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Bright Side Police & Fire

New Jersey American Water Announces 10th Annual Volunteer Firefighter & EMS Services Grant Recipients

CAMDEN, N.J. – MAY 18, 2020 – In honor of National EMS Week, New Jersey American Water is proud to announce the recipients of its 10th Annual Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. This year, 26 volunteer fire and EMS departments located within the company’s service areas have been chosen to receive grants, totaling over $40,000, which will be used to support initiatives, training and/or upgraded equipment to help the responders better protect themselves and the communities they serve.

“We began this program 10 years ago, and we are so proud to continue this tradition of giving back to our everyday heroes,” said Denise Venuti Free, director of Communications and External Affairs, New Jersey American Water. “This year, we doubled the total amount of the grant funds available and the amount each department could receive because we know how important it is to support these brave volunteers who risk their lives to protect their communities.”

This year’s grants will be used in various ways by each department from purchasing first aid kits and emergency rescue apparatus to accountability boards, which keep track of first responders during a rescue, and decontamination cloths, which wipe carcinogenic toxins off the skin.

The 2020 Volunteer Firefighter & EMS grant recipients include:

  • Adelphia Fire Company
  • Bayview Volunteer Fire Department
  • Beverly City Fire District #1
  • Bound Brook Fire Department
  • Bradley Gardens Fire Volunteer Fire Company
  • Brick Township Technical Rescue Team
  • Budd Lake Fire Department
  • Finderne Fire Department
  • Finderne First Aid and Rescue Squad
  • Good Will Fire Company #1
  • Green Knoll Fire Company
  • Haddon Fire Company #1
  • Highlands First Aid Squad
  • Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company #1
  • Logan Volunteer Fire Company of Pedricktown
  • Mansfield Township Fire Department
  • Martinsville Rescue Squad
  • Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • New Providence Volunteer Fire Department
  • North Caldwell Fire Department
  • Oceanport Fire Company
  • Riverside Fire Company #1 Inc.
  • Somerdale Fire Department
  • Somerset County Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team
  • Union Gardens Fire Company
  • Upper Township Fire District #1
  • Washington Borough Fire Department

More information about New Jersey American Water’s First Responder Grant Program can be found online at www.newjerseyamwater.com/community.

About New Jersey American Water
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Police & Fire Recent News

Sicklerville Woman Facing Multiple Charges After She Rang Doorbell & Stabbed Homeowner

A woman is facing multiple charges after she rang the doorbell of a home on Waterview Drive in Sicklerville on May 3 and stabbed the homeowner as she opened the door, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins.

Judith Asber, 52, of Sicklerville, is charged with first-degree Attempted Murder, second-degree Aggravated Assault, second-degree Burglary, third-degree Possession of a Weapon, fourth-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and third-degree Stalking in the May 3 incident.

The homeowner heard the doorbell ring on Sunday afternoon and went to answer it; when she opened the front door, detectives said Asber stabbed her in the abdomen and chased her inside.

Through the investigation, detectives learned it was Abner’s second visit to the house since Friday. Gloucester Twp. Police originally responded to the home on May 1 for a report of a suspicious person. When they arrived, they found Asber, who then pulled a knife on officers. After deploying a taser on her, police arrested Asber.

She was charged with third-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, fourth-degree Possession of a Weapon, and fourth-degree Aggravated Assault by Physical Menace in the May 1 incident and was then released to a crisis center for evaluation.

Asber was transported to the Camden County Correctional Facility on May 3 and is awaiting a detention hearing.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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News Police & Fire Recent News

Law Enforcement Highlights Include Coughing, Spitting & Assaults & Noteworthy Violations of Emergency Orders; Also ABC & Consumer Fraud Violations

On May 1, 2020, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced enforcement highlights from the past week, including coughing and spitting assaults and bias incidents, and noteworthy violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders. The Attorney General also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations.

“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”

“Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.”

