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—New Brunswick and Middlesex County agencies affect many aspects of New Brunswick residents' lives, along with several other major organizations such as the non-profit hospital Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and public schools like Rutgers University.

    These organizations, and many others that you might not know about, host public meetings from time to time.

    If you want to attend a public meeting this month, you can look at this schedule of meetings times and locations.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EDISON, NJ—On November 13, authorities found a man's body in the woods near an apartment complex at the foot of the Donald Goodkind Bridge, which spans the Raritan River and connects Edison and New Brunswick

    A resident of the Valley Manor Apartments told NJ.com's Tom Haydon that he heard a loud bang at around 6 am.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW YORK, NY—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and several of his allies, were demoted from President-Elect Donald Trump's "transition team," leaving observers wondering what the future holds for the embattled official.

    Christie shocked some by endorsing Trump earlier this year, becoming one of the first establishment figures to do so earlier this year, after previously suggesting he was unfit for the office during his own campaign for President.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    EDISON, NJ—A Township police officer, and another man who recently left the department in disgrace, have been charged with hatching a plan to set the home of one of their bosses on fire.

    Michael Dotro, who resigned from the Edison Police Department (EPD) in September and still faces attempted murder charges in connection with a May 2013 blaze, is now being accused of conspiring with another officer to light a different superior officer's home on fire.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A young woman from South Amboy remains hospitalized after being knocked into a coma for more than a week, rendered unconscious by a man who punched her in the face during a Halloween weekend streetfight in New Brunswickt.

    However, the man who threw that punch, Dan Murray, remains free and police say they won't arrest or charge him because video shows Emily Rand striking him first.

  • Photo Credit: Classmates.com

    METUCHEN, NJ—A diversionary tactic did not stop local police from arresting a pair of brothers from Carteret for robbing the TDBank in the quiet town of Metuchen.

    Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief David Q. Irizarry of the Metuchen Police Department announced on November 7 that two brothers were arrested and charged with robbing the bank "after staging a bomb scare at the high school to divert police," according to a press releae.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EDISON, NJ—Authorities announced criminal charges against a 29-year-old man who was involved in a fatal crash on Route 1 that took the life of a 74-year-old Edison resident.

    Both men were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, but Ronald Setlight was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived there in the early morning hours of November 5.

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    CARTERET, NJ—Voters in Carteret rejected Mayor Dan Reiman’s controversial proposal to stop having school board elections and give the Mayor the permanent power to appoint members to the Board of Education.

    That measure went down in flames, with 65% of Carteret voters voting "NO" to the proposal.

    The question, which was asked only after the Board of Education unanimously voted to put the question to voters at Reiman's behest, also provided an opportunity for challengers to kick two of the incumbents out of office.

  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Dharun Ravi, the ex-Rutgers student whose spying may have led to the unfortunate suicide of his roommate, pled guilty after cutting a deal that will allow him to avoid another prosecution and put an end to the prolonged criminal matter.

    Ravi had previously been convicted by a jury on 15 different counts in 2012, and already served a brief jail sentence.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—There was a somber mood in New Brunswick City Hall on November 9.

    Local officials here in this Democratic stronghold are lamenting the victory of entertainer and real estate developer Donald Trump, who won the US Presidential election in a stunning upset one day earlier.

    In every election district in the Hub City, Hillary Clinton handily defeated Trump.  Seventeen of the 25 municipalities in Democrat-controlled Middlesex County also saw more votes cast for the former First Lady than for Trump.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Incumbents won most of the local and county races in the 2016 general election, including longtime Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.

    Pallone has represented New Brunswick in Washington since 1991, and has been in Congress even longer, a fact that some consider a credit to the man's service.

    Still others, such as his most recently vanquished opponent, Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, criticize Pallone for occupying the same public position for so long.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters across Middlesex County will be deciding who will occupy key roles such as US Congressional representative, Sheriff, Freeholder, as well as local offices.

    While the Presidential election may steal the limelight from the local, county, and Congressional races, many voters will be asked to decide on who will run their local governments.

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    EDISON, NJ—Democrat State Senator Peter Barnes' departure from the Legislature has caused three different elections to be held to decide who will finish so-called "unexpired" terms left after elected officials got promoted to higher office.

