Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

older | 1 | .... | 497 | 498 | (Page 499) | 500 | 501 | .... | 549 | newer

    0 0

    A civilian partygoer also was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun, police said.

    A private party attended by at least four Newark police officers Friday night went south in a disastrous way, authorities said, leading to the arrest of one officer who was later suspended along with three others.

    The Newark Department of Public Safety did not disclose in a statement Sunday what drew on-duty authorities to the gathering, but said one civilian present was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun.

    The officer who was arrested ultimately was released, police said. As of Sunday evening, authorities had yet to publicly identify that officer.

    The city's statement did not specify the specific misconduct allegedly committed by the officers, noting only that the case was under investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the police department's Office of Professional Standards.

    In the statement, Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said the officers involved "have three years on the job and will be dealt with accordingly."

    Police asked that anyone with information about the party call 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867), submit anonymous tips via the department's website at or provide information via the Newark Police Division smartphone app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

    Have a tip? Tell us.


    0 0

    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    There's summer heat, and then there's oppressive summer heat.

    We're beginning to experience some of the latter, and while we do everything we can to keep ourselves cool, it's important to remember our pets as well.

    "If it's hot to you it's just as hot for your dog or cat, and probably even worse," said John Gickling, a board certified veterinarian in emergency and critical care. "We're better equipped to handle the heat because we perspire."

    Some tips on making sure your pets can deal with excessive heat:

    * If you walk your dog, pick the coolest time of the day, follow a shady route and bring water for your pet.

    * Older pets, overweight animals and dogs with short snouts suffer more in high heat.

    * If your pet is outdoors, make sure it has a cool place to lay and that water is always available. Avoid taking your pets anywhere that has concrete or blacktop until temperatures normalize.

    * Dogs may be overheating if they can't get up, aren't alert or can't stop panting. If you suspect overheating, hose your dog off but never use ice water, which worsens the situation. If this doesn't work, a visit to a veterinarian is important.

    0 0 is relocating its Newark facility, possibly to Memphis, Tennessee.

    A 75,000 square-foot print production facility and data center that opened in Newark 10 years ago is shutting down and laying off its 116 employees., a digital printing and content management company based in New York, will close its plant on Mt. Olivet Avenue this year as it looks to expand its facility in Memphis, Tennessee, or open another location elsewhere in the U.S.  

    "Newark is fantastic and the people were fantastic. We had a great 10 years there," Mimeo CEO John Delbridge told NJ Advance Media. 

    He said the company has built a network of partners in the area that will continue some of the services provided by the Newark facility. "It was a business decision for us that we could better service our customers ... (by) leveraging our other resources," Delbridge said. 

    Mimeo opened its Newark plant in 2008, welcomed by then-Mayor Cory Booker, now U.S. Senator, as a sign of the city starting to turn the corner. 

    The facility had the capacity to produce more than 1 million printed pages a day. It was close to shipping hubs and the airport, allowing it to provide overnight delivery of documents. Since then the company has grown, with revenues exceeding $100 million, Delbridge said. 

    But the company has looked elsewhere in its expansion plans. 

    "Other cities, municipalities, and states are offering a lot of incentives that make it very appealing to set up operations in those locations," Delbridge said. 

    The economic development agency in Memphis approved a 15-year tax break should the company choose to expand there. "We're a smaller company and frankly the tax rates are very expensive in New Jersey," he added. 

    Mimeo received about $49,900 from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as part of the Business Employment Incentive Program for companies that were creating jobs in the state. It is still owed $144,000 from that grant, the state said. 

    Those payments were delayed, in part, in 2016 by former Gov. Christie as he tried to balance the budget. Companies were instead allowed to convert their grants to tax credits but Mimeo opted not to do so, a spokeswoman for NJEDA said. 

    Yet the company could be asked to return the grant dollars it has received since it did not maintain a minimum level of jobs in the state for 15 years, according to the NJEDA. 

    Mimeo is providing its Newark employees with job assistance, including job fairs, resume writing experts and other connections in the industry to help with the transition. Newark employees will also be able to apply for any jobs created either at the new facility or expanded space in Memphis.

    "We're making sure that the impact will be as minimal as it will be," Delbridge said. "Fantastic team of people out there. This has nothing to do with the quality, capability and the successes we've had with the team of Newark." 

    The job reductions are effective July 7, according to a notice filed with the stateWARN notices are required by law to be filed with the Department of Labor. 

