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Manchester Township Police
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Manchester, NJ 08759-3898

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Manchester Police News

Manchester Police Present Donation to Ocean of Love

The Manchester Township Police proudly presented a donation to Ocean of Love on Wednesday, July 29, from funds raised during the inaugural Elite Law Enforcement Fitness Challenge.

Detective David Fusaro and Patrolman Charles Gatnarek, organizers of the fitness challenge held at Harry Wright Lake in June, presented Ocean of Love Assistant Director Theresa Segui with a check for $2,550. Assistant Director Segui said that the money will aid the non-profit charitable organization in its mission to help Ocean County children with cancer and their families lead more normal lives.Ocean of Love Donation

“The fitness challenge was a nice idea as it united a bunch of local towns. It was also a unique idea for a fundraiser and we were very excited about it,” said Assistant Director Segui.

In total, nearly $6,000 was raised during the fitness challenge, which put officers through grueling physical tests. In addition to the Ocean of Love charity, the funds will also benefit the not for profit Manchester Township Police Foundation and its programs. The officers were proud to work together and compete for these worthy causes.

“For our first year, we were more than happy with the turnout and the amount of money raised,” said Patrolman Gatnarek. The Manchester Township Police is appreciative of everyone who participated and is looking forward to making the Elite Law Enforcement Fitness Challenge an annual event.

To make a donation to Ocean of Love at any time, or to learn more about the organization, please visit their website at www.oceanoflove.org. More information about the Manchester Township Police Foundation is available through the “Police Foundation” link at www.manchesterpolicenj.com.

Woman Lost in Woods at Night Safely Located

On Monday morning, July 27, 2015, at approximately 3:05 a.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police responded to the area of Portsmouth Street in the Whiting section of the township to investigate the reports of a female yelling for help in the woods.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the caller, who reported that he went outside to smoke a cigarette and heard a female yelling for help. After speaking with the caller, Officers Arthur Cronk, Brian Volk and Michael Anderson began searching for the female by attempting to follow her voice, which appeared to be coming from a densely wooded area between America’s Keswick, Schoolhouse Road, and the JCP&L power line easement.

While attempting to locate the female, her voice began to fade and her pleas for help became less frequent. Members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department as well as a bloodhound from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to assist with the search. While searching the area, Officer Cronk heard the female’s voice and was able to get a response from her which aided in determining her location.

The female, April Lewis, age 28, of Quakertown, PA, was ultimately located in a tree approximately 15 feet off of the ground. Ms. Lewis stated that she was vacationing at America’s Keswick and had gone for a walk at approximately 10 p.m. without her cell phone. She stated that while walking, she believed that she heard and observed one or more coyotes. As a result, she reported that she climbed a tree for safety and cut a piece of her pant leg off to tie herself to the tree.

Ms. Lewis, whose legs were too weak to climb down from the tree, had to be assisted down by officers and members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Lewis was evaluated by Quality Medical Transport at the scene, and released without further medical treatment. The Manchester Police would like to thank the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, and Quality Medical Transport for their assistance in Ms. Lewis’ safe recovery.

Officers Save Choking Victim

On July 13, 2015, at 11:13 a.m., Officers Ryan Saul, Joseph Fastige, and Adam Carey responded to a residence on Cambridge Circle in the Leisure Village West section of Manchester Township for a 911 hang-up call. Upon arrival, they located a 61 year old female, later identified as Carol Scott, lying on the floor choking on a piece of steak.

Ms. Scott was having difficulty breathing and was unable to dislodge the food. The Heimlich maneuver was performed by each officer with no avail and Ms. Scott began turning blue and lost consciousness. At that point, the officers performed CPR. After a few minutes of CPR, Ms. Scott regained consciousness and the food was dislodged, however, she appeared to be going in and out of consciousness and had little to no pulse. At that time, Manchester First Aid and MONOC paramedics arrived and provided treatment. She was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus for further evaluation.

It was later learned that Ms. Scott was in stable condition and would recover. On July 21, 2015 officers made contact with Ms. Scott to check on her status. She advised them that she had recovered and expressed her gratitude for their efforts in saving her life.