    It all started with Barnes securing a Superior Court judgeship, thanks to an appointment to the bench from Republican Governor Chris Christie.

    But that is just one of a dozen local offices where candidates are running for partial terms.

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    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—The "City by the Bay" is in the midst of an important local election, as is another town on the other end of the county: Spotswood.

    The two communities are unique--at least in Middlesex County--because political parties are not directly involved in their local government elections.

    But in Perth Amboy and Spotswood, no local primary elections are held, though primary elections are held for offices such as US Congress, Sheriff, Freeholder, State Senator, and State Assembly.

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    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Authorities announced the arrest of a Piscataway man on charges that he killed a 31-year-old woman from Raritan Borough who "suffered severe injury to her head" after visiting his condominium.

    The victim, Beth Bezek, was "found dead outside his home, the victim of apparent head injuries," according to a press release issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    That home was located on Pond Lane, in Cedar Woods, a relatively new condominium development located off of Possumtown Road.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Even as top city officials claim the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners does not suffer from "weak memberbership," the agency recently lost another board member and was forced to cancel a public meeting.

    At some point in August or September, Anthony Cupano became the third NBHA board member to leave office in just over a year, according to NBHA Executive Director John Clarke.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 71-year-old former Carteret Police Director, who only lasted three weeks in the job, agreed to spend the the next three years on probation and never hold a public job again following a DWI arrest.

    Mayor Dan Reiman hired Ronald Franz to be police director earlier this year, but Franz only lasted three weeks before getting arrested for eluding police and driving while intoxicated.

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    EDISON, NJ—Authorities announced on October 24 that young man from Edison has been charged with vehicular homicide in a motor vehicle crash that killed 93-year-old Luis Figueroa, also of Edison.

    Joseph Petrillo, age 20, was "traveling north at a high rate of speed on Route 27 near the Peterson Avenue intersection in Edison and was unable to stop before striking the victim’s vehicle," according to a statement from the Middlesex County Proseuctor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: HCPO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The movie theatre on Route 1 is home to one of the city's largest parking lots, but that lot was also a crime scene on October 30.

    Police responded to the scene at approximately 1:00pm, according to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller, where they found the body of a man who they believe shot himself inside a parked vehicle.

    "The preliminary police investigation suggests suicide however a final determination cannot be made until an autopsy is completed," Miller told New Brunswick Today.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Local police have their hands full with a string of unsolved crimes plaguing the Rutgers University community in the leadup to Halloween.

    After going a full month without a crime that the school deemed worthy of issuing one of its infamous "crime alerts," there have been six crimes to achieve the dubious honor throughout during a one-week period.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Police say that a fire on Comstock Street in the Second Ward may have been intentionally set on the night of October 28.

    The incident occurred at 50 Comstock Street, located between Jones and Commercial Avenues, at approximately 9:10pm.

    The home in question is owned by Hedy Tehrani, a Monroe resident who purchased it in 1996 for $99, according to property records.  The home is assessed at $52,200 and the land it is on at $22,500, according to tax records.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City firefighters rescued an unidentified woman who had become trapped as she climbed up one of the two Route 1 bridges connecting Edison and New Brunswick, according to a report on TapInto New Brunswick.

    The woman was apparently climbing the arches of the Morris Goodkind bridge, which carries cars along Route 1 North over the Raritan River, when the New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD) recieved a call on October 21.

  • Photo Credit: UNNJ.edu

    NEWARK, NJ—The federal government charged 21 people, including six New Jersey residents, with serious crimes related to a scheme that they used a made-up university to help more than 1,000 "foreign nationals," mostly from China and India, maintain visas.

    The accused were characterized as "brokers, recruiters, and employers" who engaged in a conspiracy to fraudulently "mantain student and foreign worker visas through a 'pay-to-stay' New Jersey college."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Local cops are investigating a shooting that took place following a large party in the early morning hours of October 16, according to a report on TapInto New Brunswick.

    According to the report, police said that a vehicle was struck with gunfire near the intersection of Hassart and Welton Streets in the First Ward.  The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) did not otherwise publicize the incident.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Public records show that a 18-year-old Rutgers student has been charged by campus police with a disorderly persons offense and a petty disorderly persons offense after she allegedly climbed and fell from a new building.