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

    0 0

    Highlighting the best stories, moments and performances from all the brackets.

    0 0

    'I had everything! And more,' said Lange, who pleaded guilty to heroin possession after a 2017 arrest. 'I traded it for powder. Don't make that mistake.'

    Not long after he was sentenced to four years of probation for heroin possession, comedian Artie Lange tweeted about the judge's decision. 

    Lange, 50, thanked Judge Nancy Sivilli and called her decision "very fair" but said that he still found the length of the probation daunting. He proceeded to call his history of addiction a cautionary tale.

    In Superior Court in Newark on Friday, Sivilli also sentenced Lange to 50 hours of community service and ordered him to report back with information on his enrollment in an outpatient drug treatment program within 10 days.

    "The judge was very fair!" Lange tweeted on Saturday night. "But 4 yrs probation is a long time. I am gonna try my best. If I end up in jail for yrs let my life be a lesson to you kids battling Heroin. I had everything! And more. I traded it for powder. Don't make that mistake. Ur better than that. & I love u!!

    Lange was charged with heroin possession in May of 2017 after detectives said they saw the comedian drive erratically away from a McDonald's in Bloomfield during a plainclothes surveillance operation. They reported finding Lange with 81 decks of heroin and a bag with a straw in his lap.

    He was arrested in December after failing to show at court, then pleaded guilty to heroin possession. It was Lange's third arrest in 2017 -- he had previously been arrested in March after police allegedly found him with cocaine and heroin in the parking garage of his Hoboken building.

    Lange took on his long history of drug addiction in an episode of "Crashing" that aired in February. In the last few days, he has been filming scenes for the show's third season with star Pete Holmes and executive producer Judd Apatow.

    His struggles with addiction have spanned decades, starting publicly in 1995 when he was arrested for cocaine possession and left the cast of the sketch show "Mad TV." Lange spent nearly a decade as a co-host on "The Howard Stern Show" before he was hospitalized in 2010 for a suicide attempt, causing his exit from the show. He has said his addiction figured in the breakdown of his friendship with Stern.

    The comedian recently lost his hosting gig on "The Artie and Anthony Show" podcast with Anthony Cumia on Compound Media after an executive producer said Lange appeared to be in a "horrible tailspin."

    Lange, who was born in Livingston and grew up in Union Township, also thanked Assistant Prosecutor Tony Gutierrez and his own lawyer, Frank Arleo. His sentencing had been delayed several times when he was hospitalized for complications of diabetes and for nasal surgery. 

    During the sentencing, Gutierrez argued that Lange would end up relapsing and run the risk of killing himself if he was allowed to continue working as a stand-up comedian and a regular character on the HBO series "Crashing" and to go on a tour to promote his upcoming book. He recommended that Lange be sentenced to up to two years in an inpatient drug treatment program.

    Lange argued that his mother relies on him for financial support and that he could be more useful if he was working instead of in an inpatient program. He said he had tried both inpatient and outpatient programs, but that his progress would depend not on the type of program but his mentality going into the treatment. 

    Gutierrez also said that he didn't believe it was an accident that Lange found an oxycodone tablet in his pocket, causing his dismissal from a rehab program.

    "Also the prosecutor. Tony. Is a good man," Lange tweeted. "I truly feel he wants the best for me. He was doing his job. His words were heard! Loud & clear. I thank him as well as my lawyer Frank Arleo. 2 good men. & a woman on the bench who commands respect! She has mine. Stay tuned guys. Peace!"

    Comedian Will Noonan, who has made regular appearances on "The Artie and Anthony Show," figured among the replies to Lange's tweets. 

    "Best of luck Artie, you got the power," he tweeted. "If you're looking to maybe switch to weed, I'd love to be your sherpa up weed Everest."

    "Thx Will," Lange replied. "You're a good man. I was never a weed guy." 

    Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.


    0 0

    Check out who earned multiple gold medals at the 2018 track and field group championships.

    0 0

    When New Jersey tried to kill the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, the bi-state watchdog agency went to court. Now there is an injunction against the state.

    A federal judge has issued an injunction preventing New Jersey from unilaterally withdrawing from the bi-state watchdog agency that regulates the region's seaport.

    In a ruling late Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton said the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor would "suffer irreparable harm unless Governor Murphy is enjoined" from implementing a bill calling for the state to walk away from the interstate compact with New York that created the commission more than 60 years ago.

