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Manchester Township Police
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Manchester, NJ 08759-3898

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Manchester Police News

Manchester Police Welcome Second Chaplain to Department

The Manchester Township Police are pleased to welcome Pastor Robert Clark as the Department’s second Police Chaplain, expanding an important program in which highly trained clergy assist officers and the community during times of need.

RobertClarkPastor Clark joins Rev. James Davis, who has served as the Manchester Township Police Chaplain since November of 2011, in this important volunteer role. The duties of the Police Chaplain include helping officers make death notifications, assisting with critical incident response, and mitigating the stress families deal with during difficult times. Police Chaplains may also provide services for ceremonies, funerals or any other special event.

“The role of the Police Chaplain is critical to our officers and our residents, as they are often called upon to handle sensitive and difficult tasks. I’m proud that Pastor Clark has joined us to offer his experience, training and expertise to our community,” said Chief Lisa Parker.

Pastor Clark currently serves at the Building on the Rock Church located on Beckerville Road and is an instructor for Lincoln Tech at the Fort Dix Prison. He is a certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (Department of Homeland Security) who studied Christian Ministry at Toccoa Falls College in Georgia and received his Bible Certification from Crown College in Minnesota. Pastor Clark, who also previously served the United Way of Ocean County, came highly recommended to join the Manchester Police Chaplaincy and passed a thorough background check before his appointment in September.

“The Police Department is so much more than just providing protection, it’s also serving,” said Pastor Clark. “For me, the position of Police Chaplain is about doing whatever I can to help the officers perform their duties and ensure that their emotional well-being is cared for. Being a police officer is an admirable calling, so I really feel the call to help out the department as much as I can.”

Police Chaplains are respectful of the fact that they interact with community members of many different faiths. Although they are faith-based individuals, Police Chaplains subscribe to no denomination when providing counseling and other services. As such, they are a crucial asset for law enforcement during critical incidents, as they bring comfort, assistance and resources to any officer and/or resident regardless of their faith. Residents can rest assured that communications with Police Chaplains remain confidential, except when it pertains to the endangerment of persons, any criminal acts and/or suicide.

“I’m really looking forward to working alongside with the Manchester Township Police Department to form a bond of trust with both the officers and the community,” said Pastor Clark.

Residents Displaced by Early Morning Fire

On Saturday morning, October 22, 2016, at approximately 6:53 a.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to 45 Fox Street in the Pine Ridge section of the Township for the report of a possible structure fire. Upon the arrival, officers observed heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear of the single family residence.

Shortly thereafter, the responding officers determined that the residence was unoccupied as everyone had already evacuated the home safely prior to their arrival.  The Whiting Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene and quickly extinguished the fire and ventilated the residence to help clear the smoke out. Firefighters were also able to locate the family’s pet cat which was trapped in the residence and removed it before it suffered any injuries. Members of Quality First Aid, who had also responded to the scene, evaluated the homeowners for injuries. After being evaluated, they were reunited with their cat and released after refusing additional medical treatment.

Manchester Township Building Inspector Gary Loftus responded to the scene and determined that the residence was uninhabitable. As a result, the displaced homeowners went to stay with family.

The exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though it appears to have started in the area of the furnace and water heater and likewise appears to be accidental in nature. It remains under investigation by Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office.

Two Vehicles Collide on State Highway 70, One Injured

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, at approximately 4:30 p.m., members of the Manchester Township Police Patrol Bureau responded to the intersection of Manchester Boulevard and State Highway 70 to investigate a report of a motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival, officers learned that two vehicles had been involved in the crash.

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The first, a 2014 Toyota Prius, which had been operated by Martin Sporn, age 90 of Whiting, and the second, a 2011 Ford Ranger which had been operated by Dennis Cleary, age 30 of Manchester. The investigation revealed that the Ford Ranger had been traveling eastbound on SH 70 when the operator of the Toyota Prius attempted to make a left turn from SH 70 westbound onto Manchester Boulevard. While making the turn, the Toyota Prius impacted the driver’s side of the Ford Ranger. The operator of the Ford Ranger subsequently lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway and collide with a traffic control box at the intersection.

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As a result of the collision, the traffic light at Manchester Boulevard and SH 70 was inoperable for several hours. A passenger of the Ford Ranger received treatment by Quality Medical Transport for minor injuries at the scene. There were no other injuries reported as a result of the crash. The collision is being investigated by Ptl. Thomas O’Hare of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety section. The NJ DOT assisted at the scene with traffic control.

Whiting Resident Injured in Two Vehicle Crash

A two vehicle crash in the intersection of Route 70 and Colonial Drive this afternoon snarled traffic in the area for approximately one hour. A 72-year-old Whiting resident, Janet Sabba, was injured during a collision between her Dodge Caravan and an Isuzu box truck, operated by 61-year-old Kenneth Parker Jr. of Browns Mills. The box truck is owned by S & K Enterprise.IMG_2067

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at approximately 1:05 p.m.

, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the intersection of Route 70 and Colonial Drive for the report of two vehicle crash in the roadway. Upon arrival, officers observed an occupied silver, 2010, Dodge Grand Caravan in the middle of the intersection with heavy front end damage and an orange and red, 2011, Isuzu NPR box truck also with front end damage on the westbound berm of Route 70. The investigation revealed that the Dodge Caravan was travelling eastbound on Route 70 and was attempting to turn left onto Colonial Drive north when it was struck on the front passenger’s side by the Isuzu box truck. The impact caused the Dodge Caravan to spin 180 degrees through the intersection and stop in a southward facing direction in the middle of the roadway. The impact also caused her vehicle’s air bags to deploy.


The operator and sole occupant of the vehicle, Janet Sabba, was removed from the vehicle by members of the Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad and transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for treatment of possible head and neck injuries. Sabba was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision and her current condition is not known. The operator of the Isuzu box truck, Kenneth Parker refused medical treatment at the scene.

Traffic in the area was delayed for approximately 1 hour while police and first responders assisted at the scene. The crash is being investigated by Ptl. Paul Bachovchin of the Department’s Traffic Safety Unit.

Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle in Silverwoods Parking Lot

A Manchester Township resident was struck by a backing vehicle as she walked across the parking lot in the Silverwoods Independent Living complex on Monday morning. 64-year old, Catherine Burt, was walking through the parking lot when she was struck by vehicle which was backing from a parking space.

On Monday, October 17, at approximately 11:40 a.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the Silverwoods Independent Living complex on Route 37 for the report of a struck pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers learned that 87-year-old John Seabird of Manchester was backing his 2002 Volvo V70 from a parking space in the complex when he struck Catherine Burt as she crossed the parking lot behind his vehicle.

Ms. Burt was forced to the pavement and sustained minor abrasions and a laceration to her left hand and arm. She was transported by members of the Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad to Community Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment of a possible fractured arm. Seabird was not injured.

Ptl. Ryan Saul of the Department’s Patrol Bureau is investigating with the assistance of Ptl. Paul Bachovchin of the Traffic Safety Section.

Manchester Police Officers Visit Whiting Elementary for Interactive Program

Continuing a successful outreach program that began two years ago, students at the Whiting Elementary School yesterday were taught the ins and outs of law enforcement and given important safety lessons from Manchester Township Police officers.

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The four interactive stations at the October 13, 2016, event allowed elementary students to take a hands-on look at the equipment Manchester Township Police officers use on a daily basis. In the process of learning about these items, students also were presented with important information they can use to stay safe every day such as while traveling in an automobile or while riding a bicycle.

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“I’m glad that our strong partnership with Manchester Township Schools allows our officers to interact with students in a comfortable, educational setting,” said Chief Lisa Parker, who worked with Whiting Elementary Principal Evelyn Swift to organize the event. “These interactive sessions are important because they teach students that we are always here for them, and that they can come to us at any time for help.”

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During the event, Detective Sergeant Christopher Hemhauser and Detective Richard Jupinka gave students a lesson in fingerprints and explained how they serve as unique identifiers. Patrolman Steve Wendruff talked about the K-9 Unit and showed off the capabilities of his partner, K-9 Lynk. Patrolman Peter Manco gave tours of a police SUV, where students were invited to sit inside of the vehicle and examine its equipment. Detective Danny Barker demonstrated the SWAT gear officers use in the field, including a protective ballistic vest, breaching tools, hostage negotiation throw phone, and remote controlled Reconnaissance Robot with video camera.

The Manchester Township Police is proud to maintain a strong relationship with the Manchester Township School District, which includes sharing positive interactions with our students. These interactive events, which began in 2014, were organized after some female students inquired whether they could pursue a career in law enforcement. While planning a program showing the inclusiveness of the profession, it grew into an opportunity to give students a thorough view of law enforcement and safety through hands-on learning stations.

A Potpourri of Drugs Seized During Car Stop

The motor vehicle stop of a Freehold Township man, lead to the seizure of various types of narcotics as well as related paraphernalia early Wednesday morning. Ptl. Jason Wiener stopped a Ford Explorer for a motor vehicle violation and shortly thereafter found the operator to be in possession of heroin, marijuana, Xanax, Suboxone as well as a suspected crack pipe and other drug paraphernalia.

On October 11, 2016, at approximately 1:11 a.m., while on patrol, Officer Jason Wiener observed a red, Ford Explorer traveling westbound on County Road 571 near Maplewood Street.  Officer Wiener observed that the driver failed to use a turn signal and stopped the vehicle for the violation.  While the driver of the vehicle, 39-year-old, Mark Sobroza of Hidden Stream Road in Freehold, was speaking to Officer Wiener, an odor of marijuana was detected.  Further investigation revealed that Sobroza was found to be in possession of heroin, marijuana, Xanax, Suboxone, and a suspected crack cocaine pipe along with other types of paraphernalia.