    The future home of a Starbucks coffee shop on College Avenue was the scene of the crime shortly after 2am on September 9, in the strange case where the first-year student resident was injured after climbing up the side of a building located in the courtyard outside her dormitory.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    CARTERET, NJ—On October 18, authorities including ​Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Carteret Police Chief John Pieczyski, finally announced the "fatal beating of a borough man" on Holly Street.

    But those same authorities had kept the fatality a secret for nearly a week, citing only "investigative reasons."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—An Old Bridge man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter and a weapons charge on October 14, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Robert McGranahan, age 29, was found guilty of fatally stabbing a 63-year-old man in Sayreville, following a jury trial and more than two days of deliberations.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Timothy Puskas, a New Brunswick landlord accused of beating a young man to death on Valentine's Day 2014 has been sentenced in a fatal crash that took the life of Leonel Lopez-Hernandez two years earlier.

    While Puskas was out on bail in the hit-and-run case, he was accused of the brutal murder of Billy McCaw, a college student found dead in a Hartwell Street backyard in February 2014. That case is still pending.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    CARTERET, NJ--Two men, one from Cartertet and another from Essex County, are headed to state prison for their role in the death of a Maryland man who was visiting relatives in Carteret on April 5, 2013.

    Their victim, Deonte Shackleford, was just 26 years old when he was shot and killed in the borough, during his visit from Baltimore.

    Both 24-year-old Daniel Gillens, of Newark, and 30-year-old Hakeem Mercer, of Carteret, had pleaded guilty to lesser crimes than the ones they had been charged with in a plea deal with prosecutors.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    JAMESBURG, NJ—Law enforcement officials announced the arrest of a 50-year-old resident of Jamesburg after the man allegedly texted "a lewd photo of himself" to an undercover cop who was pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.

    Linus Germe was arrested and charged on the evening of October 5, according to the official statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) issued a press release on September 30 touting three arrests that resulted in the "recovery" of what they claimed was $20,000 worth of heroin, as well as six handguns and a bulletproof vest.

    The official statement claimed the trio was "running a street-level drug sales operation that netted thousands of dollars annually."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Ford Crown Victoria owned by the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) crashed into a guardrail before striking a concrete barrier on September 13, sending two officers to the hospital.

    The vehicle, driven by Officer Richard Reed III, "was responding with lights and sirens to a call for assistance from other officers," according to the police report signed by NBPD Sgt. James Hoover.

    The officers' ultimate destination was just a block away: the New Brunswick train station.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The headquarters of the city's housing authority was struck by gunfire on August 31, but that agency's Board of Commissioners refused to acknowledge that fact during their September 28 meeting.

    "We can't comment on any ongoing matters of that type because they're active investigations going on, and cases that the police have brought," said NBHA Executive Director John Clarke, fielding a question about the damage to the building nearly a month later.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Suffering its worst loss in nearly 130 years, the Rutgers University football team struggled for the second week in a row, shut out in their home stadium by a laughably lopsided margin.

    The loss, by a final score of 78-0, was so bad that it raised questions about the school's decision to focus on big-time athletics, including a recent decision to join the "Big Ten" athletic conference.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new building that Rutgers University officials neglected to realize could easily be climbed by its student body has been modified to make it harder to mount, after an allegedly drunk student was seriously injured in a bad fall.

    "This building is constructed in a manner that would easily allow, and may invite, some individuals to climb on top of it," read an email reported in the student newspaper, the Daily Targum.

  • Photo Credit: Executive-Magazine.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 5, a grand jury opted to indict 45 individuals and the same number of private companies in connection with an allegedly massive and intricate racket based in Middlesex County.

    Carlos Alcantara, just 26 years old, is accused of being the head of the criminal organization that "fraudulently obtained more than $2 million in U.S. currency and fraudulently wired more than $15 million from victims’ accounts."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    BENSALEM, PA—A 32-year-old New Brunswick man who previously attended Somerville High School has been sentenced to more than a decade in state prison for turning an out-of-state motel into a brothel where women were paid in heroin or crack cocaine.

    Christopher DeGrasse was arrested on April 5 at the Best Western Motel in the 3400 block of Street Road in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, according to Bucks County authorities.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: South Brunswick Police Dept.

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—Local police charged a "home nurse aide" with stealing an electronic tablet and more than $1,000 from an elderly client who lives in the Dayton section of the Township.