    "The commission works to reform corrupt and discriminatory hiring practices in the port," wrote Wigenton in her 23-page opinion. "The commission also investigates illicit activities in the port."

    Citing sworn statements by Walter Arsenault, the commission's executive director, that "organized crime still very much continues to exist on the waterfront," the judge declared: "It is in the public interest for the commission to continue its investigatory and regulatory work."

    Michael A. Cardozo of Proskauer, who represented the Waterfront Commission, said the ruling prevents the state from taking any action to withdraw from the interstate action until the case is over.

    "Of course, the state has a right to appeal," he said.

    A spokesman for the Murphy administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Senate President Steven Sweeney, who intervened in the court case and was a prime sponsor of the bill aimed at pulling out of the commission.

    The Waterfront Commission took New Jersey to court in January, after former Gov. Chris Christie, as one of his last official acts, signed off on legislation he once vetoed as unconstitutional, to unilaterally withdraw from the agency created decades ago to battle the deep-rooted corruption by the mob on the docks of New York Harbor.

    The bill, which was passed by the Legislature, directed the governor on behalf of New Jersey, to notify the Congress and the governor of New York of New Jersey's intention to withdraw from the compact that had created the Waterfront Commission. It proposed turning over responsibilities for policing the port in New Jersey to the State Police.

    The commission immediately went to federal court seeking an injunction against the state and its new chief executive, Gov. Phil Murphy.

    "New Jersey cannot simply decide for itself that it no longer wants to honor its obligations under a bilateral compact ratified by Congress," said lawyers for the commission in court filings. "Congress and the legislatures of New York and New Jersey established the commission to eliminate corruption and racketeering at the Port of New York and New Jersey. The threat of corruption persists."

    The Waterfront Commission has jurisdiction over all the region's piers and terminals--including the ports in Newark, Elizabeth and Bayonne.

    The political and legal fight over the future of the agency has been ongoing for years, with some elected officials arguing that the commission was living in the glory of its past.

    The corruption so endemic on the piers was later immortalized in the movie classic "On the Waterfront."

    Officials argued that time had moved on from the days when organized crime was so deeply entrenched in a shipping industry. At the same time, the unions that represent the longshoremen have fought against the commission's tough licensing regulations and mandatory background checks that for some can mean the difference between working or being banned from the port.

    In its filings, New Jersey argued that the commission "has over-regulated the business at the port" and has become "an impediment to future job growth."

    Wigenton said there is no dispute that the Waterfront Commission compact could be terminated if it outlived its usefulness.

    "Rather, the disagreement is over the unilateral manner and method by which New Jersey seeks to end the compact," she said, noting that only Congress--which first approved the agreement--explicitly reserved the right to alter, amend, or repeal it.

    She also noted that the commission's argument that withdrawing from the bi-state agreement would cripple the agency and leave it unable to carry out its duties.

    The judge said the hardships that commission alleges will occur without a preliminary injunction are not "illusory; rather, they are realistic and expansive," and outweighed the state's arguments of fostering potential economic growth.

    Read Judge Wigenton's opinion:

    Ted Sherman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find on Facebook.

    0 0

    Your neighbors lean red or blue? Here's how many Republicans and Democrats are in all 21 counties.

    0 0
  • 06/04/18--11:51: KIPP Academy unveils mural
  • New mural celebrates students.

    ex0603schoolnewark_edited.jpgKIPP Thrive Academy students Kamryn Onque, left, Ian Wallace and artist Suliman Onque. 

    NEWARK -- On May 22, students and teachers gathered at the KIPP Academy in Newark for the unveiling of a new mural in the school's second-grade hallway. The mural, which celebrates KIPP students and their successes, was created by artist Suliman Onque, a Newark native whose children attend the school. KIPP Thrive Academy students Kamryn Onque, left, and Ian Wallace help artist Suliman Onque put the finishing touches on the mural he painted at KIPP Thrive Academy.

    To submit school news send an email to

    0 0

    Sharon A. Doers, Essex County Assistant Register of Deeds & Mortgages pled guilty Monday to practicing law without a license, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino.

    A former Essex County employee admitted she illegally charged members of the public to prepare legal paperwork for them that she was not licensed to do. 

