On Thursday morning, September 15th, westbound lanes of Route 37 near the intersection of Colonial Drive were closed due to a motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles.
At approximately 11:38 a.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the intersection of State Highway 37 and Colonial Drive for the report of a motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles. Upon arrival, officers located a, 2003 Infiniti SUV with front end damage and a 2009 Honda Accord with rear end damage in the intersection.
The initial investigation revealed that the driver of the Infiniti, 58-year-old, Clarissa Holland of Whiting, was travelling westbound on Route 37 when she crashed into the rear of the Honda which was stopped in front of her for a yellow light. The impact caused both vehicles to enter the intersection of Colonial Drive. The Honda, which was being driven by 78-year-old, Rita Jones, of Berkeley Township, was occupied by two other people; front seat passenger, Lena Ilg, age 83, and rear seat passenger, Rose Hidi, age 79, both from Berkeley Township.
All three occupants of the Honda, including Hidi, who had to be extricated by members of the Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Companies were transported to Community Medical Center by ambulances from Quality Medical Transport. Ms. Holland was transported to Community Medical Center by the Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, specifically abrasions caused by her seatbelt as well as air bag deployment. This crash is under investigation by Ptl. George Smith of the Patrol Bureau.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at approximately 10:00 a.m., officers from Narcotics Enforcement and Detective Section of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Investigations Bureau executed a Court authorized search warrant at a residence located on County Route 539 in the Whiting Section of the Township.
The incident began after the department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team initiated a marijuana distribution investigation involving a resident of the home. Subsequent investigation led to police obtaining a search warrant for the residence.
During the search of the home and property, evidence of a marijuana grow operation was uncovered along with two long guns and a high capacity rifle magazine. Approximately 2.5 pounds of marijuana were seized in addition to paraphernalia associated with the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution of marijuana.
Arrested were the following:
- Joseph W. Schweitzer, 23, of Route 539, Manchester
- Karen M. Schweitzer, 67, of Route 539, Manchester
Joseph Schweitzer was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana over 50 grams, possession of a high capacity magazine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bail was set for Joseph Schweitzer at $25,000.00, with a 10 percent option. He was unable to post bail and was subsequently transported to Ocean County Jail.
Karen Schweitzer charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. She was later released on a complaint summons.
The investigation was led by the Manchester Police Narcotics Enforcement Team. Also assisting were members of the Department’s Investigations and Patrol Bureaus along with the K-9 Unit. Additionally, the Lakehurst Police Department provided assistance at the scene.
Residents are reminded that drug related tips can be reported to the Manchester Police Division anonymously at 732-657-6111 or online via the Department’s “Tip Line” link located on our website, www.manchesterpolicenj.com
The report of a suspicious vehicle in the 2000 block of Larchmont Street leads to the arrest of three individuals, including a South Carolina male, and the seizure of what it being identified as a “rolling methamphetamine lab.” The three individuals inside of the van where charged with a host of drug related offenses and lodged in Ocean County Jail.
On September 12, 2016, at approximately 3:38 p.m., patrol officers from the Manchester Township Police responded to the report of a suspicious white van which was parked in a wooded area near the 2000 block of Larchmont Street in the Pine Lake Park section of the Township. The vehicle in question was located by Patrolman Juralewicz a short distance away on the 600 block of Middlesex Street and subsequently stopped. Shortly thereafter, it was learned that the vehicle was displaying license plates that had been reported stolen in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
During the course of the investigation, officers located several items within the van that were consistent with the manufacturing of crystal methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug which creates a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of it. Due to the potential volatility of some of the components involved in the manufacturing process of crystal meth, the items of concern were removed from the vehicle and placed a safe distance away. The New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Response Unit, the Berkeley Township HazMat Team, and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office Arson Unit where contacted and responded to the scene to assist with the identification of the materials and to render them safe. As a precaution, one residence was evacuated until the scene was deemed safe and Middlesex Street was closed between Sixth and Seventh Avenue for approximately five hours. Once the van and its contents were rendered safe, it was seized for further investigation.
The operator of the vehicle, 30 year old, Demetrius Kiprakis, from Goose Creek, South Carolina was charged with 1st degree Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe, and Possession of Stolen Property. He was lodged in Ocean County Jail in default of $410,000.00 bail. The male occupant of the vehicle, 29 year old, Bryan Sahlin of Middlesex Street was charged with 1st degree Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe. He was also lodged at the Ocean County Jail in default of $410,000.00 bail. An additional occupant of the vehicle, 57 year old Roseanna Fox of Toms River, was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Distribution/Manufacturing of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe. She was lodged at the Ocean County Jail in default of $85,000.00 bail.