    Caitlyn Burton, age 21, surrendered to South Brunswick Police on September 26, and was charged with theft as well as theft of a credit card, and credit card fraud for making twelve cash withdrawals using the victim's credit card between August 8 and August 25. 

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Hub City's water woes continued over the weekend of September 23-25, as thousands of city residents were forced to boil their water before use or risk their health while crews worked to repair a 20-inch water main that ruptured on a ramp connecting Routes 1 and 18.

    After the main broke, a chunk of the roadway above it collapsed, causing traffic delays amid the Friday rush hour on September 23, and another headache for city's embattled Water Utility.

  • Photo Credit: Federal Bureau of Prisons

    WHITE PLAINS, NY—A local woman with ties to New Brunswick and Manville has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for her role in an out-of-state murder that took place on August 24, 2014.

    Almost two years after the killing, 29-year-old Andrea Beatty, was sentenced by sentenced Judge Kenneth Karas on August 11.

    She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to distribute drugs, aiding and abetting a robbery, and aiding and abetting a murder.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A cyclist was injured after being struck by a large Nestlé branded water delivery truck at the corner of Easton Avenue and Hamilton Street on September 23.

    New Brunswick Police confirmed that the female victim was taken to a nearby hospital with "non-life-threatening injuries."

    But five days later, police still declined to give much additional information about the crash, saying the crash was "still under investigation and not yet completed."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    CARTERET, NJ—Authorities announced they are searching for "one or more individuals" who were involved in a stabbing that killed an 18-year-old Carteret man. 

    The victim, Nelson Delgado, was pronounced dead at 3:08 a.m. on September 20 at University Hospital in Newark.

    Police had been dispatched to the scene of the crime, the corner of Pershing and Pulaski Avenues, where they found the victim at 2:06 a.m.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A jury seated at the Middlesex County Courthouse decided on September 20 that former Perth Amboy Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz is not guilty of official misconduct, theft of services, and witness tampering.

    Ruiz was potentially facing 5 to 10 years in prison over the allegations that he had gotten police department mechanics to make repairs and enhancements to his private vehicles.  He also faced charges he tried to get a potential witness to alter his side of the story.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The county government announced that a raccoon found in the city's Fifth Ward tested positive for rabies, the first rabid animal found in New Brunswick this year.

    "On Saturday, September 17, 2016, the Animal Control Officer for New Brunswick responded to a call concerning a raccoon that was found to be acting strangely in the vicinity of Laurel Place and Somerset Street," reads the announcement from the Middlesex County Office of Health Services.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    EDISON, NJ—Four Edison police officers, including a Sergeant, resigned and agreed to never hold public jobs in New Jersey ever again as part of a guilty plea in Superior Court.

    At the time the agreement was reached, jury selection was underway for a trial that was sure to attract a lot of publicity.

    The guilty quartet includes Michael Dotro, the troubled 36-year-old Edison police officer who lives in Manalapan, and has been accused of igniting a bomb outside the Monroe Township home of one of his bosses in a separate case.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's embattled Water Utility, which also provides drinking water to customers in Milltown and Franklin, has admitted to violating drinking water standards yet again.

    After more than two years without being caught violating state or federal drinking water laws, the city was issued a formal "notice of violation" on August 25, after three of its regular water testing sites were found to have exceeded the allowable amount of a common contaminant.

  • Photo Credit: CBS

    SOMERVILLE, NJ—While a Middlesex County judge is still awaiting the final result of the case against her, the man who she is accused of harboring as a fugitive was convicted of a 2013 armed robbery in Old Bridge.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced the conviction of Jason Prontnicki, who had been accused of robbing the Woods Pharmacy on Texas Road with a "lug wrench" on  April 29, 2013.

  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A lot has changed since Dharun Ravi was convicted of using his laptop computer to spy on his roommate at Rutgers University, the late Tyler Clementi, during a sexual encounter.

    Clementi took his own life just two days after learning of the incident, where Ravi and another student briefly watched Clementi being intimate with another man by remotely activating his laptop's built-in camera.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On September 15, local police and firefighters recovered a dead body from the Raritan River near "New Brunswick Landing," the city's rarely-used boat docks. 