Nursing Home Worker Arrested for Theft from Patients

A three month long investigation into a series of thefts from a local Manchester Township nursing home led to the arrest of a South Toms River man on Tuesday. Uriel Bruno, 21, of South Toms River, was arrested by Det. Adam Emmons, after it was learned that he pawned stolen property belonging to multiple patients of the AristaCare at Whiting health care facility in Toms River.

The investigation into the thefts began after officers took at least three police reports from patients at the facility between May and July of this year for missing or stolen items. These items included personal electronics and jewelry. Since Bruno’s arrest, at least one additional victim has been identified.

Uriel Bruno, a CNA for AristaCare at Whiting, was arrested at the facility on Tuesday and charged with three counts of theft and two counts of receiving stolen property.  Bruno was released after posting $1,000.00 for bail. The investigation is ongoing as investigators search for additional victims. Anyone with information that would assist Manchester Police in solving this or any other crime should contact the Manchester Township Police at 732-657-6111 or use the “Tip Line” at www.ManchesterPoliceNJ.com.

Woman Hospitalized After Vehicle Overturns on Ridge Avenue

On Monday, July 21, 2015, at approximately 7:34 a.m., members of the Manchester Township Police responded to the area of Ridgeway Boulevard and Ridge Avenue for the report of an overturned vehicle. Upon arrival, officers located a blue, 2014, Chevrolet Malibu on its side in the middle of the roadway.

IMG_2418The preliminary investigation determined that the vehicle was traveling west on Ridge Avenue when it left the roadway, struck a small bush, climbed an embankment, and impacted a large tree. After impact, the vehicle overturned, coming to final rest on its driver’s side in the middle of Ridge Avenue.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as 80 year old Kathleen Hayes-Horohoe, from Bradenton, Florida. Ms. Hayes-Horohoe, had to be extricated from her vehicle, after which she was treated at the scene for chest pain and transported by ambulance to Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune by the Manchester Volunteer First Aid. She is currently listed in stable condition.

IMG_2416The roadway was closed for several hours during the rescue and cleanup. A large tree had to be taken down by Manchester Township Public Works to prevent it from falling and striking electrical wires in the area. Normal traffic flow was restored around 9:30 a.m.

Assisting at the scene were members of the Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Departments, MONOC Paramedics and Manchester Township Public Works. The crash is being investigated by Patrolman Douglas Higgins and Patrolman Michael Lynch of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.

Two Arrested for Heroin Possession

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at approximately 9:26 p.m., the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team was conducting surveillance in the Holly Oaks section of Manchester Township. The team was surveilling a Nissan Maxima which was believed to have been involved in a narcotics transaction.

The vehicle was later stopped by police on Colonial Drive near Route 37, and after further investigation, a quantity of heroin and associated paraphernalia was located inside the vehicle. As a result, the driver, Desiree Ruffino, 18, of Nathan Avenue in Manchester and the passenger, Grace Shawger, 18, of Circle Drive, Manchester, were both arrested. Shawger was also found to be in possession of a hypodermic needle/syringe.

Ruffino was charged with possession of heroin, loitering to obtain CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia. Shawger was charged with possession of heroin, possession of a hypodermic needle/syringe, loitering to obtain CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both subjects were transported to Manchester Police headquarters and later released on complaint summonses. Also assisting with this investigation was Ocean County Sheriff’s Officer Kevin Fennessy and his K-9 Stosh.

Residents are reminded that drug-related tips can be reported to the Manchester Township Police anonymously at 732-657-6111 or online via the Department’s website at www.manchesterpolicenj.com.

Social Media Tips Help Identify Credit Card Fraud Suspect

The Manchester Township Police would like to thank the numerous social media tipsters who helped to identify a Whiting man suspected of credit card fraud.

Video surveillance photos of the suspect, who allegedly fraudulently used a debit card to purchase goods at various businesses located in the Whiting section of Manchester Township, were distributed on social media last week. Following up on information received from the public, Ptl. Joseph Fastige developed a suspect, Kenneth DiBenedetti, 44, of Rhode Island Drive in Whiting.

