prosecutor on February 23, when theft and official misconduct charges were filed against him.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Authorities announced that a man was charged and released after police determined that he had secretly video-recorded a 19-year-old "female visitor" while she was taking a shower in his home almost two years ago.

    Karl M. Kjer, age 57, was charged on February 17 with a single count of invasion of privacy for using a "secret recording device" to record the woman on June 11, 2015.

    But authorities say that they have obtained "several" videos, indicating there are additional victims.  

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 36-year-old woman was severely beaten and sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Highland Park on February 19, according to a statement from the county's top law enforcement official.

    The violent attack occurred shortly before 5:30pm on the unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon, near the intersection of South 1st Avenue and Harper Street.  Sources told ABC New York that the woman had been walking with her young child at the time.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EDISON, NJ—Joel Patrone, a 22-year-old man from Edison, was killed in a one-car crash on Old Post Road on February 18, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    The driver of the vehicle, 21-year-old Mandeep Singh, also of Edison, was charged with driving while intoxicated and death by auto.

    The crash occurred near the intersection of Old Post Road and Preston Street, near Route 1 and the Shop-Rite grocery store.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—For those who are interested in learning more about Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, a county-sponsored program provides an opportunity to learn more about his history.

    On Sunday, February 26, all are welcome to attend a "President’s Day" program hosted by the Middlesex County Office of Culture and Hertiage.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police are investigating an aggravated assault that occurred inside a Guilden Street home on February 4, according to a Rutgers University crime alert. 

    In the incident, a man was allegedly hit in the face while trying to break up a fight inside the Sixth Ward residence, located near St. Peter's University Hospital in a neighborhood that is inhabited by thousands of Rutgers students.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) is investigating the crime, but that agency has made no effort to publicize the assault.

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—Authorities announced on February 8 that a 21-year-old Perth Amboy resident had been charged with "improperly touching" a 16-year-old boy at a city church on multiple occasions in 2015. 

    Luis Felipe Batista was 19 at the time, and according to prosecutors, he had volunteered as an unpaid hall monitor during Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes at the Holy Trinity Church for more than five years.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A prosecutor and a judge quickly lost their patience with a young man who did not go along with the questions asked of him about his role in a scheme involving his position as a valet for the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA).

    The case stems from a scam allegedly run by several NBPA valets who pocketed cash from customers in exchange for allowing them to park in an abandoned parking garage that the NBPA had sold to Middlesex County.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On January 31, agents with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency arrested 37-year-old Javier Atlixqueno-Vaquero, a fugitive on their "most wanted" list, in New Brunswick.

    Atlixqueno-Vaquero was reportedly on the #2 spot on the dubious list of undocumented immigrants with serious criminal convictions that the government hopes to remove from the country.

    The Mexican citizen had reportedly been convicted of multiple felony charges, including sexually assaulting a minor.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—The Township quietly paid $125,000 to a man who had accused police of assaulting him and smashing his front teeth with a flashlight at a TGI Friday's restaurant.

    The payment settles the federal lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Guttierez, an Iselin resident who claims the Woodbridge Police Department assaulted and falsely arrested him after they responded to a call at the Gill Lane restaurant.

  • Photo Credit: SCPO

    SOMERVILLE, NJ—A 38-year-old New Brunswick man who allegedly crashed into a police car after picking up a package filled with five kilograms of cocaine has pled guilty to two different charges, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office (SCPO).

    Elvin Guzman-Rodriguez, also known as Joel Matos Santiago, lives on Sanford Street, according to authorities, but he'll be spending the next several years in state prison as part of a plea deal reached with prosecutors.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The state's quasi-public law enforcement agency meant to target animal abuse has lost its tax-exempt non-profit status, also known as "501(c)(3)" status, after failing to file tax returns for three straight years.

    The New Jersey Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJ-SPCA) is the second-oldest such organization in the United States, but it has recently come under fire for its lack of transparency and its handling of several animal cruelty scandals in the area.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    SOUTH AMBOY, NJ--A Matawan man was charged with causing the death of a bicyclist, according to a January 23 press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO). 

    Francis Smith, age 56, was charged with aggravated manslaughter, death by auto, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash involving fatal injuries, according to the release.

    The fatal crash occurred six days before the announcement, and five days after 57-year-old South Amboy resident William Nash succumbed to his head injuries.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Reader-submitted photo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man facing more than 30 criminal counts including fraudulently collecting disability payments while working as a city firefighter has cut a plea deal with prosecutors, according to TapInto New Brunswick's Jack Murtha.

  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—A man is known by the company he keeps, or so the saying goes.

    New US President Donald Trump and New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie have been friends for over a decade.

    Both Trump and Christie siezed power by defeating establishment candidates in upset elections.

