A single vehicle accident lands a Whiting woman in a local hospital with head and neck injuries and causes many in the western section of the township to be without power while a severed utility pole was replaced. 39-year-old, Rosalie Pajarilla of Whiting left the roadway at approximately 7:40 a.m., December 26, 2016, and struck and severed a utility pole before colliding with a tree on County Route 530. The roadway was closed for several hours while emergency and utility workers tended to the scene and replaced the utility pole.
At this time, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Route 530 and Pine Ridge Boulevard in the Whiting section of the township for the report of a single vehicle car crash with a downed utility pole. Upon arrival, officers located the occupied white 2016, Honda CRV along the wood line of Route 530 with arcing live wires suspended just above the vehicle. The driver, identified as 39-year-old, Rosalie Pajarilla of Whiting, was still in the vehicle and had to be assisted from it by on-scene emergency personnel. The investigation revealed that the Honda was traveling westbound on Route 530 when it left the roadway and collided head-on with a utility pole. The impact sheared off the bottom of the pole and caused high voltage electrical wires to drop down dangerously close to the vehicle and the ground. After striking the pole, the vehicle continued westbound and struck a tree on the berm area of the roadway. The vehicle had multiple airbag deployments and Pajarilla, who was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision, was transported to Community Medical Center for the complaint of pain to her head and shoulders. The investigation is still currently ongoing, however, it has been determined that driver fatigue may have contributed to the cause of accident. As of Monday afternoon, the driver was reported to be in stable condition at the hospital. The roadway remained closed and power was interrupted for several hours as emergency workers and utility employees worked to replace to broken pole and clean-up the scene.
Assisting at the scene were members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, EMT’s from Quality Medical Transport, and utility workers from Jersey Central Power and Light. The accident is currently under investigation by Patrolman Ian Bole of the Manchester Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit.
The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind motorists that tired drivers are similar to intoxicated drivers and to never operate a vehicle without being properly rested.
A Christmas day fire severely damages an unoccupied Whiting home. The fire broke out shortly after 2 p.m. at the unoccupied Newark Avenue residence. Although the homeowners were not home when the blaze broke out, their gold retriever was in the garage of the residence. It was safely rescued by officers from the department, however, the homeowner’s cat perished in the fire.
On Sunday afternoon, December 25, 2016, at approximately 2:33 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the 1800 block of Newark Avenue in the Roosevelt City section of town for the report of a structure fire. Upon arrival, it was determined that the fire was fully involved as flames were shooting out from the entire roof area of the residence. Fallen live electrical wires and a heavy smoke condition kept officers from immediately entering the residence. Once JCP&L was able to cut the power to the residence, police and fire personnel were able enter the home. Once inside the residence, Officers Ryan Saul and Mark Micciulla located a golden retriever in the garage. The canine was safely carried from the residence and transported to Lakewood Emergency Vet by Manchester Township Animal Control Officer Margaret Dellapietro for treatment of what appeared to be smoke inhalation. Additionally, fire personnel were able to locate a cat inside the residence which had perished in the fire. Manchester Police Dispatch later made contact with the homeowner who confirmed that no one was inside the residence.
Volunteer firefighters from Bamber Lakes, New Egypt, Lakehurst, Whiting, Manchester, Ridgeway, Berkeley, and Pleasant Plains, as well as firefighters from the Lakehurst Joint Base Fire Department responded and assisted in extinguishing the blaze. Deputy Manchester Emergency Management Coordinator, Mark Pellecchia, responded to the scene to assist the homeowners with establishing alternate living arrangements. Manchester Township Police Detective Adam Emmons along with investigators from the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire, which, as the time of this release, has not been determined.
On December 22, 2016, at approximately 5:00 a.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the report of an attempted burglary in progress at a residence on Molly Pitcher Boulevard in the Crestwood Village 4 section of Manchester Township. As patrol officers arrived in the area, Patrolman Michael Anderson observed a subject off in the distance dressed in a dark jacket with a hat walk between several houses. When Patrolman Anderson got to the area where the subject was last seen, the subject had disappeared into an adjacent heavily wooded area. Being unable to locate the subject, Ptl. Anderson met with the victim to investigate the attempted break-in. In doing so, it was learned that in the early morning hours of December 22nd, an unknown person or persons removed two exterior screens from the victim’s residence, presumably to look for unlocked windows. When unsuccessful, the involved person or persons threw a large rock through one of the residence’s windows in an attempt to gain entry, however, no entry was mad. This prompted the call to police. After meeting with the victim, Patrolman Anderson checked the surrounding area. While doing so, he located two individuals standing in front of another residence on Molly Pitcher Boulevard. While speaking with the individuals, Ptl. Anderson was able to develop the name of a possible suspect.
