Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MAPLEWOOD POLICE HELP CAPTURE SUSPECT IN GEORGIA GAS STATION MURDER

Priester
From Maplewood Police:

On 5/23/17, the Maplewood Police Department received information that a wanted felon was possibly at an address on Burnett Ave.  The individual was identified as 36-year-old Joseph Priester and it was reported that he had felony warrants including one for homicide, originating out of Georgia. 

Officers contacted Georgia authorities and advised them of the report and confirmed that the warrants were active. Patrol Officers and Detectives from the Maplewood Police Department set up surveillance of the location and established a perimeter around the location.  

Assistance was initially requested from the US Marshalls and then from the Essex County Sheriff's Office Emergency Response Team (ERT).  While the ERT was responding to assist us, the suspect was observed inside of a vehicle that was attempting to leave the parking lot.  

A felony stop of the vehicle was conducted and Joseph Priester was taken into custody without further incident.  He was processed at Maplewood Police headquarters and then transported to Essex County jail to await extradition.  

The Maplewood Police Department would like to thank the Essex County Sheriff's Department for their assistance.
 
More background on the suspect HERE.

DELUCA AND COLLUM LETTER RIPS NJ TRANSIT DIVERSION PLAN

Mayor Vic Deluca and South Orange President Sheena Collum penned a joint letter to Gov. Chris Christie and NJ Transit today criticizing the decision to divert all New York City-bound Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken during July and August when repairs are made at Penn Station.

In the letter, dated today, the duo blasted Christie and the transit agency for announcing the change without any prior warning to local officials, saying our towns were "kept in the dark by an agency that is known for its terrible record of communication and transparency."

The complaint also stated, "this decision as made without any consultation with the elected leaders from the towns affected. We could have been given the opportunity to discuss options and a more equitable solution to the problem."

See the entire letter HERE.

NJ TRANSIT NYC TRAINS DIVERTED TO HOBOKEN DURING JULY AND AUGUST FOR REPAIRS; BUT FARE REDUCED

From WNBC TV:

All New Jersey Transit's Morris & Essex Midtown Direct trains will be canceled during the six-week overhaul at Penn Station this summer, Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday. 

The Morris & Essex Line's Midtown Direct trains will end in Hoboken, and from there, PATH trains and ferries will honor NJ Transit fares on that line.


Morris & Essex riders will get a discount of 56 to 63 percent during the work -- so a monthly pass from Gladstone to New York City, for example, would drop from $451 to $168, and still include the free ferry and PATH transfers.

It's the only line that will be affected during the work in July and August, Christie said at a news conference Tuesday. NJ Transit riders on other lines won't be cross-honored on the PATH or ferry.
Christie estimates a loss of revenue to New Jersey at about $15 million.

Amtrak, the owner and landlord of Penn Station, announced earlier in the month that it's finally getting around to fixing tracks and switches that have been crumbling for years. The overhaul will cut down service for both NJ Transit and LIRR commuters for six weeks.

Both Christie and Cuomo have called for a private operator to take over Penn Station, blaming "decades of underinvestment" by Amtrak for a "continuing string of infrastructure failures at Penn Station."

STRING OF BROKEN CAR WINDOW THEFTS LEAD POLICE WEEK

From Maplewood Police:

May 17, 2017; Theft from Auto; Sometime during the overnight hours, the window to a vehicle parked on S. 4th St was broken and a fanny pack left in view was stolen.

May 19, 2017; Theft from Auto; Sometime during the overnight hours, the window to a vehicle parked on Garfield Pl was broken and a tablet left in view was stolen.
May 19, 2017; Theft from Auto; Sometime during the overnight hours, the window to a vehicle parked on Fernwood Rd was broken and a briefcase left in view was stolen.
May 19, 2017; Theft from Auto; At approximately 4:20 AM the window to a vehicle parked on Midland Blvd was broken and a wallet left in view was stolen.  A witness observed an individual described as having a dark complexion, in his/her teens, medium build, 5'10" tall wearing a dark jacket and dark color beanie hat next to the vehicle.
May 19, 2017; Bicycle Theft; Between the hours of 5 and 10 PM, a bicycle was removed from an open garage on Courter Ave.
May 20, 2017; Theft from Auto; Between 9:15 and 9:45 PM a vehicle left unsecured in a parking lot on Springfield Ave had a purse that was left on the passenger seat stolen.
May 20, 2017; Motor Vehicle Theft; During the overnight hours, a vehicle left unsecured and possibly containing a valet key was stolen from Brookside Rd.  The vehicle was later recovered in Newark.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

POLICE STILL MUM ON JULY 5 INCIDENT INTERNAL INVESTIGATION

As the Township continues to react to Sunday night's disturbance in De Hart Park that included numerous fights and at least one reported robbery, questions also remain over a police-involved incident dating back nearly a year, on July 5, 2016.

You may recall that police were accused of abusive behavior when dealing with a group of juveniles who had gathered near the corner of Valley Street and Parker Avenue after the Independence Day fireworks that night.

The July 4 fireworks were delayed a day due to rain. But after they were held on July 5, many youths gathered at the corner near Columbia High School and the 7-11, sparking police efforts to disperse the crowd. 

Police later reported that four juveniles were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct, obstruction of the administration of law, resisting arrest, and assault of a police officer.

On Aug. 30, 2016, Police Chief Robert Cimino announced that an internal investigation had been launched into claims that police had
acted improperly during the July 5 events. Cimino and Mayor Vic Deluca recently said that investigation is continuing, but offered no details or any estimation of when it will be completed.

The ongoing investigation has also blocked release of all police reports related to the incident. Public information requests for copies of such reports have been denied.

In September 2016, Maplewoodian.com reported that the Essex County Prosecutor's Office had launched its own investigation into police conduct. That probe ended last month, according to Township Administrator Joseph Manning, who cited a letter from the prosecutor's office that said, in part, "there is insufficient credible evidence to warrant a prosecution in this matter."

But it failed to exonerate the officers, stating only that the investigation "failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation."

Since then, the police department internal investigation has continued with no word on when it might end or any findings.

Since Sunday's incident, some residents have offered concern about potential problems following this year's July 4 fireworks, as well as Maplewoodstock, scheduled for July 8 and 9.

Deluca offered no more comment on the issue, but said the police are always reviewing and updating contingency plans. Chief Cimino did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday morning.

NYC TRAINS TO FACE NEW DELAYS FOR AMTRAK REPAIRS

From NJ Transit:

May 23, 2017
Due to on-going Amtrak track maintenance work and track inspections leading to speed restrictions, effective immediately and continuing until further notice, NJ TRANSIT customers traveling to and from New York Penn Station will experience estimated delays of 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minute delays on the weekends.


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