    While it remains to be seen whether Trump's story arc will follow that of Christie's spectacular downfall, it is apparent both men have quite a bit in common.

  • Photo Credit: SCPO

    UPDATE (3/1): Defendant Jason Lewis turned himself in to authorities at the Somerset County Jail on February 10. Jaki Hooks-Lewis turned himself into authorities yesterday while at his attorney’s office located in Newark on February 28.

    FRANKLIN, NJ–Local law enforcement is seeking the public's help in located a father and son duo who they say were behind a January 3 shooting on Dewald Avenue and "should be considered armed and dangerous."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In honor of our first five years of covering the city we love, we've put together a highlight reel of some of our biggest accomplishments and most memorable moments captured on video.

    Since December 2011, New Brunswick Today has been working hard to educate and empower the community about what is going on in New Brunswick and the rest of Middlesex county.  We ask the tough questions that the community wants us to ask, and sometimes things can get very interesting, especially when a camera is rolling.

  • Photo Credit:

    HELMETTA, NJ—A volunteer firefighter has been arrested on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

    Daniel Leal, a 24-year-old man from Helmetta was arrested at his home on January 5, following an investigation done by the Helmetta Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Twitter

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Former Rutgers Assistant Basketball Coach Eric Murdock received $500,000 to split with his attorney after a years-long legal battle with his former employer, according to NJ.com's Keith Sargeant.

    In 2014, Murdock's explosive allegations about Coach Mike Rice mistreating players garnered national media attention and led to the ouster of multiple university officials including Rice and Athletic Director Tim Pernetti.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—Carolyn Sheldon, a 76-year-old Towship resident, became the 45th and final person killed on the highways of Middlesex County in 2016 on December 28.

    The crash occurred at Finnegans Lane and Route 1, a particularly dangerous intersection where residents have been complaining about the lack of safety.

    The intersection, located near the border of North Brunswick and South Brunswick, plays host to two gas stations and an office building that is home to one of the county's most powerful law firms.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Authorities announced that Margarita Bukhmil, a 33-year-old East Brunswick resident died after being struck by a vehicle on Route 9 South in Woodbridge on December 27, the same day she was killed.

    Bukhmil was walking on the highway at 3:25 a.m. when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    She was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where she was pronounced dead 27 minutes later.

  • Photo Credit: NJ.com/PAPD

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ--On Christmas Eve, authorities announced they are searching for a Woodbridge man who allegedly abducted two kids in Perth Amboy, "but later safely returned them to their home," according to a press release.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) did not include a photo of Frank John, the 41-year-old Woodbridge resident that police are looking for, in their press release posted on the county website.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A 54-year-old man from Howell Township was charged with second-degree "theft by extortion" in connection with his work as a drug treatment counselor at a Perth Amboy clinic called "Journey to Wellness."

    Anthony Trimble, who also earns $63,470 working for the state performing a similar function at the Special Treatment Unit of East Jersey State Prison in Avenel, according to NJ.com's Craig McCarthy.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Chris Roberts

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—A housing facility on Rutgers University's Livingston campus has seen its heating and hot water infrastructure repeatedly fail during a tumultous semester for the school's aging infrastructure.

    The failures came on the heels of a prolonged  power outage that forced thousands of student on the school's Cook/Douglass campus to be relocated in September.

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    EDISON, NJ—A 61-year-old man from Elizabeth is facing serious charges after being arrested for beating up a 30-year-old woman who he allegedly kidnapped from Newark, and left to die in Edison.

    Mickey Vanderpool is charged with the alleged attack, which took place in June 2016, against a woman who he knew, according to authorities.

    Vanderpool allegedly met the unidentified woman in Newark before beating her and leaving her in an Edison business park.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A Perth Amboy motorist was charged in connection with the hit and run death of 83-year-old pedestrian Percio Hernandez.

    Hernandez, a resident of Perth Amboy, was pronounced dead on December 26 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

    The crash occurred on December 16, ten days earlier, and the charges were announced nearly a week later on December 23 after the driver turned himself in.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On December 12, a 53-year-old plumber pled guilty to stealing from an elderly person he knew, including having her sign over the deed to her own home to him.

    For the past several years, Fady Chedid was living in the home at 11 Hartwell Street, which initially belonged his 88-year-old victim, Julia Ribar.

    But Chedid apparently had Ribar sign over the property to a company he controlled in 2013, around the time that he had her put in a nursing home out-of-state.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Concerns over fair and affordable access to clean, safe drinking water have repeatedly made headlines across the nation in recent years, but few communities have as bad of a track record as New Brunswick.

    That track record just got a lot worse in December, as multiple unfolding scandals enveloped the troubled New Brunswick Water Utility (NBWU), and the agency recruited police to help them seize potential evidence of their own corruption from the New Brunswick Today (NBT) newspaper.