A duplex home on Liverpool Circle in the Leisure Village West section of Manchester Township was destroyed after a fire ripped through the residence on October 2, 2015. The incident was reported around 4:45 p.m. and upon arrival of police and fire units, the home was found to be fully engulfed in flames.
Manchester Police Sgt. Robert Sharry, Ridgeway Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Flanagan and an unidentified Good Samaritan assisted an elderly resident away from the burning home when he was found to be stuck in his fenced in patio located outside the residence. The resident was not injured; however, he was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River as a precaution.
Several nearby homes were evacuated while firefighters from Manchester, Ridgeway, and Lakehurst Fire Departments extinguished the blaze. One unit of the duplex home was destroyed by the fire and another was left uninhabitable due to fire damage. This resulted in both residents being displaced from their homes. The American Red Cross assisted with relocating the displaced residents.
The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation by Detective Adam Emmons of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Investigations Bureau. Also assisting with the investigation are detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit (CSI) and the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office. The Manchester Township Office of Emergency Management also assisted at the scene as did the Township Animal Control Officer who responded to remove two cats that were not injured.
Two Township men are facing drug charges after police found them each to be in possession of heroin.
Christopher Grande, 30, of Broadway Boulevard in Manchester and Matthew White, 28 of Holly Hill Road in Manchester were arrested September 29, 2015, afternoon by members of the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team.
The arrests occurred when the 1987 Nissan Sentra driven by White was stopped on Twelfth Avenue near Beacon Street at about 4:18 p.m. after Grande, the front seat passenger, was observed by police not wearing his seatbelt.
During the course of the stop, officers noticed that White and Grande had both exhibited signs of prior heroin use. Further investigation led officers to determine that Grande had a quantity of heroin concealed on his person. Additionally, White was found to have a quantity of heroin located inside of his cigarette pack.
Both Grande and White were each charged with one count of possession of heroin and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, Grande was issued a traffic summons for failure to wear a seatbelt. Both subjects were later released on complaint summonses. Also assisting with this investigation was Ocean County Sheriff’s Officer Michael Fiorentino and his K-9 Utah.
On September 26, 2015, at approximately 6:38 a.m., members of the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the report of a structure fire on Cambridge Circle in the Leisure Village West section of the Township. Upon arrival, officers observed black smoke coming from the eves of the residence.
The initial responding officers made entry into the residence but were quickly turned away by intense heat and thick smoke. Fire personnel, who arrived shortly thereafter, were able to enter the residence with their protective gear wherein they located a female lying on the floor in the living room. The female, later identified as the homeowner, Rita Hernandez, was pulled from the residence but succumbed to those injuries sustained during the fire. Also perishing in the fire were two birds and a cat.
Surrounding residences were evacuated while the fire was extinguished by members of the Manchester, Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Departments with the assistance of members of the Lakehurst Joint Base Fire Department. The cause of the fire is being investigated by Det. Adam Emmons of the Manchester Township Police Investigations Bureau, along with detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit and the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office. The initial investigation indicates that the fire began in the vicinity of the kitchen.
A crowd of more than 100 community members gathered at the Whiting Assembly of God this past weekend to learn about the heroin epidemic as it specifically relates to Manchester Township and what is being done by Manchester Police to combat the problem.
Sponsored by the Whiting Assembly of God and organized by Pastor David Charlesworth and Deacon Richard Curtis, the Sept. 18, 2015, program featured a keynote address by Sgt. James Komsa of the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team. Sgt. Komsa outlined the process by which a person typically becomes addicted to heroin, the warning signs indicating drug use, treatment options, and methods of reporting drug activity.
This program is designed for someone who has little to no knowledge about heroin use/abuse and it keys in on common warning signs to determine if a relative/friend may be using heroin” Sgt. Komsa said. “Programs like this, coupled with increased enforcement, are helping to curb heroin use and keep our community safe.”
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 in a July 2015 Reuters article. This 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.
Also at the presentation were Mon-Oc Paramedics Scott Carter and Peggy O’Neill, who spoke about Narcan, a prescription spray which is used to revive an individual suffering from an opiate related drug overdose. Representatives from recovery outlets including America’s Keswick, Barbara’s Place and Teen Challenge also addressed the audience.
A question and answer period followed the presentation, and the audience was very responsive and asked numerous questions of all the presenters. Future presentations are planned within Manchester Township and will be announced at a later date.