    Sharon DoersSharon A. Doers, Essex County Assistant Register of Deeds & Mortgages, pled guilty before the Honorable Siobhan Teare, Judge of the Superior Court, to practicing law without a license. (ECPO)

    Sharon A. Doers, the former assistant register of deeds and mortgages pleaded guilty on Monday to practicing law without a license, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino.

    Doers, 68, is no longer employed at the register's office, a supervisor there said Monday. The office declined to comment further. 

    Doers, of Montclair, admitted she charged people $295 to prepare legal paperwork related to the transfer of deeds between Sept. 2016 and Nov. 2017, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter Dirkin said in a release. 

    "While most public servants use their jobs as an opportunity to help others, the defendant used the opportunity presented by those in need to help to enrich herself," Dirkin said. 

    When reached by phone, Doers declined to comment and referred to her attorney. The name of her attorney was not immediately available. 

    As part of the plea, Doers will be placed on probation and prohibited from holding any public job in the state. 

    Doers will be sentenced on July 10. 

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


    0 0

    The man's mother, who owns the home where he was living, reported an odor coming from the house. Police discovered three bodies in the basement and detached garage. Watch video

    The three bodies found at the Massachusetts home of a former Montclair resident with a long criminal background in New Jersey were identified Monday.

    The bodies were identified by Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni as Ernestine Ryans, 47, and America Lyden, 34, both of Springfield, Mass., and Kayla Eascalante, 27, of Ludlow, Mass., according to

    Lyden and Ryans  were reported missing over the last year, but no missing persons report was filed for Escalante.

    They were found in the Springfield, Mass. home of Stewart Weldon, 40, after he was arrested June 27 by the Springfield Police when they found a woman brutally beaten in his car after a police chase that began as a traffic stop for a broken taillight. The woman told police that Weldon had been torturing her and holding her captive for a month, she said.

    Weldon was eventually arrested, charged with kidnapping with serious bodily injury, threat to commit a crime (murder), resisting arrest and five related charges. He is being held on $1 million bail, reported.

    Police have not filed charges in connection with the bodies found at his home

    Gulluni told he expects reports from the medical examiner's office on the women's causes of death within days or a week.

    A few days after his arrest, Weldon's mother, who owns the home where Weldon was living, reported an odor coming from the house. Police discovered three bodies in the basement and detached garage. reported that more bodies are believed to lay in shallow graves at the home.

    Weldon's criminal history in New Jersey began when he was arrested in Montclair and charged with sexual assault in 1997, court records show. The outcome of the case is not clear.

    In 1997, he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon in East Orange and was sentenced to three years of probation. He was also charged with kidnapping in East Orange but the result of the charge is unclear.

    In Bergen County, he pleaded guilty to a burglary charge in Maywood Borough and was sentenced in 2006 to 367 days in jail, court records show.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.

    0 0

    They are visually impaired women who have lost their sight but not their vision.

    Tara Invidiato couldn't see the audience. She couldn't hear them, either.

    But Invidiato, who is deaf and blind, could feel their presence Saturday during the second annual Miss Blind Diva Empowerment Pageant.

    The crowd, seated at dozens of tables, clapped their hands and stomped their feet at the Club House, a community center in Newarks Central Ward.

    "I could feel their vibrations," she said. "That's the beauty of being blind."

    They could feel her, too, as she used sign language to fully express the emotions in "DeafBlind Strong," a poem she wrote to educate those of us with sight.

    "We are not disabled," said Invidiato, who was born deaf and lost her sight three years ago from aggressive glaucoma. "We are different-abled."

     MORE: Recent Barry Carter columns 

    The judges agreed.

    Invidiato, 33, of Keyport won the Miss Blind Diva crown, an honor she said also belongs to the six other visually impaired ladies, who competed to let others know that vision loss does not hold them back.

    "If I had the opportunity to take this crown and copy it, they would all deserve it," Invidiato said. "They are true symbols of empowerment and independence."

    We can't forget rock stars, too.

    With Newark police officers and firefighters as their escorts, ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce Jameisha Murrell, 23, of Plainfield; Joanna Mallard, 32, of Jersey City; Tamilah Alexander, 30, of Irvington, Laura Etori, 23, of Newark, Claress Knight, 22, of Maplewood and Tekesha Saffold, 35, of Palm Beach, Florida.

    Since February, the ladies have been attending pageant workshops in modeling, makeup and how to present themselves when they strut down the runway.

