Christie vetoes gun control legislation, Re-writes bill as mental health reform measure

IMG_6919Calling a bill that would have reduced permitted ammunition magazine sized from 15 rounds to 10 “reform in name only,” Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed A2006   this afternoon.

In his conditional veto message, Christie said the bill follows the well worn path of empty rhetoric, political self-promotion and polarizing intolerance in the face of violent crimes committed with guns:

“Difficult choices are brushed aside
in favor of empty rhetoric. Uncomfortable topics are left
unexplored, while easy soundbites and videoclips are packaged
for consumption. Appropriate empathy for victims, and their
suffering survivors, blurs with politics and elected officials’
self-promotion to create a polarizing intolerance. We ignore
the hard for the expedient, the controversial for the safely
familiar, and the costly for those cheaply recycled answers that
never really address the root causes.”

Christie sent the legislation back to the General Assembly as a bill that he says addresses violence by fixing critical short comings and crack in the mental healthcare system.

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Posted: July 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Red Bank Regional substitute teacher charged with bedding 16 year old student

Accused rapist is founder of a youth advocacy organization

Darnell Lewis recruiting youth to make the right choices in Newark, August 2010. photo via I.M.P.A.C.T.'s facebook page

Darnell Lewis recruiting youth to make the right choices in Newark, August 2010. photo via I.M.P.A.C.T.’s facebook page

A substitute teacher and assistant football and basketball coach at Red Bank Regional High School is facing charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after it was learned that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a 16 year of girl in his Red Bank home, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced from Afghanistan yesterday.

Gramiccioni is on a six month deployment with the Naval Reserve JAG Corps.

Darnell Lewis, 37, is charged with three counts of second degree Sexual Assault and one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He is being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $200,000 bail with no 10 percent option, as set my Superior Court Judge Angela White Dalton. He is to have no contact with the victim, should he make bail, according to White Dalton’s order.

Described as a hall monitor, substitute teacher and coach by Gramiccioni’s statement, Lewis recently resigned from Red Bank Regional and has not returned to the school.

Lewis is the founder of I.M.P.A.C.T., an organization he founded in 2010 that purports to help people make better choices.

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Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Education, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Prosecutor, News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

5 former NJ inmates charged with stealing $100K in unemployment benefits while in jail

5 former NJ inmates charged with stealing $100K in unemployment benefits while in jail (via NJ.com)

Five former state inmates have been charged with stealing approximately $100,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while they were in county jails and ineligible to receive them, the state Attorney General’s office said today. The inmates, along…

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Posted: June 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

FAIR HAVEN: SHOTS FIRED, TWO ARRESTED

FAIR HAVEN: SHOTS FIRED, TWO ARRESTED (via redbankgreen)

Two Rumson men were arrested Saturday following a predawn report of shots fired, police said. Matthew Robertson, 21, and Michael Robertson, 22, were stopped by police as they attempted to flee after shots were reported in the area of Tyson Drive and…

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Posted: June 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Fair Haven, Guns, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Crime in Asbury Park, Part 2 ENFORCEMENT

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By JOE WOERNER

Enhanced enforcement is the best first step to addressing our crime issue in Asbury Park. With over 80 police officers in a City that is a little larger than one square mile, we should be better able to police our streets.

What has worked in other communities would also make me feel safer in my neighborhood; a clear strategy to deal with gang violence, police walking/biking the beat more often, and stricter code enforcement. As this is essentially police work, the Asbury Police Department must lead this effort. The development of a comprehensive plan should also involve the City Council, community activists, the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office, the State Police, and it must be made public.

As gang members commit our most violent crimes, a specific gang intervention component is key. This strategy must focus on putting the hardcore gang leaders in jail and lower level members into intervention programs outside of Asbury Park. A few model programs suggested by community members that have found success in other urban areas include the Highpoint Interventionstrategy, Counterinsurgency Cops that employ a block-by-block approach, Cities United, and Violence Interrupters.