More information about drug abuse, including health effects and treatment options, can be viewed at the National Institute on Drug Abuse website, www.drugabuse.gov. Resources within the State of New Jersey for combating addiction can be found at www.knowaddiction.nj.gov.
Residents are reminded that if they witness suspicious activity in their neighborhood, that they should contact the Manchester Township Police at 732-657-6111 or use the “Tip Line” link at www.ManchesterPoliceNJ.com.
On Friday, September 25, 2015, at approximately 3:30 p.m., members of the Manchester Township Police responded to Route 70 in the area of mile marker 39 for the report of a motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles. Upon arrival, officers learned that a 2005, Nissan Sentra, being operated by 70 year old, Lorraine Theodore of Whiting was traveling westbound on Route 70 when it crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic and struck a 2015 Toyota Tacoma being operated by 29 year old, Brian C. Sullivan of Manahawkin. Sullivan was travelling eastbound at the time of the crash.
The impact caused the Nissan Sentra to exit the roadway and strike several small trees. Theodore was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune by MONOC Medi-Vac helicopter for treatment for a medical emergency. Sullivan was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River by Quality Medical Transport for complaint of neck and back pain.
Also assisting at the scene were members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department. The crash is currently being investigated by Ptl. Michael Anderson of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.
A Seaside Heights man and a Toms River man are facing drug charges after police found them each to be in possession of cocaine.
Alexandro Contreras, 34, of Franklin Avenue in Seaside Heights, and Jonathan Ganlser, 33, of Foster Avenue in Toms River were arrested Sept. 24, 2015, by members of the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team.
The arrests occurred after the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu being driven by Gansler was stopped on Route 571 and Commonwealth Boulevard at approximately 6:48 p.m. for a motor vehicle violation.
During the course of the stop, Gansler, who appeared unusually nervous, attempted to reach into his pockets numerous times after being instructed not to do so. Subsequent investigation revealed that Gansler had a crack pipe in his pocket and was also in possession of crack cocaine and a hypodermic needle.
A search of the vehicle was conducted wherein paraphernalia associated with the use of crack-cocaine was recovered. This ultimately led to the arrest of the passenger, Alexandro Contreras. At police headquarters, Contreras was found to be in possession of a quantity of cocaine which was concealed on his person.
A total of 8 grams of cocaine was seized as a result of this investigation. Gansler was charged with possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a hypodermic needle. Ganlser, who also had an outstanding traffic warrant out of Toms River Township, posted bail and was released.
Contreras was charged with possession of crack cocaine, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bail for Contreras was set at $10,000.00 and he was later transported to Ocean County Jail in default of bail.
The Manchester Township Police and Mayor Kenneth Palmer were honored to accept an American Flag presented by United States Army Spc. Robert Korzon, a Toms River resident proudly serving his country.
The flag was flown over Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, where Spc. Korzon serves with the Military Police in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Flown for 9 minutes, 11 seconds, the flag is a symbolic remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mayor Palmer was joined by Capt. Todd Malland and Lt. James Sharkey on Sept. 23, 2015, to greet Spc. Korzon in his office and accept the gift.
“I am extremely honored that in the midst of serving our country in Operation Enduring Freedom, Spc. Korzon felt compelled to present the Manchester Township Police Department with an American Flag that flew over our base in Guantanamo Bay because our Police Department far exceeds the benchmark of excellence,” said Mayor Palmer. “Spc. Korzon makes me proud to be an American and our police make me proud to live in Manchester Township.”
Before joining the Army, Spc. Korzon worked for a local towing company, during which time he had numerous professional interactions with Manchester Township Police Officers that left him with a positive impression of the department. We’re grateful for Spc. Korzon’s service and will proudly and prominently display this American Flag at the Municipal Complex.
On Tuesday, September 15, 2015, at approximately 9:10 a.m., members of the Manchester Township Police responded to the area of Route 70 and Colonial Drive for the report of a three vehicle crash involving an ambulance, pick-up truck and minivan which had caught fire.
Upon arrival, officers observed a 2004 Toyota Minivan burning uncontrollably from the engine compartment in the westbound lane of Route 70. Immediate efforts were made by the first responding officers to extinguish the blaze, but these efforts were unsuccessful. The fire was ultimately extinguished by members of the Manchester Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Once it was extinguished, the initial investigation revealed that the Toyota Minivan was traveling west on Route 70 when it struck the rear of a 2006 Ford E Series Ambulance owned by Quality Medical Transport of Bayville. The ambulance, which was not being utilized to transport a patient, was stopped for a red light at the intersection of Route 70 and Colonial Drive at the time of the crash. It was also learned that the impact with the ambulance had caused it to strike the rear of a 1997 Ford Ranger pick-up which was also stopped at the light.