Assaults and Threats Against Police Officers, EMTs, or Others

  • John R. Hendricks, 19, of Rumson, was charged on April 25 by the Middletown Township Police Department with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), aggravated assault on a police officer (3rd degree), resisting arrest (3rd degree), criminal mischief (3rd degree), and violating the emergency orders. Andrew R. Jacome, 18, of Fair Haven, was charged with criminal mischief (3rd degree) and violating the emergency orders. Homeowners called police to report two subjects throwing rocks at their door, vandalizing their vehicle, and exploding fireworks in their mailbox. Police arrested Hendricks and Jacome nearby. Hendricks allegedly attempted to flee and physically resisted arrest. He allegedly screamed at the victims, threatening to return and burn their house down. At police headquarters, Hendricks allegedly tried to kick officers and spat on the floor, claiming he had the coronavirus.
  • Alana B. Hall, 24, of Wenonah, was charged on April 26 by the Woodbury Police with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), aggravated assault (3rd degree), and disorderly conduct. It is alleged that Hall purposely coughed on medical staff at Inspira Medical Center and said she was infected with COVID-19. She allegedly scratched and struck a nurse technician, spat on her, and fought with other medical personnel.
  • Jaymee Tice, 37, of Point Pleasant Borough, was charged on April 26 by the Point Pleasant Borough Police with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency. Tice entered the driver’s seat of an occupied vehicle while the driver was inside getting ice cream at Sundaes on Route 88. The car owner saw Tice and returned to her vehicle. She managed to get Tice out, but Tice allegedly shouted at her, saying, “Do you want corona? Do you want to die?”
  • Jenna Richardson, 24, of West Deptford, was charged on April 29 by the West Deptford Police with second degree terroristic threats during an emergency and fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer. Richardson allegedly spat on an officer and said she had COVID-19.
  • Quentin Daniels, 33, of Mount Laurel, was charged by the Mount Laurel Police on April 28 with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer (4th degree) and obstruction (disorderly persons offense). Police responded to a report of a domestic dispute. Daniels refused to cooperate and attempted to leave. While being handcuffed, he allegedly purposely coughed on officers and said he had the coronavirus. Throughout his transport and upon his initial detention at headquarters, he continually removed the N95 mask placed on him by police and repeatedly coughed on officers, saying, “I hope you all get the virus.”

Theft of Personal Protective Equipment

  • Stephen Milligan, 54, of South Amboy, was charged yesterday with conspiring with Kevin R. Brady, 49, of Point Pleasant Beach, to steal up to 1,600 respirator masks from Prudential Financial in Iselin. Brady was charged in the theft on April 23. Like Brady, Milligan was charged with theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy to commit theft, both third-degree charges. The two men were charged in an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Woodbridge Police Department, and Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, based on a referral from the National Hoarding & Price-Gouging Task Force headed by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. Brady and Milligan were on-site electrical contractors who had access to storage areas in the Prudential Financial facility. Between March 27 and April 1, Brady and Milligan allegedly stole seven to eight cases of N95 respirator masks, each case containing 200 masks. Prudential Financial had intended to donate the masks to a local hospital. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release detailing this further.

Price Gouging Enforcement

​AG Grewal announced updates on the Division of Consumer Affairs’ actions to stop price gouging. As of this week:

  • The Division has issued 92 subpoenas to retailers and online market places reported by consumers for allegedly engaging in unfair price increases.
  • Approximately 756 cease-and-desist letters have been sent, warning retailers about the penalties for violating New Jersey’s price-gouging law, and the Consumer Fraud Act’s protections from gross and unreasonable inflation of the price of any product during a state of emergency.

The Division has logged a total of 4,245 complaints related to the COVID-19 emergency against 2,358 locations. Nearly 90 percent of the complaints allege unlawful price hikes on essential items like food, bottled water, cleaning products, and personal protective equipment such as masks, disinfectants and sanitizers.

Examples of alleged price hikes that consumers have reported to the Division include:

  • a convenience store allegedly charging $4.50 for a quart of milk
  • a wholesale store allegedly selling a case of paper towels for $65, almost double the previous $35 price
  • a supermarket allegedly raising the price of bacon from $4 to $9.99—an increase of over 50%
  • a medical supply store allegedly selling a 2.4-once bottle of hand sanitizer for $13.42
  • a convenience store allegedly charging $30 for a single face mask
  • a dollar store allegedly charging $3.99 for a package of gloves that used to cost $1.49
  • a gas station allegedly selling purified water that normally costs $3 for $14 a pack
  • a pharmacy allegedly charging $10 for small plastic containers of sanitizing wipes, which were previously sold for $3.99
  • a deli allegedly selling a dozen eggs for $5.99

In addition to price gouging, the Division is looking into complaints from consumers alleging unlawful refund practices as a result of closures related to the COVID-19 health emergency. To date, the Division’s overall complaints include 202 reports of health clubs, hotels, ticket agents and other businesses allegedly refusing to issue refunds after they closed or suspended services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey’s price-gouging law, which took effect on March 9 upon Governor Murphy’s declaration of a state of emergency, prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency and for 30 days after its termination. A price increase is considered excessive if the new price is more than 10 percent higher than the price charged during the normal course of business prior to the state of emergency, and the increased price is not attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s supplier or additional costs of providing the product or service during the state of emergency.