    It was the second body found just outside the city in just four days.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office has still not identified the individual whose body was found inside a vacant home on Joyce Kilmer Avenue in North Brunswick on September 12.

    (Police)
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    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--Authorities announced that "township maintenance workers" had alerted police to an "apparent break-in" at a vacant home somewhere on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, which in turn led them to find a dead body.

    ​Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey did not identify the victim, a man whose body was discovered by police the morning of September 12.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new large-scale development in the Hub City is off to a dangerous start, thanks to a student who was able to climb on top of one of the new buildings recently erected on College Avenue.

    The scene of the incident was the former home of the university's beloved "grease trucks," which were kicked out to make way for the massive 443-bed dormitory.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Three of the city's elementary schools had early dismissals on Friday, September 9, as the air temperature exceeded 93 degrees for the first time since August.

    But the district did not thoroughly explain why some of its students were getting an early start to the weekend at first.

    It was only the fourth day of school in the New Brunswick school district, which serves more than 10,000 local children.

  • Photo Credit: SCPO

    UPDATE (9/15): Authorities announced that, after "an exhaustive search for defendant Bell" he was arrested in Staten Island with assistance from the New York Police Department.

    FRANKLIN, NJ—Authorities are offering $2,000 in reward money for anyone who can provide "information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of Isaiah J. Bell," according to a statement released by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office (SCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Rutgers

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers students were unable to use non-Rutgers websites and online services via the school's wireless internet networks on the first day of classes this year, thanks to yet another cyberattack.

    Similarly, those outside the school were unable to access Rutgers websites during a window of time that the massive network was breached.

    The Daily Targum's Nikilesh De broke the story on September 6, the same day that the attack caused major inconveniences for at least a half-hour.

  • Photo Credit: KT Riley Photography

    MILLTOWN, NJ--A home in the quiet borough of Milltown erupted in flames in the early-morning hours of September 4.

    Karen Piciullo, the 50-year-old homeowner, was charged the following day with aggravated arson and criminal mischief, according to a press statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    "The fire destroyed the entire 1 ½-story house and resulted in the death a dog," read the statement.

    The MCPO statement indicated that Piciullo started the blaze at about 5:24am.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Students at Rutgers University had yet to attend their first classes of the semester before they received their first crime alert, documenting an armed robbery of students.

    According to the alert issued at 11:32am on Labor Day, the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) is looking into an armed robbery that occurred the night before in the parking lot of the city's only major department store.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers cops, city police, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) have all been investigating Demetrius Lee, who has been charged with multiple crimes in the same area of the Hub City.

    Lee, a 33-year-old man who lives in an apartment on Elizabeth Street in Newark, has been charged with trying to kill two members of the same family on different dates in August, at the same street corner.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Reader-submitted photo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Two young men were shot in the parking lot of a supermarket on August 31 at approximately 11:15 am according to a press release from the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    While the suspects fled on foot, the victims fled the scene as well, apparently in a vehicle that ended up crashing just a stone's throw away from the entrance to a hospital emergency room. 

    It's at least the second shooting to take place in the supermarket parking lot in the past year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On September 1, a Highland Park man was sentenced to serve 64 years in state prison for shooting and robbing a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident more than three-and-a-half years ago.

    Lewis C. Hooper, age 32, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas at the Middlesex County Courthouse for his role in the crime.

    "As a persistent offender, [he] must serve 85 percent of the term before he can be eligible for parole," according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Rxreviewz.com

    METUCHEN, NJ—A grand jury in New Brunswick has indicted a Metuchen woman on charges of poisoning a man who was hospitalized, but since has recovered.

    Theresa Freis, age 44, allegedly administered "clonazepam or a benzodiazepine or benzodiazepines" to a man who authorities did not identify on May 25 somewhere in Metuchen, according to a statement from the office of Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A child molester is on the loose in Highland Park, according to authorities, who asked for the public's help in solving a troubling crime in the borough.

    ​Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Stephen J. Rizco of the Highland Park Police Department (HPPD) issued a joint statement on August 29 that described an incident where an 11-year-old girl was " improperly touched" by an unidentified man on the South side of town.

    (Police)
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    UPDATE: This article has been corrected to reflect Julio Perez's employer was JP Installations.