Detective Craig Beaulieu assisted with the investigation and conducted multiple interviews and was able to identify, 23-year-old, Ronald Huegel of Beachwood and 19-year-old, Jordan Stuart of Lyndhurst as having been involved in committing the attempted burglary. As a result, Detective Beaulieu charged Stuart with one count of criminal attempt-burglary, and charged Huegal with one count each of criminal attempt-burglary and criminal mischief. Bail for Stuart was set at $2,500.00 and he was transported to Ocean County Jail in default of bail, while bail for Huegel was set at $5,000.00.
Because Huegal’s whereabouts are not currently known, he has been entered as a New Jersey wanted person. As of the issuance of this release, he has not been located. The Manchester Township Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating Ronald Huegal whose photo is attached to this release above. Anyone knowing his whereabouts should contact Manchester Township Police at 732-657-6111.
Several Manchester Township Police Officers, including the four who saved the life of a retired New Jersey State Trooper, were recognized for their heroic and selfless acts during the Annual Departmental Awards Ceremony held in the Municipal Complex Courtroom on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
Among the honorees were Sgt. Robert Sharry, Ptl. Michael Guarino, Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky, and Ptl. Michael Steffen, who received the Life Saving Award for braving a severe snow storm last January to rescue retired NJSP Trooper Brian Malast from a medical emergency in his Whiting home. Trooper Malast was a guest of honor at the awards ceremony, where he was able to reunite with the officers who saved his life.
“Our officers make a positive impact on our community each day through their many commendable and courageous acts. This ceremony is to celebrate those accomplishments that go above and beyond, such as the efforts of these four officers and all of the other honorees here today,” said Chief Lisa Parker.
In January of this year, the above-mentioned officers responded to the home of Trooper Malast, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2005 on-duty car crash, to find him unresponsive and not breathing. While at the residence, Sgt. Sharry, a trained EMT, discovered that Malast’s breathing tube was disconnected and that he was not getting any oxygen. Sgt. Sharry, knowing how to react because of his training, quickly sprang into action and corrected the problem. Once the breathing tube was reattached, he immediately began CPR. Upon the arrival of Quality Medical Transport, Patrolmen Guarino, Rickvalsky, and Steffen assisted by shoveling a pathway through the deep snow and maneuvered much needed first aid equipment into the residence from the ambulance.
Collectively, these officers, with the assistance of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Company and Quality Medical Transport, secured Trooper Malast in a Reeves stretcher, carried him down a flight of stairs and outside through the snow to the ambulance all while continually performing CPR. Because no paramedics were available to respond to the residence, Ptl. Guarino drove the ambulance to Community Medical Center so that the two members of Quality Medical Transport could continue medical treatment in the back of the ambulance. The prompt and alert actions of these officers, along with the collaborative efforts of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Company and Quality Medical Transport EMT’s, resulted in the saving of Trooper Malast’s life, who eventually made a full recovery.
At the end of the ceremony, which saw the presentation of many awards, Mayor Kenneth Palmer offered closing remarks. In doing so, he recounted how he is frequently approached by residents who want to tell him about the many positive impacts that Manchester Township Police officers have on their lives. “Where ever I go, I hear positive comments about our Police Department. I’m very proud to have you all serve our community. As a resident, and on behalf of the Township Council, I thank you all very much,” said Mayor Palmer.
Chief Parker and the entire Command Staff would like to thank all who attended this special event, including Township officials and employees, Police Chaplains James Davis and Robert Clark, and the friends and family members of those honored. Additionally, the Command Staff was proud to present the following awards:
Receiving the ‘Civilian Service Award’ were Mrs. Dana Cerullo and Mrs. Melissa Nazario for assisting in the development of the “Not Even Once” opiate awareness program curriculum which is taught to students at Manchester Township High School and resident, Richard T. Boehm, for his assistance in extinguishing a kitchen fire in his neighbor’s house.
Receiving the ‘Firearms Distinguished Expert’ award were Detectives Richard Jupinka and Robert Maccaquano for attaining perfect scores on their last three firearms qualifications.
Receiving the ‘Chief’s Recognition Award’ for their sustained efforts in the area of traffic enforcement and criminal law enforcement were Ptl. Ian Bole, Ptl. Joseph Fastige and Ptl. Keith Craig.