Price-gouging and other consumer fraud violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first violation and $20,000 for the second and subsequent violations. Violators may also be required to pay consumer restitution, attorney’s fees, and investigative fees, and will be subject to injunctive relief. Each sale of merchandise is considered a separate violation.

Consumers who suspect consumer fraud, violations, or believe that businesses have unfairly increased their prices in response to COVID-19, are encouraged to file complaints online to report specific details investigators can follow up on. Photographs of items being sold, receipts and pricing can now be uploaded to our new price gouging complaint form.

Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinances

  • Newark Enforcement. The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 490 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered eight non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions during the past week, April 24 through 30.
  • Paterson Enforcement. The Paterson Police Department’s issued 21 summonses for violations of the emergency orders in enforcement actions on April 27.
  • Stephanie Hazelton, 48, of Medford, was charged with violating the emergency orders for her role in organizing and participating in a protest at the Capitol Complex in Trenton on April 28. She was served with a complaint-summons at her residence.
  • Christopher Pitts, 38, of West Deptford, was charged on April 25 by the West Deptford Police Department with violating the emergency orders by allowing golfers to play at the golf course he operates, Westwood Golf Course. Police had previously warned Pitts, but found approximately 24 people golfing on the course and sharing golf carts without social distancing.
  • Naman Rafi, 39, of Galloway, was charged by the Galloway Police Department on April 24 with two violations of the emergency orders for opening his business, Tobacco Outlet on Jimmie Leeds Road. Rafi had been warned several times about closing the business.
  • Delvis Rivera, 34, of Newark, was charged on April 24 by the North Arlington Police with violating the emergency orders for cutting hair at the business where he works, Avenue Cuts 34 on Ridge Road. This was the second complaint about the barber shop being open.
  • Zachary Novosellar, 62, of Lakewood, was charged on April 28 by the Lakewood Police for hosting an engagement party at his residence on 14th Street. Police found 25 to 30 cars parked on the street and approximately 20 people standing in front of the residence, without social distancing. Novosellar said he arranged for the parties to meet to pick up engagement gifts.
  • John C Bigham, 46, of Chatham, was charged on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by holding a large birthday party for his wife. Police found a gathering of 25 to 30 people congregating and drinking on his front lawn. The crowd dispersed once the police came.
  • Miran Lee, 44, of Passaic, was cited twice by the Passaic Police Department, on April 29 and April 30, for violating the emergency orders by opening her massage business on Brook Avenue, which operates under the names Sky Spa, Ohangs and New Asian Massage.
  • Janice Lauria, 52, of Point Pleasant, was charged by the Point Pleasant Police on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by ignoring repeated warnings from the police and allowing individuals to exercise in the gym she owns on Route 88, Anytime Fitness.

Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.

COVID-Related Violations of State Alcohol Laws

AG Grewal announced that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) this week issued charges against 20 bars, restaurants, breweries and liquor stores for violating executive orders related to COVID-19. All 20 establishments face suspension of their liquor licenses for at least 10 days. Two other establishments were issued fines for lesser COVID-19 related infractions.

Under executive orders issued by Governor Murphy, businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the state are permitted to remain open during the COVID-19 state-of-emergency, but only for take-out or delivery services of food and alcohol. No table or bar service is permitted, on premise alcohol consumption is prohibited, and alcoholic beverages “to go” must be in sealed original containers.