    Sporting fashion from Ashley Stewart, a clothing store in Newark and Designer Christopher Bonds of Drama House fashion, the ladies walked the runway in garments from casual to evening wear and "nine to fine."

    They presented videos on You Tube showing their daily independence in activities such as athletics, cooking, creating art, navigating a college campus and social outings like bowling.

    The idea to enlighten others about their world came from Krystle Allen, president of Eyes Like Mine Inc., a nonprofit organization in Newark that challenges stereotypes and stigmas about the blind.

    Allen, who is legally blind, coined the catchy Ms. Blind Diva label when she didn't like students at Essex County College referring to her as the blind girl.

    "If they're going to call me blind girl, they're going to call me Blind Diva."

    Based on that thought, Allen and Naquela Wright, vice president of the organization, who is also blind, started the pageant to empower visually impaired women.

    They're onto something, because Murrell, who lost her sight at 12 years old said she came to "show up and show out" at the pageant.

    She draws strength from the blind community, including family members, whose vision loss is hereditary. Murrell's sister, mother and aunt are blind. So was her late grandfather, whom she said was a big influence.

    "He told me to not let anything keep you down."

    She doesn't. In two weeks, Murrell will be in Indianapolis with her team, the New Jersey Honey Bees, to compete for the national championship in goalball, a team game for blind and visually impaired athletes.

    But on Saturday, everyone saw why Murrell was a "Phenomenal Woman" the Maya Angelou poem she recited. The inspiration of those words was matched by a gospel song that Mallard sang,  "Put a Praise on It" by Tasha Cobbs, which brought the audience to its feet.

    "Remember, don't let nothing stop you from being who you are," said Mallard, who lost her sight 12 years ago from retinal detachment. "I may have lost my sight, but I have not lost my vision."

    After struggling with blindness as a child and teenager, Knight adopted Mallard's mindset when she realized that "being blind is not the end of the world."

    Knight just graduated from Union County College, the setting of her video of independence. It shows how she gets to class, using her support cane to tap along walls and her senses to hear doors open or vending machine noise to know when to turn left or right. In the fall, Knight transfers to Kean University, where she'll be a communications major. At the pageant, she sang a lovely song about Virginia and was more comfortable in this competition than last year.

    Vocals from Etori transported the audience to Kenya with a traditional African song she sang about her homeland. She's majoring in computer science and applied math at Rutgers University-Newark.

    "Being blind is the best thing that could have happened to me," said Etori, explaining that she is more outgoing.

    "Can I hear your smile?" Etori asked.

    The crowd cheered loudly.

    MORE CARTER:  Newark's urban farm is looking for a future | Carter    

    Traveling and trying new things hasn't been a problem for Saffold. Remember she came from Florida to be in the pageant, a bucket list item she can now check off.

    "God has given me the opportunity to live life," said Saffold, a "gym junky" who is also president of the National Federation of the Blind of Palm Beach,Fla.

    Alexander, a cancer survivor, tickled the crowd, telling them she was ready to "rip the runway." Energetic and artistic, Alexander is "always down for a challenge."

    All of the divas were game this past weekend. They danced, blew kisses to the audience, styled and profiled to music from DJ Blind Wonder, whose real name is Otis Kerr.

    The pageant experience came together with direction from coordinator Detras Powell, a model coach who said she benefited from the ladies.

    "They taught me how to teach them," Powell said. "It taught me to be more sensitive outside of my world.''

    Eyes Like Mine is only four years old, but the impact it delivers seems longer. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka correctly noted that the founders are not concerned about position or status.

    "They are not interested in the way people look at them or see them," Baraka said.

    They make things happen. They make people feel what they're doing.

    Now make some noise. Clap your hands and stomp your feet as loud as you can.

    Barry Carter: (973) 836-4925 or or or follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL

    0 0

    Seven people were arrested following a fight involving about 200 teens at Hamilton Mall in Atlantic County on Saturday night.

    0 0

    The new Donald M. Payne School of Technology was dedicated to the late Congressman on Monday and will open to students for summer courses.

    0 0

    Gear up for Saturday's action at Northern Burlington

    0 0

    A Newark neighborhood association filed a lawsuit against the city's planning board.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 2.49.58 PM.pngSite of a proposed WaWa along McCarter Highway in the Lower Broadway neighborhood in Newark.  

    A weed-choked lot in Newark's Central Ward is expected to become the home of the city's very first Wawa but a neighborhood group is trying to block it.