Receiving ‘Unit Citations’ were Ptl. Anthony Iliadis for becoming a Field Training Officer and Ptl. Joseph Reilly for also becoming a Field Training Officer as well as for serving as a Physical Training Instructor at the Ocean County Police Academy.
Receiving the ‘Educational Achievement Award’ were Chief Lisa Parker, Capt. Todd Malland, Lt. Robert Dolan, Lt. Vincent Manco, Lt. James Sharkey, Sgt. Michael Leming, Sgt. Bryan Vidovich, Sgt. Theodore Cooke, Sgt. Richard Mazza, Sgt. Salvatore Ventre, Sgt. Charles Brooks, Sgt. Joseph Hankins, Sgt. Robert Sharry, Sgt. Albert Vega, and Dsg. Christopher Hemhauser for their successful completion of the prestigious 14-week NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police Command & Leadership Academy. Also receiving the award was Ptl. Christopher Cerullo for receiving his Master’s Degree.
Receiving the ‘Honorable Service Award’ were Ptl. Jason Wiener, Ptl. Patrick Cervenak, Det. Adam Emmons, Ptl. Christopher Cerullo, Ptl. Michael Steffen for their credible acts in the line of duty which demonstrated initiative and accomplishment.
Receiving the ‘Drug Enforcement & Seizure Award’ were Ptl. Brian Collins and Ptl. Matthew Juralewicz for their diligent and thorough efforts in uncovering and dismantling a rolling methamphetamine laboratory in Pine Lake Park.
Receiving the ‘Exceptional Duty Award’ was Ptl. Anthony Iliadis for this diligence and tenacity during the course of a motor vehicle stop which resulted in the arrest of three wanted men as well as the seizure of loaded .357 handgun.
Receiving the ‘Chief’s Award’ were Det. Adam Emmons, Ptl. Christopher Cerullo, Ptl. Joseph Fastige and Ptl. Keith Craig for their development and implementation of the “Not Even Once” opiate awareness program taught to Manchester Township High School Students.
Receiving the ‘Wounded in Combat Award’ was Sgt. Joseph Hankins for his actions in combating a suicidal armed assailant who attacked and cut him with an 8” pair of scissors.
Receiving the ‘Combat Cross Award’ was Ptl. Charles Gatnarek for his individual act of heroism during an incident in which there was an imminent threat to the life of both other officers and civilians while in combat with an armed adversary.
The Manchester Township Police Department is proud to announce that Ptl. Brian Collins was recognized for being among the finalists for this year’s Kimberly Smith Ames DWI Prevention Award, presented by the Ocean County Police Traffic Safety Officer’s Association and the Smith Family on December 15, 2016.
Ptl. Collins, a 17-year veteran of the Manchester Township Police Department, is routinely recognized by his peers for his dedication to enforcing both traffic and DWI laws; so far in 2016, Ptl. Collins has made five DWI arrests. He is a certified Drug Recognition Evaluator, having completed more than 80 DRE evaluations since earning his certification in 2011. Additionally, Ptl. Collins actively trains in the area of DWI and drugged driving detection.
“Each day, Ptl. Collins works to prevent tragedies involving impaired driving, whether that is through enforcement, training, or assisting municipal prosecutors as they prepare for DWI/DRE cases,” said Sgt. Antonio Ellis, who serves as President of the Ocean County Police Traffic Safety Officer’s Association. “His nomination for the Kimberly Smith Ames Award was well deserved.”
The award is named in honor of Kimberly Smith Ames, who was tragically struck and killed by a drunk driver on October 7, 1998, at just 23 years old. The crash not only took Kimberly’s life, but that of her unborn child. This award was created by Ed and Carol Smith in memory of their daughter, and to honor the hard work and determination of an Ocean County Police Officer who has demonstrated a strong commitment towards the effort of stopping drunk driving in their jurisdiction. The top honor this year went to Officer Michael Kelly of the Jackson Police Department.
In following a tradition full of joy for Manchester Township PBA 246 and its community partners, local children in need were treated to an evening of holiday cheer during the annual “Dinner with Santa” held on December 9, 2016.
More than 250 local children and their families were invited to attend the event this past weekend at Manchester Township Middle School. There, the grade school-aged children from Manchester’s elementary schools enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and visited with Santa, who presented them with a gift.
“Each year, this tradition of giving back to our community and spreading holiday cheer to families in need is one that we always look forward to,” said Manchester PBA 246 President Paul Bachovchin. “Everyone, from our volunteers to our guests, has a great time. It’s always a joy to see the children’s faces light up when they meet Santa.”