    EDISON, NJ--On August 27, 36-year-old Julio Perez died after an accident at the NU World Beauty Supply warehouse on Mill Road in Edison's Heller Industrial Park.

    Perez, a New Brunswick resident with Guatemalan roots, was killed at 4:15 p.m. "when a section of steel scaffolding accidentally collapsed inside the warehouse," according to a statement released by the Township.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—On August 14, at the Annual India Day parade, a member of the Asian Indian community was sworn in to serve the Fourth Ward on the Township Council for the first time in history.

    Woodbridge is the state's sixth-largest muncipality by population, with just over 100,00 residents, a quarter of which are of Asian descent.

    The Fourth Ward includes the Iselin and Menlo Park Terrace sections of the Township, home to a large concentration of Asian Indians.

  • Photo Credit: Edison Township

    SAYREVILLE, NJ--The Middlesex County Utilities Authority's seven-member board has a new member, as of August 18, when the Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the nomination of Robert Diehl.

    Diehl, an Edison Councilman, replaces Robert Karabinchak on the powerful board, which controls the county's landfill and sewer systems in portions of three different counties.

    Karabinchak left the authority's board to become a New Jersey Assemblyman earlier this year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On August 14, outside the Key Food supermarket, cops arrested a woman from North Brunswick after searching a vehicle with several smashed windows.

    More than a half-dozen officers were seen questioning a pair of young people, and aggressively searching damaged vehicle.

    It wasn't totally clear what was going on, but apparently it all began with "reports of gunshots and a fleeing vehicle," according to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—An emergency medical technician was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after an August 17 incident in Sayreville, according to authorities.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced the arrest in a statement that included a photo of the accused, Christopher P. McHugh, a resident of the Parlin section of Sayreville.

    (Police)
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    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—The state's sixth-largest municipality nearly passed a measure that banned residential rentals less than 30 days in an apparent attempt to halt private citizens from renting out rooms using websites like Airbnb.

    The Woodbridge Township Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance on "first reading," scheduling the final reading and public hearing on the proposal for August 9.

    But after a journalist reached out to the Township and to Airbnb, the ordinance was pulled from the Council's agenda 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On August 7, a Rutgers University police officer arrested a man and a woman "on charges of lewdness, trespassing, and engaging in an act of prostitution," according to the response to a public information request.

    Both of the people arrested, a 45-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man, hail from New Brunswick.  They were both released "on their own recognizance."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—​On August 17, a Perth Amboy man admitted to fatally stabbing another city resident in October 2014, and agreed to a plea deal that will likely put him behind bars for three decades. 

    Wilbert Hernandez, age 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, admitting he "fatally stabbed" 35-year-old Ramon Lugo on October 14, 2014, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating an incident where two people were gunned down outside of a convenience store on Throop Avenue on August 22.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced that a 43-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, both from New Brunswick, had been critically injured in the shooting, which occurred around 9pm.

    The man was shot in the lower back and the young woman shot in the chest, according to the statement.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Most of the county's voters will have a real choice in this November's round of school board elections, according to petitions filed with the County Clerk's Office.

    In addition to electing the nation's next President on November 8, most New Jerseyans will also be asked who should serve on their school board.

    In fact, every Middlesex County municipality except New Brunswick will hold school elections that day.  Hub City is one of the few communities in the state that hold its school elections in April.

  • Photo Credit: SCPO

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ--An investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department has yielded two arrests in an alleged credit card scheme.

    A 37-year-old Perth Amboy woman "fraudulently credited numerous credit cards belonging to relatives and friends," according to Somerset County authorities.

    (Police)
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    TRENTON, NJ—It's been hard to keep track of when Perth Amboy has been planning to hold its next school board election, as warring factions within the Bay City fought over the election date during a rollercoaster of a year.

    At several points in 2016, Perth Amboy's school district looked like it was going to be among the select few communities in the state with April school elections.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At some point on Thursday, August 10, somewhere on a three-block stretch of Sandford Street, city police arrested 32-year-old New Brunswick resident Jamaal Edwards on multiple charges.

    According to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) spokesperson Captain JT Miller, the arrest was "in regards to the theft of a motor vehicle on Somerset Street."