The driver of the Toyota Minivan, 60 year old Lee W. Smith of Brick, was transported by members of the Manchester Township Volunteer First Aid Squad to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for a complaint of chest pain. His immediate condition is not known. The two occupants of the Quality Medical Transport Ambulance, 20 year old Steven Purtell of Forked River and 32 year old Hlif Gabrish of Waretown, were transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for complaints of neck and back pain. The driver of the Ford Ranger, 37 year old Jose Chacon of Lakewood, was not injured in the crash.
Route 70 was closed for approximately one hour after the incident for the investigation and clean-up. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Douglas Higgins of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.
Officers from the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section visited Manchester Pediatric Medical Day Care on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, to install child car seats in the center’s vans and educate employees about changes to the law governing these important safety devices.
Patrolmen Doug Higgins, Antonio Ellis, Paul Bachovchin and Michael Lynch demonstrated how to properly install a child car seat and discussed changes to the State’s child car seat law with Manchester Pediatric staff. The center, which opened in 2007, offers nursing services to children under 6 years of age who are technology dependent or medically unstable. In light of the law changes, Director of Nursing Jean Vitiello reached out to Ptl. Ellis and asked if officers could inspect the center’s child car seats.
“It is critical that children are properly restrained in an appropriate child car seat at all times when traveling,” said Ptl. Ellis. “We encourage parents to familiarize themselves with the changes to State law and to read the owner’s manuals for both their vehicle and child car seat, because installation can vary.”
According to the New Jersey State Police, the updated child car seat law states:
- Children under the age of 2 and weighing less than 30 lbs. must be in a rear-facing car seat with a 5 point harness. The car seat must be in a rear seat of the vehicle.
- From age 2 through age 4 and weighing up to 40 lbs., children must be secured in a seat with a 5 point harness, either rear-facing (up to height and weight limits of the particular seat), or forward-facing in the rear seat of the vehicle.
- For ages 4 until 8 and less than 57” (4’9”), the child must be seated in either a car seat with a 5 point harness or a booster seat, also in the rear seat of the vehicle.
- Ages 8 and older must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt.
- If there are no rear seats (e.g., a standard cab pickup truck), the child must be secured in the appropriate car seat or booster for their age, weight and height in the front passenger seat. If the child is in a rear-facing car seat, the passenger side airbag must be disabled or turned off.
The Manchester Township Police offer regular child car seat safety inspections on the first Wednesday of each month from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Ridgeway Firehouse located on County Route 571. No appointment is necessary to stop by this monthly car seat check. If an emergency situation arises and car seat installation assistance is needed between the monthly safety inspections, please call the Traffic Safety Section at 732-657-2009, ext. 4400/4401.
Vehicle Collides with Median on Route 37 and Overturns; Passenger Transported to Area Hospital for Injuries
On Saturday, September 5, 2015, at approximately 11:04 p.m., members of the Manchester Township Police responded to the area of Route 37 and Colonial Drive for the report of an overturned vehicle. Upon arrival, officers located a silver 2012 Chevrolet Impala on its roof in the eastbound lanes of Route 37 just past the intersection of Colonial Drive.
Initial investigation revealed that the Impala was traveling westbound on Route 37 when it failed to maintain its lane of travel and collided head-on with the concrete center divider in the area of Colonial Drive. The vehicle then went airborne, crossed over the concrete divider and traveled approximately 70 feet before it flipped over onto its passenger side and rolled onto its roof in the eastbound lanes of Route 37. After landing in the eastbound lanes, the vehicle proceeded to slide on its roof in a westbound direction on Route 37 before coming to final rest approximately 320 feet from initial impact with the median.
The driver, 21 year old Eric Larson of Jackson, was properly restrained at the time of collision and refused any medical treatment at the scene. The passenger, 22 year old Taylor Bromberg, was also properly restrained; however, he sustained significant abdominal injuries. Bromberg was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River by the Manchester Township Volunteer First Aid Squad where is condition is not immediately known.
Also assisting at the scene were paramedics from MONOC as well as members of the Manchester Township Volunteer Fire Department, and the New Jersey State Department of Transportation. The crash remains under investigation by Patrolman Ian Bole from the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.