    The neighborhood association has filed suit against the Newark Planning Board and Tonymar, LLC, which owns the lot and wants to build the 24-hour iconic convenience store. 

    Lisa Gray, president of the neighborhood group, says the WaWa wouldn't only bring different varieties of coffee, made-to-order quesadillas and fresh salads, but also increase the amount of crime and prostitutes in an area that has been prone to those problems. Gray said the city might also find a better business for this "up and coming" area.

    "It's a high crime neighborhood already, weed, heroin. A big 24/7 store coming to a neighborhood like this with no security is ridiculous," she said. "We're not asking for a Saks 5th Avenue, but we can sustain a Trader Joes over here."

    City officials, including Mayor Sharpe James, celebrated the news back in 2017 when the Philadelphia-based company first announced plans to build on the lot. The move, officials said, showed that a national retailers was willing to make an investment in Newark's neighborhoods.

    Now, officials don't want to talk about the project. Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, who represents this neighborhood on city council, didn't return calls for comment. And Councilman Augusto Amador says he supported the WaWa, but declined to comment about his support. 

    WaWa also didn't immediately return calls for comment. Michael Oliveira, attorney for TonyMar LLC in Elizabeth declined to comment as well.  

    Gray, who said she has fought to keep prostitution and drugs of the neighborhood's streets, filed the complaint in Essex County Superior Court on May 22. The suit contends that the planning board approved the project even though a majority of the panel's members didn't vote to approve it.

    When the planning board voted on the WaWa project on Oct. 30, 2017, three of the eight members voted yes. One voted no, three abstained and one was absent. 

    The association also argued that when neighbors spoke against the project at the public hearing, the planning board chairman cut them off.

    And they contend in their lawsuit that the plan should be considered by the city's zoning board, since the company is asking to open a 24-hour business. And that the board of adjustment should take a look at the project because it has a wide driveway. A senior city planner says, however, that the area is already zoned for that type of business. 

    If the WaWa is ever built, it will include 58 parking spaces and 16 gasoline pumps. 

    This is not the first time Gray has fought against development she thinks would contribute to her neighborhood's demise.

    In 2016, Gray fought back against Family Dollar opening up in the neighborhood. 

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyoFind on Facebook 


    0 0

    The Newark Airport officers attacked 2 co-workers in a Terminal C office

    One Customs and Border Protection officer at Newark airport has pleaded guilty and two were indicted in a case of assault and hazing against their fellow officers, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

    Some of the assaults occurred on an office table in the airport they referred to as "the rape table."

    Tito Catota, 38, of Lyndhurst, pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of assault. He admitted that he helped grab the victims, throw them on tables and pin them down while they were attacked.

    Catota also admitted that he and other customs officers used WhatsApp, a chat messaging app, to discuss the assaults.

    Parmenio Perez, 40, of Hawthorne, and Michael Papagni, 32, of Staten Island, were both indicted with two counts of forcibly assaulting and intimidating two co-workers.

    The office said in a January 2017 incident, an unidentified customs officer reportedly shut off the lights in a Terminal C office while Papagni, Catota, and one other officer, who was not identified, allegedly threw one of their co-workers onto the office table. While they held him down, Perez grinded his body against the colleague's genitals.

    A similar incident happened in November 2016 as well. The men and alleged victims were clothed during the incidents, the office said.

    In response to Catota's guilty plea, his attorney Alan Zegas said, "He acknowledged his participation in the events charged and accepts responsibility for his conduct."

    Chad Seigel and Joe Tacopina, the attorneys who represented Papagni, said they were not surprised by the indictment. Seigel, speaking on behalf of the firm, claimed federal prosecutors "only heard a one-sided version of events."

    Seigel also said the complainants who came forward with the allegations "capitalized financially on the claims," having initially gone to a civil lawyer.

    "Not only is Michael (Papagni) innocent, but we have every confidence that a jury will reach that same verdict," he said.

    The charges against the three men each carry a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    An attorney for Perez, Lorraine Gauli-Rufo, did not immediately return a call for a comment.

    Gianluca D'Elia may be reached at gdelia@njadvancemedia.comFollow him on Twitter @gianluca_delia. Find on Facebook.


    0 0

    The body of Julia Vega was found on Friday according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.

    A Newark mother last seen in early May a few days after a fight with her former boyfriend has been found dead in Irvington and authorities have charged her ex with killing her, officials said Tuesday.

    vega3.pngJulia Vega 

    Julia Vega was 30 years old.