Also assisting at the scene were investigators from the Manchester Township Police Investigations Bureau and Narcotics Enforcement Team as well as detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Group, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit. Emergency services personnel from the Ridgeway and Manchester Volunteer Fire Departments also responded and assisted at the scene as did squad members Quality Medical Transport.
Residents are reminded that tips and information can be reported to the Manchester Police anonymously at 732-657-6111 or online via the Department’s website, www.manchesterpolicenj.com, by clicking on the “Tip Line” link.
On September 1, 2016, at approximately 9:39 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police responded to a residence on Fifth Avenue in the Pine Lake section of the Township, for the report of a home invasion and armed robbery. Upon arrival, officers were advised by the homeowners that an unknown armed black male entered their residence through an unlocked door and upon doing so, pointed a firearm at them while demanding a safe.
The suspect was said to be wearing gloves and a green bandanna over the lower portion of his face and was carrying a small caliber rifle, possibly a 22 cal. when he entered the residence. Once inside, the homeowners reported that the male cocked the weapon and made multiple demands for their safe. After being directed to its location, the suspect grabbed it and ran out the front door of the residence. The suspect then proceeded west on Fifth Avenue towards Beacon Street.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’7″ to 5’8″ tall, weighing approximately 135 lbs. with a thin build. Detectives from both the Manchester Township Police Department as well as the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The incident is currently under investigation by Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky of the department’s Patrol Bureau and Det. Craig Beaulieu from its Investigations Bureau.
A composite sketch of the suspect was completed and has been attached to this release. Any individuals having information about this incident or who may know the identity of the suspect are urged to contact Manchester Township Police immediately at 732-657-6111.
Residents are reminded that tips and information can also be reported to the Manchester Police anonymously at 732-657-6111 or online via the Department’s website, www.manchesterpolicenj.com, by clicking the “Tip Line” link.
The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind the public that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property. It is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property. In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to hefty fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.
Originally operated by ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company), Inc., the property was sold to and subsequently operated by Heritage Minerals until the cessation of mining operations in the early 1980’s. As a former mining site, the property consists of 7,000 acres that connect the eastern section of the township off of Route 37 to the western section, off of Route 70. During its years of operation, the land was mined so deeply that numerous bodies of water often referred to as ‘lakes’ formed. These ‘lakes’ which are actually groundwater aquifers, litter the landscape on the site. Seemingly unassuming, these bodies of water offer many dangers.
Because the lakes were formed as a result of the mining operation, they do not have stable bottoms or shore lines, the way naturally occurring lakes do. The banks are very unpredictable and dangerously unstable. Those entering the water will quickly realize that after taking a few steps in the soft, unstable sand that the shoreline ‘shelf’ quickly drops off to depths that exceed 60 feet. Some estimates have the largest ‘lake’ on the property as being up to 300 feet deep.
Making matters worse, a recent lack of rain has exposed a greater area of the shoreline shelf putting those near the water perilously close to the steep drop off. Furthermore, unsuspecting vehicle operators and other individuals, including bathers, and families with small children are faced with a higher risk of danger in this exposed area because of its potential to collapse without warning. Under no circumstance should anyone walk or drive on this exposed shelf or approach or enter these waters.
Because these ‘lakes’ are not fed by any streams but rather by a deep underground source, the water is clear but very cold. These ‘lakes’ are filled with mineral-laden spring water from the underground aquifer and as such buoyancy is reduced. Additionally, the water is also much colder, which can result in a swimmer, even an accomplished one, tiring much faster. The characteristics of these ‘lakes’ to include unstable shoreline shelves and water composition have been attributed to several drownings which have occurred on the property.
Enhanced patrols of the area will be in effect this Labor Day Weekend and a strict “no warning” enforcement policy remains in place. Additionally, further criminal charges may result from operating recreational vehicles or lighting bonfires on the property.
Congratulations to Auxiliary Sgt. Lee Olson on his retirement from the Manchester Township Police Auxiliary Unit.
Sgt. Olson was honored this afternoon with a ceremony where Chief Lisa Parker and the Command Staff presented him with a plaque of appreciation. Further, Business Administrator Donna Markulic read a proclamation from Mayor Kenneth Palmer recognizing Sgt. Olson’s contributions to our town.
As a volunteer Auxiliary Officer, Sgt. Olson has selflessly dedicated countless hours of his time to the residents of Manchester Township. He joined the unit in January of 2012 and his hard work earned him a promotion to the rank of Auxiliary Sergeant in May of 2013. Since then, he has served as a leader in the unit, mentoring new recruits as an Auxiliary Field Training Officer.
In his resignation letter, Sgt. Olson wrote, in part: “The last four years have been a very proud and memorable experience for me… I am grateful for the opportunity to put on the uniform and do the best I could, to perform the duty I was trained to do.”