More than 25 current and former members of Manchester PBA 246 and their families attended the dinner and helped ensure its success. Also in attendance were Councilman Craig Wallis, resident and volunteer John McGuire, and school kitchen staff Dolores Brooks, Linda Donnelly, and Felicia Ventura.
Manchester PBA 246 is grateful for the generous donations of food from: Luigi’s Pizzeria, Restaurant and Lounge of Lakehurst, Café Napoli of Manchester, Heritage Restaurant of Whiting, Three B’s of Lakehurst, Joey’s Restaurant of Whiting, and Manchester Shoprite. Manchester PBA 246 also would like to thank Manchester Township High School’s cheerleaders and Michael Thorpe of Balloons New Jersey for volunteering their time. The kindness of these partners helped to ensure the continued success of this annual dinner.
On December 9, 2016, a second subject was arrested in connection with the rash of senior community burglaries that occurred over the past month.
Patrick Frew, a 28 year old male from Buena Visa Drive, Berkeley Township was arrested when he arrived home by members of the Manchester Township Investigations Bureau. Patrick Frew’s arrest was the culmination of a month long investigation by the Manchester Police Patrol and Investigations Bureaus. The Manchester Police were assisted by members of the Berkeley Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigations Unit. Patrick Frew was charged with one count of burglary and one count of theft. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated for Mr. Frew.
He was subsequently transported to the Ocean County Jail in default of $15,500.00 bail. In addition to the Manchester Police charges, Frew also had an outstanding arrest warrant out of Monmouth County.
A month-long investigation by Manchester Township Police Detectives into a string of burglaries in two Manchester Township senior communities, during which jewelry and firearms were stolen, has resulted in multiple charges for a Berkeley Township man.
Over a one month period, 12 burglaries and two attempted burglaries were reported in the Leisure Knoll section of Manchester Township. Detectives also investigated a burglary in the Leisure Ridge section of Manchester Township, from which two firearms were taken. Additionally, an attempted burglary was also reported and investigated within the Leisure Ridge development.
The investigation by Officers from the Manchester Township Police Investigations and Patrol Bureaus found that entry was made into the homes, all of which were unoccupied, through both locked and unlocked doors and windows during evening hours. Some homes were entered by force, and the majority of the proceeds taken were jewelry.
Through the review of surveillance video footage and the help of a citizen’s, suspicious vehicle report, Detectives developed two suspects and, with the assistance of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, were able to identify, arrest and charge Nicholas Marino, 24, of Grand Central Parkway, Berkeley Township, with committing several burglaries. During the course of the investigation, proceeds including jewelry and the two firearms stolen from Bridgeport Place were recovered from Marino’s residence.
Yesterday, (12/8/16) Marino was arrested and charged with seven counts of burglary, six counts of theft, and one count possession of receiving stolen property. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of bail, set at $90,500.00, no ten percent option. Additional charges may be forthcoming as the investigation continues. Further investigation by the Investigations Bureau found that Marino was not working alone in committing these burglaries. Detectives are continuing to investigate and additional arrest(s) are anticipated.
Residents are reminded to always be vigilant and to report any and all suspicious activity, persons, and vehicles 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.
In an effort to connect with high school students and teach them about the dangers of opiates, the Manchester Township Police Department created a comprehensive drug awareness program for 12th grade students, the first of its kind in the State of New Jersey.
The program, called #NotEvenOnce, touches on a common theme Officers often hear when they speak with a person addicted to opiates — if they hadn’t of tried opiates even once, they never would have become addicted and encountered the numerous health, legal, and social issues that are associated with opiate addiction.
“The opiate addiction problem in Ocean County has reached an epidemic level and we cannot pretend that this issue will go away. We must be proactive, and reaching high school students is an excellent start,” said Chief Lisa Parker. She recognized an opportunity for a police-based opiate awareness program at the high school level. Our primary focus is to educate students about the dangers of abusing opiates such as prescription medications and heroin and then help them make informed decisions.
This past summer four Officers: School Resource Officer Chris Cerullo, Detective Adam Emmons, Ptl. Joseph Fastige and Ptl. Keith Craig, were tasked with developing the high school opiate awareness program with the guidance of local teachers, administrators, recovery coaches, and the Manchester Township Municipal Alliance. Since the Officers were unfamiliar with the development of State-approved school curriculum, Mrs. Dana Cerullo and Mrs. Melissa Nazario, local teachers who are married to Manchester Police Officers, volunteered their time during the summer break to write the curriculum.