    Her body was found behind an abandoned house Friday, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday. Dental records led to her identification.

    She had two children with Gualberto L. Lebron, 33, who she dated in the past and is now charged with murder. His brother, Gilberto Lebron Jr., 34, is charged with conspiracy in the killing, the office said.

    Vega was last seen was May 9 when she left her job at a daycare around lunch time to go walk her family dog.

    Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Gualberto L. Lebron on the same day, police have said, following a domestic violence dispute between the two on May 5. Police say Gualberto Lebron attacked and choked Vega, but she managed to escape.

    lebronbrothersmurder.pngGualberto L. Lebron, left, and Gilberto Lebron Jr., right.

    Gualberto Lebron also faces conspiracy, robbery, burglary, stalking, witness tampering, hindering prosecution, desecrating human remains, eluding police, aggravated assault, and drug violations.

    His brother, Gilberto Lebron is charged with conspiracy to hindering prosecution, conspiracy to desecrate human remains, unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of firearm on school property.

    The office did not elaborate exactly when or where Gualberto Lebron allegedly killed Vega, or how exactly she died.

    The brothers will remain in Essex County Correctional Facility until their detention hearing, which has been scheduled for Friday. 

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyoFind on Facebook


    0 0

    Unofficial results for races in Essex County's June 5 primary election.

    0 0

    The powerful Democratic Committee in Essex County defended backing a candidate named in FBI search warrants.

    The unofficial checklist for how to become a freeholder in Essex County has always been pretty simple -- have experience as an elected official and get the support of the Essex County Democratic Committee, a powerful party organization in the heavily blue county.

    Now, you can add an unexpected criteria: Be named in an FBI investigation into alleged fraud and money laundering.

    Tyshammie Cooper, who works as the mayor's chief of staff in Orange and is an elected councilwoman in East Orange, ran unopposed Tuesday in the Democratic primary for the remainder of an unexpired term on the county's freeholder board. No Republican candidates ran, so Cooper is expected to coast to an easy victory in November.

    She was named in at least two FBI search warrants served in Orange over the past two years in a wide-ranging probe investigating alleged misuse of government funds, among other things. Federal officials have not yet made public the results of the probe, and Cooper has not been charged with any crimes in relation to the investigation.

    In a phone interview Tuesday, Cooper acknowledged the city has in recent months received additional subpoenas in relation to the ongoing federal investigation, but said that they were "looking for documents" and it "didn't involve me at all."

    Though she said she has not had much to do recently with the investigation -- which began in 2016 with an FBI raid of the city library and continued with a raid of City Hall in 2017 -- Cooper called the probe a "very lengthy" process that has been handled "very professionally" by both city officials and FBI agents.

    "They are experienced people doing their due diligence," she said of the agents.

    Cooper said she did not think the investigation should hamper her ambitions to become a district freeholder representing parts of Newark, South Orange, East Orange and Orange. She said both her role as an East Orange councilwoman and the "professionalism of my day-to-day work" in Orange made her an ideal candidate for the role.

    Cooper has not filed her campaign finance report with the state as a freeholder candidate in the non-contested race, but ran on the Essex County Democratic Committee ticket -- the party that supports six-term County Executive and New Jersey power broker Joseph DiVincenzo, as well as most every other major politician in the county.

    "Until there is some sort of continuation of (the FBI probe), she should be able to live her life ... and (take on) any political opportunities that present themselves," Committee Chair Leroy Jones said in an interview Tuesday. 

    According to Jones, Cooper expressed interest in the freeholder role -- vacated when Britnee Timberlake took now-Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver's state assembly seat in January. The committee "vetted" a number of possible candidates before choosing Cooper, Jones said, while noting that the pool of interested candidates "wasn't that competitive."

    When pressed about Cooper's role in the Orange investigation, Jones defended the committee's choice to back her. 

    "This is still America," he said. "Under our rules of law, people are still innocent until proven guilty."

    Timberlake did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment. A spokesman for DiVincenzo referred comment on Cooper to Jones. When asked about who would fill Cooper's seat on the East Orange Council, a spokeswoman for East Orange also referred to Jones.

    Jessica Mazzola may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @JessMazzola. Find on Facebook.

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

older | 1 | .... | 497 | 498 | (Page 499) | 500 | 501 | .... | 549 | newer