On behalf of Chief Parker and the entire Manchester Township Police Department, thank you Sgt. Olson for your service.
Thank you to all who participated in and supported the 2016 Ocean County Bravest & Finest Flag Football Tournament, which took place the weekend of August 20th at the Manchester Township High School’s football field.
Organized by Manchester Township Police Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky, the tournament featuring 12 teams of police and firefighters raised $1,500 for the Children’s Specialized Hospital of Toms River on Stevens Road.
The participating teams were from: Long Beach Island, Barnegat, Toms River, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Ocean County Department of Corrections, Ewing, Franklin, Berkeley, Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor, and Seaside Heights.
For the second year in a row, the Toms River Police Department took home the first place trophy. Among those on hand for the event were Chief Lisa Parker and Children’s Specialized Hospital representatives Alexis D’Anton, Community Engagement Coordinator, and Deidre Caruso, Volunteer Coordinator (pictured below with Manchester Police Officers).
Thank you to the following sponsors for your generous support: Johanna McConnel, Termini Nutrition, A Simply Greener Landscaping, Crossfit Razor, Stafford PBA #297, Anchorage Spine and Physical Therapy, Three B’s, Shoprite, and All-Star Bagel.
The former Acting Treasurer of the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 has been charged with the theft of more than $30,000 from the organization’s general account.
Vincent F. Conte, 46, of 10th Avenue, was arrested and charged on August 12th following an investigation by Manchester Township Police Department Detective Robert Maccaquano, with assistance from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit. Conte, a captain who separated from the fire company in October of 2015, had been writing checks to himself from the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company’s general account for his own personal benefit while serving as the Acting Treasurer from 2012 through 2015.
The police investigation was initiated after the fire company’s finances were reviewed following Conte’s departure. Fire company personnel noticed accounting discrepancies and contacted the Manchester Township Police Department for assistance. Detectives found that Conte had written multiple checks to himself or to “cash” over the three year period, with a total amount exceeding $30,000. The fire company now adheres to a rule that requires that all checks contain two signatures.
Conte was charged with one count of Official Misconduct, which is second degree crime and two counts of Theft in excess of $30,000, a third degree crime. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $75,000 bail.
It is with great pride the Manchester Township Police congratulates the graduates of the 2016 Youth Police Academy, the second class to successfully complete the one-week program.
Held from August 1-5, 23 students from grades 6, 7 and 8 were introduced to the law enforcement profession and taught what it means to be a police officer through hands-on demonstrations and activities. Led by School Resource Officer Christopher Cerullo, the youth cadets engaged in a variety of activities each day showing them different aspects of law enforcement.
“This week, I saw a great group of cadets learn and demonstrate the principles of discipline, leadership, and dedication,” said Chief Lisa Parker. “I’m proud that they dedicated a week of their summer vacation to such a worthwhile program.”
The youth cadets were taught the history of the Manchester Township Police Department, interacted with Ocean County Police Academy cadets during a tour at their Lakewood facility, saw SWAT demonstrations at the Ocean County Fire Academy, and learned about physical fitness, first aid and traffic safety.
“We’re able to teach these cadets about what we as officers do on a daily basis, as well as connect with them and build a sense of community,” said SRO Cerullo. “We’re always here for our children, and it’s important for them to know that.”
On Friday, Aug. 5, the youth cadets celebrated their accomplishments with a graduation ceremony and pizza party. Chief Parker addressed the class, and cadet Liane Sharry was selected to read an essay detailing their week’s worth of activities. Helping to make the Youth Police Academy possible were Patrolman Patrick Mabie, Detective Adam Emmons, the Ocean County Police Academy, Ocean County SWAT, and Manchester First Aid and Rescue Squad.
The Manchester Township Police Department would like to thank everyone who attended the pancake fundraiser breakfast for K-9 Officers this past Sunday, August 7, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Whiting. The breakfast, organized by retired Officer Sandy Drake, raised $3,100 for the non-profit Manchester Township Police Foundation, Inc.
K-9 Officer Steve Wendruff and K-9 Officer Marc Micciulla and his K-9, Storm, had a great time meeting with supporters and members of the community. The breakfast came together several months ago when Ms. Drake approached Chief Lisa Parker about hosting an event to benefit the K-9 Unit. Manchester Police Auxiliary Officer David Milecki also assisted with the event by distributing event flyers throughout the area.
Donations like these help to offset the cost for care, maintenance, and training for the K-9 Unit and reduce the usage of township funds.
“It was encouraging to see such a large turnout at this pancake breakfast. It truly shows that the generosity of our community is second to none,” said Chief Parker.
The Manchester Township Police Foundation is a non-profit organization which provides funding for youth and community outreach programs, police charities, investment in advanced education and training, and funding for specialized equipment and technology in order to help our police officers better perform their duties.