The comprehensive curriculum-based program is multi-faceted, beginning on day one with an educational PowerPoint presentation showing who is affected by opiates, how opiates are different from other drugs, and how widespread the opiate problem is in our communities. (Note: to date in 2016 there have been 180 overdose deaths in Ocean County, compared to 118 overdose deaths last year. In Manchester Township, 41 overdoses were reported in 2016, ten of which were fatal; in 2015 there were 46 overdoses in the Township, three of which were fatal.)
On day two, students are introduced to the Recovery Coach, a former addict who is now a trained professional who assists others in recovery. Students are invited to participate in an interactive discussion, asking questions, while listening to the recovery coach talk about their personal journey and what it’s like to be an addict.
On day three, Students then are shown a video interview conducted at the Ocean County Jail by Manchester Police Officers featuring a former Manchester Township High School graduate who was incarcerated for drug use. His story is that of a normal student who suffered a high school sports injury that led to a prescription pill habit, subsequent heroin addiction, and finally incarceration. This is a real life, candid jail house conversation exemplifying that this problem can affect anyone. Additionally, the Officers teaching the program share their own experiences, including what they have seen while responding to calls and how addiction has impacted their own families.
“It’s important for our high school students to understand that the opiate epidemic can affect anyone. Even as members of law enforcement, we have friends and family who are addicted,” said SRO Cerullo. “This program helps to humanize Law Enforcement and show students that we are all dealing with this problem.”
At the conclusion of the first three instructional sessions, students provided valuable feedback. Many were surprised by the amount of drug activity in their own neighborhoods, and they appreciated how the Officers spoke personally and candidly. Officers worked closely with education officials to ensure that the program meets all State curriculum standards and can further the goals and objectives of a successful drug awareness opiate program.
“I have to say that the quality of this program is outstanding,” said Superintendent of Schools David Trethaway. “The comments from both our staff and students have been extremely positive. We are very fortunate to have a police force so active and concerned about our students.”
Both Chief Parker and Superintendent Trethaway believe this program could benefit students state-wide. Presentations will be made to the Ocean County Superintendent and the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police in an effort to expand its reach and help as many young adults as possible.
“I would like to express my appreciation to Chief Parker and the Manchester Police Department for reaching out to our students and definitely making a strong statement about the dangers and seriousness of drug abuse. This is a tremendous benefit to our students,” Superintendent Trethaway said.
While the goal of #NotEvenOnce is to bolster the prevention aspect of curtailing drug abuse, another facet in the effort — increased enforcement — has been underway since the July 2014 formation of the Narcotics Enforcement Team. Since its inception, this specialize unit has made 370 drug arrests, executed 21 search warrants, and seized $39,000 in cash and 32 vehicles.
A nighttime head-on collision on Route 571 in the Ridgeway section of the Township sends two men to a local trauma center with serious injuries. 41-year-old Toms River resident, David M Rehl and 37-year-old Brick resident, Michael P. Redding were transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of serious injuries after the vehicles they were operating collided head-on on Route 571 in the area of Ridgeway Boulevard.
On Tuesday evening, December 6, 2016, at approximately 8:02 PM, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of County Route 571 and Ridgeway Boulevard to investigate a head-on collision involving two vehicles. Upon arrival, officers observed a white, 2004 Chevrolet Impala and a blue, 2001 Ford Escape in the eastbound lane of travel, each with heavy front-end damage. Additionally, it was discovered that the operator of the Impala, 41-year-old Thomas Rehl of Toms River, was trapped inside of the vehicle. He was soon after extricated by members of the Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Departments who had arrived on scene to assist. The preliminary investigation revealed that Rehl, who was traveling westbound on Route 571 in the area of Ridgeway Boulevard, crossed over both the double yellow line and the center painted turn lane before colliding head-on with the Ford Escape being operated by 37-year-old Michael Redding of Brick in the eastbound lane.
Both drivers were transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital, Neptune by ambulance for their injuries. At the time of this release, Rehl was listed in serious condition with internal injuries, while Redding was listed in stable condition with injuries to his arms, legs and face. Both operators where wearing their seatbelts and both vehicles had multiple airbag deployment.
Also, assisting at the scene were members of the Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad, EMS personnel from Quality Medical Transport, and Paramedics from MONOC. Additionally, detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit as well as detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office assisted at the scene. The investigation into the cause of the crash is still ongoing and is being conducted by Corporal Douglas P. Higgins of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section with the assistance of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.