The establishments facing suspension for violating the orders are:

  • Alchemist and Barrister in Princeton
  • Bask Bar and Grill in Woodland Park
  • Buteco Sports Bar in Long Branch
  • Core 3 Brewery in Clayton
  • Devil’s Creek Brewery in Collingswood
  • Disabled American Veterans, Clifton Chapter #2 in Clifton
  • Lina’s Restaurant in Bloomingdale
  • Linwood Inn in Linden
  • Medina Liquor Store in Elizabeth
  • Old Glory Kitchen and Spirits in Keyport
  • Quilvio’s Tavern in Paterson
  • Rail’s Steak House in Towaco
  • Randolph Diner in Randolph
  • Riviera Maya in Branchville
  • Riviera Maya in Rockaway
  • Tacos El Tio in Medford
  • Taphouse 15 in Wharton
  • The Sawmill in Seaside Heights
  • Vincenzo’s Ristorante in Middlesex

The establishments that received fines are:

  • Juliano’s Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township ($500) for offering investigators a beer before they identified themselves.
  • The Liquor King in Pennsauken ($750) for violation of face mask requirements.

Since the state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on March 9, at least 28 people have been charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for spitting, coughing, or otherwise threatening to deliberately expose officers, medical personnel, or others to COVID-19. Second-degree offenses carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here covid19.nj.gov/violation

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas. COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes. Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

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News Police & Fire Recent News

19-Year Old From Willingboro Arrested for Firing a Handgun into Group, Striking Man in Leg

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Willingboro Township Public Safety Director Kinamo Lomon announced that a 19-year-old Willingboro resident has been arrested for firing a handgun into a group of people earlier this month in the Rittenhouse Park section of the township, striking a man in the leg.

Nasir Hickson, of Raeburn Lane, was charged with Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Hickson was taken into custody April 21 at the Willingboro Township Police Department and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. The Prosecutor’s Office is seeking to detain Hickson. A hearing is scheduled for April 28 in Superior Court.

The investigation revealed that a group of people had gathered near the intersection of Raeburn Lane and Randolph Place on the evening of April 18, and Hickson fired multiple rounds toward them from a vehicle traveling through the area.

The man who was struck by gunfire was treated and released from Cooper University Medical Center in Camden.

The case was investigated by the Willingboro Township Police Department. Hickson will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson.

All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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News Police & Fire Recent News

Glou. Twp. Man Allegedly Broke into Multiple Vehicles and Took Money From Them; Charged With Burglary & Violating Emergency Orders

Tyriese J. Reddick, 30, of Gloucester Township, was charged in yesterday April 21 by the Gloucester Township Police with four counts of burglary (third degree) and violating the emergency orders, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced on April 22, 2020. Reddick allegedly broke into four vehicles in a Gloucester Township neighborhood and took money from them. He also was wanted on warrants in the City of Camden.

Additional recent law enforcement actions related to COVID-19, including those involving individuals in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders included:

Assaults and Threats Against Police Officers, EMTs, or Others

  • Daniel Lurie, 48, of Hampton, N.J., was arrested on April 19 by the New Jersey State Police on charges of terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), resisting arrest (3rd degree), throwing bodily fluid at an officer (4th degree), obstruction (4th degree), and violating the emergency orders. State troopers were called to Lurie’s residence on a “medical assist” after Lurie called 9-1-1. When troopers arrived, Lurie was combative. He allegedly stated he had the coronavirus and spat and coughed on troopers. He was arrested and taken to the hospital.

Bias Incidents

  • Afrim Haxhaj, 30, of Jackson Heights, N.Y., was charged on April 21, by the Fort Lee Police Department with bias intimidation (4th degree) and harassment (petty disorderly persons offense). Haxhaj allegedly confronted a Jewish man in a Dunkin Donuts in Fort Lee on Monday, April 20, and told him to get out, saying Jews are responsible for the coronavirus. He allegedly warned the victim not to return. When the victim returned to the Dunkin Donuts yesterday, Haxhaj allegedly threatened him again, saying he does not want Jews in his neighborhood and bumping his chest into the victim. The victim left and called 9-1-1.

Other Criminal Charges Involving Indictable Offenses

  • Robert Murphy, 19, of Bayville, N.J., was charged by the Morris Plains Police Department and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office with attempted aggravated sexual assault (2nd degree), endangering the welfare of a child (3rd degree), and violating the emergency orders. Murphy allegedly had arranged to meet an underage girl on April 21, at Community Park in Morris Plains for sexual activity. He had contacted the girl through social media. The victim’s parents became aware in advance and alerted police, who arrested Murphy when he showed up at the park at about 11 p.m.

Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinances

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 29 summonses for violations of the emergency orders in enforcement actions yesterday, April 21.
  • Michael Masi, 47, of Branchburg, was charged on April 21, by the Plainfield Police Department with violating the emergency orders. Police were called to Michael Anthony Auto Sales on Richmond Street in Plainfield on a report of a dispute. When police arrived, they found people in the lot shopping for a car and three customers inside attempting to buy a car. Masi said he was making “curbside auto sales.”
  • Andres Torres, 31, and Jose Nolasco, 51, of Union City, were charged with violating the emergency orders on April 18 by the Union City Police Department. Torres owns La Roca supermarket on Bergenline Avenue in Union City. Police conducted a walk-through and found more than 50 people in the grocery store, with customers crowding around certain sections of the store. This had occurred on at least two prior occasions and the business was warned about occupancy limits. Nolasco is the store manager.
  • Shmuel Hirth, 49, Asher Jacobs, 23, Shmuel Weneintraub, 21, Pinchos Sinsky, 19, Shcomo Rosenfeld, 18, Arych Penstien, 22, Yuhuda Bronspigez, 25, and Rivka Jacobs, 47, were charged yesterday by the Lakewood Police and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office with violating the emergency orders. Police responded to a report of a school that was open in the first block of Drake Road. Police found a group of male students at the school who had been given permission to study there by the head of the school, Shmuel Hirth. Rivka Jacobs is the mother of one of the students, who is a juvenile.
  • Yakov Makukha, 40, Pinchos Aron, 25, Miriam Aron, 33, Yehudah Aron, 36, Tziporah Aron, 33, Yaakov Wiesner, Peninah Wiesner, 30, Ephraim Aron, 34, and Shmarya Aron, 20, were charged on April 21 by the Lakewood Police and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office with violating the emergency orders. Police responded to Read Place on a report of a back yard wedding. Officers found a van in the driveway occupied by two adults and three children. The driver advised that she was there for family photos for a wedding. In the back yard, there was a photographer, Yakov Makukha, photographing a family of six. Summonses were issued to all of the adults who were present.
  • Alexander Ellinson, 64, of Lakewood, was charged on April 21, with disorderly conduct. As the Lakewood Police and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office were investigating a report of a large gathering at a home on 8th Street, Ellinson, a neighbor, pulled up in his SUV and began yelling at police about their actions at his neighbor’s house. He continued to yell and nearly struck an officer as he drove away. Police stopped him and issued a summons.
  • William Teachen, 59, of Metuchen, was charged yesterday on April 21, by the Metuchen Police with obstruction and violating the emergency orders, both disorderly persons offenses. An officer found Teachen riding his bicycle along the Middlesex County Greenway, a closed county park, and told him to exit the park. Teachen allegedly failed to comply and rode away. After the officer activated his siren and exited his vehicle to request identification, Teachen allegedly tried to ride past the officer, disobeyed commands, and had to be physically removed from his bicycle. The park entrances are taped off and there are signs indicating the park is closed.
  • Dajour Clybourn, 23, of Bridgeton, was charged on April 21 by the Bridgeton Police with resisting arrest, obstruction, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violating the emergency orders, all disorderly persons offenses. Police responded to a report that Clybourn was panhandling and harassing another person. Clybourn ran away when officers arrived. When police apprehended her, they allegedly found a crack cocaine pipe in her possession.

The defendants who were charged strictly with violating the emergency orders or local ordinances and who do not face more serious charges were charged by summons— they were not arrested. Those cases will be adjudicated in municipal court.

“One month after Governor Murphy issued his emergency orders, we are flattening the curve and saving lives, because the vast majority of our residents are conscientiously obeying the social distancing rules and doing their share to fight COVID-19,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Unfortunately, there are still those who violate the orders, risking the further spread of this deadly virus. What is worse, there are some who deliberately threaten our brave police officers, medical personnel, and other essential workers, impeding their vital work. Our message to violators is that we will hold you accountable, whether it is through a summons for those who violate the social distancing orders, or an arrest on indictable charges for those who deliberately harm or threaten others during this emergency.”

“Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.”

Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.

On April 1, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six people who were charged with assaulting and threatening law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders. Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense carrying a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Eighteen additional defendants, including Daniel Lurie, have been similarly charged since that time for alleged assaults or threats against law enforcement officers, medical personnel, or others.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here covid19.nj.gov/violation

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes. 

Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.