    Police pursued Edwards in a "high-speed chase," according to one source, and it's not clear how the pursuit came to an end.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    MONROE, NJ—At about 10am on August 10, a 2-year-old developmentally disabled girl was found in the shoulder of a busy road by a "good samaritan," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    She had apparently wandered away from the Remsterville Learning Center, located on Prospect Plains Road in Monroe.

  • Photo Credit: DEA

    EDISON,  NJ—Emile Constable Jr., a 25-year-old resident of Edison was indicted by a grand jury sitting in New Brunswick for his role in distributing heroin that killed another man, according to prosecutors.

    Prosecutors say that the man sold 10 one-gram bags of heroin to the dead man, identified as 23-year-old Edison resident Aniq Ali in the first of two press releases issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) on the subject.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (8/19): New Brunswick Today has learned the identity of the deceased man, James M. Wittkopp.  The MCPO did not respond to our request to confirm this.

    SPOTSWOOD, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced that a man "sustained major burns in a car fire" on August 8.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 52-year-old plumber, and relative to several prominent private landlords in New Brunswick, has been arrested on theft charges, but what he allegedly stole might surprise you.

    On August 5, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced that Fady Chedid had been charged with the theft of a century-old house in the Sixth Ward of New Brunswick.

    Chedid faces two counts of theft and spent four nights in county jail, with a $50,000 bail.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A gated community in the city's Fourth Ward was the scene of a stabbing that went unpublicized by the city's police department.

    A 16-year-old was injured in the incident, which occurred at around midnight on the evening of Friday, August 5 somewhere inside the gates of the Hampton Club.

    Sources told New Brunswick Today that the stabbing took place in the clubhouse within the 312-unit condominium complex, but police did not immediately confirm the exact location.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A police SUV driven by an officer with just over a year on the job was struck by a Hyundai Sonata driven by a 23-year-old Lawrenceville man shortly before 1am on July 3, according to a police report.

    The crash, which occurred at the corner of Jones Avenue and Seaman Street caused "major damage" to both vehicles and sent New Brunswick police officer Eric Martinez to the hospital.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After less than 17 months in operation, the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) will close the childcare center it opened inside the Tabernacle Baptist Church on George Street.

    Calling it a "difficult decision" to close the facility, the social services non-profit said that "despite widespread promotion of the program... PRAB was unsuccessful in meeting the enrollement to ensure program viability."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    TOMS RIVER, NJ—A Thurday evening crash that claimed the life of a 26-year-old motorcyclist in Toms River was the first in a flurry of fatal crashes throughout Central New Jersey.

    According to published reports, Zachary Kane died in the hospital following the crash that ocurred at 10:14pm on August 4.

    All told, at least six men and one woman died in crashes during a four-day period in Central Jersey.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Somewhere on Remsen Avenue, city police were investigating a domestic violence assault involving "an edged weapon" starting at 11:50am on Sunday, August 7.

    But that was about all they were willing to say about the incident, in addition to confirming that an unidentified suspect was "apprehended," and that the unidentified victim "sustained injuries that were not life-threatening."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    EDISON, NJ--On August 2, retired Edison Police Department (EPD) Captain Natale Fresco pled guilty to a third-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with charges he was working a private job while using up his remaining sick days before quitting the police job.

    They are two things that many police officers do--working side jobs, and using up weeks or months worth of sick time on their way out the door.  But when the two practices are simultaneous, it's illegal, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

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    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 20-year-old resident of South Adelaide Avenue was arrested and charged with starting the fire that damaged the three-floor rooming house where he lived.

    One resident told NBToday that Michael Henderson, the young man charged with starting the blaze, had moved into the home about two months prior.

    According to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, Henderson was charged with a second degree count of aggravated arson.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating what residents believe to be a stabbing near Bergen Court, in one of the city's public housing projects on July 26.

    According to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), a 28-year-old man from Bound Brook "sustained non-life threatening injury to his lower back from a cutting instrument" at about 3:27pm.

    Police said that the victim was transported from the Schwartz-Robeson public housing complex to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The name Diahlo Grant is still ringing out across the New Brunswick and Franklin communities, more than three months after his death at the hands of police officers.

    Grant's family members, local community leaders, and other concerned residents took to the streets twice in July to raise awareness about the case.