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Posted: June 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Crime, Law Enforcement | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments »

Fifth person shot in Neptune in 5 days

Fifth person shot in Neptune in 5 days (via NJ.com)

NEPTUNE – One person was shot on Milton Avenue late Thursday in the third night of gunfire in the township in less than a week, authorities said. The male victim suffered non-life threatening injuries, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman…

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Crime, Guns | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Crime in Asbury Park, Part One: Understanding the Problems of Our Youth

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By Joe Woerner

Consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in New Jersey, the crime on our streets has been more than ever on the minds of residents. In an effort to continue the discussion already underway in our community I will be sharing a few ideas that have helped me better grasp the issue as well as suggesting some possible actions. In a series of three letters I will address the fundamental underpinnings of crime, enforcement, and how to better support our community members.

Aristotle said, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” To understand our crime issue, we must first understand the devastating role poverty plays in our community. The socio-economic and emotional impacts of poverty directly correlate with insufficient family and community support. This absence of adequate support limits options and makes it near impossible for our young people to succeed.

The Center for Disease Control publishes risk and protective factors for youth violence. The risk factors, such as low parental income and diminished economic opportunity, read like a laundry list of Asbury Park’s problems. Poverty not only increases the risk factors but also decreases protective ones. Our youth live in broken homes, substandard housing, and without basic services like simple healthcare. As a result many turn to gangs for protection, financial opportunity, and a sense of belonging. This American Life did a two-part special on Harper High School (part I part II) in Chicago that illustrates the lack of options for poor minority youth in urban areas like Asbury Park. For too many, gang involvement and violence are a given, not a choice.

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Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Crime, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

WHEN THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1By Ernesto Cullari

 

What are the odds that after spending 15 years in prison for robbing a shoe store in Toms River, parolee Christopher Miller, by coincidence, would end up back in that same store hours after being released -attempting to rob it again?

The answer is 43%. Except for the fact that he walked into the same place looking to rob it all over again, it should be no surprise at all that Mr. Miller was sent back to prison just hours after being released. Writer Gary Buiso details in the New York Post, Christopher Miller’s journey from juvenile delinquent to serial criminal, an interview that Buiso describes as ranging “from humorous to hopeless.”

Ever since I read about Miller’s pathetic trip from a troubled childhood to jail, from jail to freedom and from freedom back to jail again -I can’t stop thinking about it. Christopher Miller and I are the same age. He and I went to the same high school at nearly the same time. Miller graduated two years after I would have if I didn’t drop out. He didn’t meet his father until he was an adult. I didn’t meet mine until I was 16.

While Christopher Miller was breaking into lockers at our high school, I was working part time as a janitor in the school cafeteria. It’s likely that our paths have crossed many times. Growing up our lives had been headed in the same direction, as well. By the time he was shoplifting and breaking into neighbor’s homes, I too was making my way into bigger crimes. But suddenly and abruptly this is where our paths diverge.

When I was arrested as a teenager by the same police department that just rearrested Miller, the detectives were very kind to me, despite my brazenness. They were kind to me and didn’t press the prosecution as hard as they might have, because unlike Miller, I had a big family at home that passionately advocated for me.

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Posted: May 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Ernesto Cullari | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

NJ driver arrested after ripping through Neptune streets, making obscene hand gestures, report says

NJ driver arrested after ripping through Neptune streets, making obscene hand gestures, report says (via NJ.com)

NEPTUNE — A driver was arrested after speeding around a Neptune Township neighborhood for more than an hour on Sunday. As he circled the street, he made obscene hand gestures at startled witnesses, played abrasive music and operated his late model…

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Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Neptune | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

What drove a man to hit the same Toms River store he robbed 15 years ago 1 day after leaving jail

What drove a man to hit the same Toms River store he robbed 15 years ago 1 day after leaving jail (via NJ.com)

A day after spending 15 years behind bars for robbing a Toms River shoe store, Christopher M. Miller was arrested in March after he robbed the same exact business. In an exclusive interview with the New York Post, Miller, 40, explains what led him back…

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Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »