NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—More than a week after several people were stabbed in the Hub City, local police still have not answered basic questions about crimes that occurred during the chaotic Halloween weekend.
Among the crimes that went unpublicized were an incident where shots were fired and another where a masked man assaulted someone with “a rusty metal rod,” according to police radio transmisions.
As we reported, the Rutgers University Police Department responded to a gruesome knife-fight in Mettler Hall on October 30.
Three young men, including two Rutgers students were hospitalized, and one of those men was eventually taken to jail.
But, according to police radio transmissions, that was not the only stabbing incident that night.
During the early morning hours of October 31, city police were investigating another stabbing after a victim walked into St. Peter’s University Hospital.
At first, police suspected the wounds were self-inflicted, but later determined that was not the case.
Around the same time, police also got reports of several shots being fired on Remsen Avenue near Lawrence Street. New Brunswick officers found shell casings near Fulton Street shortly before 3:30am.
Earlier in the night, police recieved a report that someone had been assaulted near the corner of Easton Avenue and Mine Street, but without any witnesses, police determined the victim was intoxicated and had not been assaulted.
At the same time, New Brunswick cops were busy handling large crowds near the bars on Easton Avenue, and in the Buccluech Park neighborhood.
Multiple times police were seeking suspects but lost them in the crowds, according to radio transmissions.
Shortly after 2am, police were at the scene of a party that they said had approximately 500 people in attendance.
They issued six tickets, according to the police radio.
Across from St. Peter’s, police arrested some members of a large crowd that had gathered for a party on Park Boulevard, in the Buccleuch Park neighborhood, one of the few in New Brunswick that is still dominated by home-owners rather than renters.
It’s not clear if that was the party with 500 people.
At approximately 2:45am, city police responded to Carman Street, where someone had reported that a masked man assaulted them with the metal rod.
With the exception of the on-campus stabbing, none of the incidents that night generated a crime alert from Rutgers University or a press release from the New Brunswick Police Department.
On October 31, this reporter sent four questions to NBPD spokesperson Captain JT Miller, but an auto-response said he would be “out of the office from November2, 2015 through November9, 2015.”
Miller has still not answered the questions which include: “How many people in total were stabbed in New Brunswick overnight Friday into Saturday?”
For the first time in recent memory, none of the NBPD’s four Captains were present at the November 4 City Council meeting. NBPD Director Anthony Caputo does not attend the meetings.
On November 5 , Lt. Amish Shah, who fills in for Captain Miller as the spokesperson when he is on vacation, told New Brunswick Today, “Captain Miller will follow up in regards to those questions.”
As we reported, the New Brunswick Police Department intends to take away the public’s ability to listen to their radio transmissions.
The transmissions tell the story of a busy night for police officers, but unlike last year’s Halloween debacle, local ambulances were able to keep up with the demand for their services.
“Our Mobile Health Services placed extra ambulances on duty during this past weekend, but the call volume was light for a Saturday,” said Peter Haigney a spokesperson for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, which provides ambulance service for the city.
Haigney said that the hospital recieved “about a dozen intoxicated patients” on October 31 and confirmed that they “briefly” stopped accepting patients. But the spokesperson maintained that the decision to do so was unrelated to Halloween.
“We did not receive a tremendous spike in calls, however we did go on divert briefly Saturday afternoon due to a high volume of adult critical care patients in the hospital. This was not related to Halloween in any way.”
As we reported, last year’s Halloween festivities resulted in chaos and confusion as police and first responders struggled to keep up with a number of violent crimes, motor vehicle crashes, and a staggering number of intoxicated persons in need of medical help.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.