Upon further investigation, DiBenedetti was arrested and charged on July 15, 2015, with credit card theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of movable properties, and identity theft. DiBenedetti was lodged at Ocean County Jail on $7,500 bail, with no 10 percent option.

The Manchester Township Police is greatly appreciative that members of the community took the time to view the photos and share the post with their friends and fellow residents. Residents are reminded to report any and all suspicious activity to Manchester Township Police at 732-657-6111 or by using the Tip-Line link at the Manchester Police Website (www.manchesterpolicenj.com). Tip-Line information may be left anonymously.

Please be sure to follow our social media pages for important community updates by clicking the links below:

Manchester Township Police on Facebook
Manchester Township Police on Twitter

SUV Overturns Into Stream with Three Adults and Two Children

On Sunday, July 12, 2015, at approximately 2:34 p.m., members of the Manchester Township Police responded to Route 547 in the Ridgeway Section of town to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving an overturned vehicle. Upon arrival, officers observed a silver 2004 Jeep Cherokee on its roof in a stream on the northbound side of the roadway.

The investigation revealed that the Jeep was traveling south on Route 547, when it abruptly crossed the centerline of the roadway and entered into the northbound lane prior to striking the guard rail and rolling over. The vehicle then went down an embankment and landed on its roof in a stream.

DSC_0357The vehicle was occupied by a total of five (5) passengers all from Queens, New York; 3 adults and 2 children. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 22 year old, Dulce Casique was transported via ambulance to Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune for treatment and evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries. The front seat passenger identified as, 33 year old, Pedro Rivera, suffered a head laceration and was flown to Jersey Shore by medivac helicopter where he was listed in stable condition. The rear seat passengers which included a 1 year old male, a 7 year old female, and a 42 year old female identified as, Marcela Hernandez, were also transported via ambulance to Jersey Shore for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The roadway was partially closed for several hours during the rescue and cleanup. The children were released from the hospital last evening, while the status of the driver and rear seat passenger are not currently known.

DSC_0365Assisting at the scene were members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit, the Ocean County Health Department, the Berkeley Hazmat Unit, as well as members of the Lakehurst and Manchester Volunteer Fire Departments, the Joint Base and Lakehurst Police Departments and representatives from New Jersey Natural Gas.

The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, speed and driver error appear to be contributing factors. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Antonio Ellis, Patrolman Michael Lynch and Patrolman Joseph Fastige of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Unit.

News Report Shows Dangers of Quarry Swimming

Please follow the link below to view a news report from the local NBC affiliate in Philadelphia regarding the dangers of swimming in quarries. Referenced in the video is the recent tragic drowning at Heritage Minerals in Manchester Township. Quarries, such as those at Heritage Minerals, present dangers such as deep, unexpected drop-offs, rapidly changing temperatures, and unsound ground that can crumble without notice.

Video: Dive Team Shows Unexpected Dangers of Quarry Swimming

Community Bulletin: Important Drug Awareness Presentation

The Whiting Assembly of God Church will sponsor a presentation by the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team on the heroin epidemic within our township on September 18, 2015, at 7 p.m.

All from the community are invited to attend the presentation at the Whiting Assembly of God Church, 83 Lacey Road in Whiting. In addition to a brief introduction of the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team and a question and answer period, the presentation will address:

How a person becomes addicted to heroin

  • What is heroin?
  • What does heroin look like?
  • Methods of heroin use
  • Signs to look for which may indicate heroin use
  • Treatment options
  • Methods of reporting drug activity

A Reuters article published on July 7, 2015, stated the following regarding escalating heroin abuse:
Heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, fueled by lower costs as well as increased abuse of prescription opiate painkillers, U.S. health officials said. The report found that heroin use increased by 63 percent from 2002 to 2013. In 2013, roughly 517,000 people reported that they had used heroin in the last year, a 150 percent increase from 2007. As many as 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses in 2013 alone.

We are hopeful this presentation will help the community find answers to the epidemic of heroin use within Manchester Township and the surrounding areas.

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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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