Sobroza was arrested without incident.  He was issued several motor vehicle summonses, and charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession of a Schedule III and IV Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Paraphernalia.  Sobroza was released on criminal summonses pending a court appearance.

Chief Praises Quick Actions That Prevented Suicide by Cop

Manchester Township Police Chief Lisa Parker today recognized the outstanding efforts of two Manchester Township officers and family members of a distraught man with preventing a tragedy. On Saturday, October 8, 2016,at approximately 11 p.m., officers responded to a New York Avenue residence in reference a 911 call involving an intoxicated male. Responding officers had no idea the 25-year-old resident was looking to force a deadly encounter with police.

When Officer Patrick Mabie arrived, he observed a struggle between several people in the driveway of the home. As Officer Mabie approached the home to determine what the dispute in the driveway was, a male began walking towards him yelling. The man yelled to the officer “just kill me,” “I can’t stand my life.” Officer Mabie quickly assessed through the rain and dark night that the man was unarmed. Officer Mabie and a second officer, Officer Michael Steffen, struggled to bring the distraught man under control. After a brief scuffle, during which time the man repeatedly shouted “shoot me, shoot me,” they were able to take him safely into custody.

Officers later determined that the struggle in the driveway initially observed by Officer Mabie involved family members of the distraught man who were attempting to get a pellet gun, which closely resembled a real handgun, out of his hand. Officers learned that prior to the 25-year-old man calling 911, he called family members to say he was going to commit “suicide by cop.” As a result, several family members rushed to the residence and arrived just prior to officers.


Chief Parker said, “This near tragedy was avoided through quick actions of family members and officers. Family members were able to get the pellet gun out of the man’s hand and officers were able to quickly assess the chaotic scene and take appropriate action. Officers showed great restraint and safely took him into custody without further incident.”

The man was taken to an area hospital for further mental health evaluation.

The Manchester Township Police Department has seen a marked increase in calls involving emotionally disturbed persons. A review of the agency’s Computer Aided Dispatch records reveals an almost 30 percent increase in these types of calls between 2012 and 2015.

Chief Parker said: “This case just highlights how even the most seemingly basic of calls can quickly change. I am proud of the officers and thankful for the family members who intervened.”

Toms River Crash Results in DWI Arrest in Manchester

A Manchester Township woman was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Endangering the Welfare of a Child after she left the scene of crash in Toms River. The suspect, 45-year-old Wendy Soden was arrested by Officer Michael Guarino at a residence in Whiting.

On Friday evening, October 7, 2016, the Manchester Township Police was contacted by the Toms River Police Department and requested to assist with attempting to locate a vehicle which had been involved in a hit-and-run accident in their town. Information from the crash in Toms River revealed that the suspect vehicle might possibly be fleeing to an address in Manchester Township. As a result, Officer Michael Guarino located the vehicle and made contact with its operator, 45-year-old, Wendy Soden. She was located at an address on Hudson Parkway in the Whiting section of the township.

While dealing with Soden, Officer Guarino determined that her ability to operate a vehicle was impaired due to alcohol consumption. It was also determined that Ms. Soden had her 10 year old daughter in the vehicle during the collision and during the trip back to the Hudson Parkway address. As a result, Ms. Soden was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. She was processed and transported to Ocean County Jail in default of bail.

Motorcyclist Hospitalized following Crash with Car

Route 530 in the Whiting Section of the Township was closed down for several hours in the area of Pine Ridge Boulevard due to a motor vehicle accident involving a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Hyundai Sonata.

On Thursday, October 6, 2016, at approximately 2:07 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of County Route 530 and Pine Ridge Boulevard to investigate the report of a motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle and a vehicle. Upon arrival, officers learned that a 2015, Harley Davidson motorcycle, being operated by 45-year-old, Robert Worden of Bayville collided with the front end of a 2013, Hyundai Sonata, being operated by 87-year-old Raymond Brueno of Whiting.


The investigation revealed that Mr. Worden was travelling eastbound on Route 530 approaching the intersection of Pine Ridge Boulevard when Mr. Brueno turned left onto Route 530 westbound in front of him. This caused Mr. Worden to collide with the front end of the Mr. Brueno’s vehicle. The impact caused his motorcycle to slide across Route 530 through the oncoming lane of travel and unto the adjacent roadway berm where it ultimately struck a landscape bed paver wall.


Mr. Worden sustained a serious leg injury as a result of the crash.  He was treated at the scene by Whiting First Aid as well as Paramedics from MONOC and transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for further treatment.  Mr. Brueno was uninjured and was released from the scene.

Also assisting at the scene were members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department. The crash is being investigated by Ptl. Paul Bachovchin of the Department’s Traffic Safety Unit.

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The mission of the Manchester Township Police Division is to provide the highest level of professional police service to our citizens and visitors by safeguarding lives and property, protecting the innocent, maintaining order, aggressively investigating and preventing crimes, impartially enforcing laws and upholding the Constitution, thereby enhancing the quality of life in our community.


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