    The notoriously secretive Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), and its controversial leader Andrew Carey, are in charge of investigating Grant's death.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a disturbing display of physical aggression by a Rutgers University staff electrician, a grown man ran towards a college student, grabbing him and wrapping his arm around the student's neck at the school's Board of Governors meeting on July 20.

    The powerful 15-member board was about to vote on a 1.7% increase in tuition, one that the school had not publicized, leaving students and parents to wonder exactly how much of an increase was on the way.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In just nine months, the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) issued more than 150 "improper parking fines" totalling $6,300 to the low-income tenants in its oldest housing project.

    In a scheme uncovered by New Brunswick Today, the city's public housing agency was, more often than not, charging double the amount allowed under tenant leases.

    All of the violations were issued to tenants in the 260-unit Schwartz Homes and Robeson Village public housing complex in the city's Fourth Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Andrew Carey was not happy to run into a reporter, especially this one, on June 16.

    Armed with a digital camera, New Brunswick Today was actively recording Carey's walk down College Avenue to his illegally-parked, county-owned sport utility vehicle.

    This reporter asked the county's top law enforcement officer (LEO) if he had any response to NBToday's coverage of his own financial disclosure forms.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ—Two people died when a vehicle that may have been racing on Route 18 lost control, and crashed into the Raritan River near the Northeast Corridor railroad viaduct on July 25.

    The crash happened at about 12:56am, just across the highway from the worldwide headquarters of Johnson & Johnson.

    Shortly thereafter, ambulances and firefighters were looking for the vehicle in the woods between the highway and the river, according to emergency radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police detectives are investigating an "aggravated assault" that allegedly occurred on July 23 at a house party on Huntington Street, according to a crime alert issued by Rutgers University.

    Around 11pm, a fight broke out at the party, which was held inside a residence near Buccleuch Park, St. Peter's University Hospital, and the Bank of America on Easton Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—According to 48-year-old comedian Carlo Bellario, he was just an actor filming an independent movie and holding a harmless prop.

    The plot of the movie was fictional: "A group of DEA agents go undercover as security for a city casino where they uncover ties between Colombian drug dealers and an underground narcotics operation by casino security."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EXIT 12, NJ—During the early morning hours of July 18, police found a parked car on or near the New Jersey Turnpike that contained the body of Pablo Caamano, a 33-year-old man from Bayonne who authorities say had been stabbed to death by a woman that he knew.

    Authorities believe that 32-year-old Amarlis Calderon, a pedestrian who Caamano had picked up in Woodbridge, was responsible for the murder.

  • Photo Credit: Jason Liebman

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of the city's nine Board of Education members abruptly resigned on July 19, taking some observers by surprise.

    Franchesca Fowler, an attorney first appointed to the board in May 2012, announced her resignation from the board and left within the first few minutes of their public meeting.

    "With a heavy heart today, I am resigning from the Board of Education. I want to thank my fellow board members for their guidance and support in my decision to resign," began Fowler.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (7/26): NBPD announced that it identified and arrested three suspects in this case, including the two men who allegedly robbed the victim and "the driver of the getaway vehicle."

    Dauri Cabrera, a 19-year-old man from New Brunswick, was arrested over the weekend of July 23 and charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman affiliated with Rutgers University suffered "minor injuries" when she refused to comply with an armed robber who approached her on Comstock Street, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) are now investigating the incident, along with another knifepoint robbery that occurred just a few minutes later on the other side of the city.

  • Photo Credit: CBS New York

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A downtown burglary that occurred in broad daylight on July 18 is actually at least the fourth burglary to take place at a Rutgers building during a three-week period.

    All four burglary cases are listed as "Open/Pending" in the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) daily crime and fire safety log.

  • Photo Credit: UHaul

    EDISON, NJ--A 57-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged with "death by auto" for causing the death of an Edison resident on April 5, according to a press release from the ​Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    The announcement came on July 13, more than three months after the three-vehicle crash that killed 33-year-old Marcus Scroggins.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two city employees were arrested on charges of "theft by extortion" on the morning of July 19, according to a press release from the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    Tyrone Brown, age 46, and Traquan Newsom, age 31, have been suspended from their jobs as sanitation workers within the city's Department of Public Works, according to the release.

    In a bizarre incident on July 18, the two men allegedly stole three bottles of water from the Gaby's Bakery location on Joyce Kilmer Avenue at about 9:10am.