Exploring law enforcement

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Long Branch – Police Explorers is a program designed to open young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20, who might have an interest in learning more about careers and opportunities in the field of law enforcement.

Corporal Kevin King of the Long Branch Police Department oversees Post 167, which was the badge number his older brother Detective Sergeant Patrick A. King, a 22-year veteran of the department, had when he killed in the line of duty on November 20, 1997.

Explorers are provided expert training in self-defense, traffic direction, and life guarding skills, EMS skills, firefighting techniques and a host of educational and judicial classes. It provides a look into the career of law enforcement, leadership roles and providing community service.

Post 167 of the Long Branch Police Explorers will volunteer and assist police at car shows, concerts, Oceanfest and many other in and out of town activities. There is a registration fee of $10 to join the Long Branch Police Explorers, uniforms are provided.

Long Branch has a few additional requirement besides the 14-20 age restriction. To be considered the applicant can’t have a criminal record. Have no affiliation with gangs or other criminal organizations. Each candidate must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher in high school or college.

Those who would like more information on this program can call 732-222-1000 and leave a message for Corporal King or stop at police headquarter and pick up an application from Kelly Hughes.

Find out more by reading this flyer:http://bit.ly/ExplorersAd
Download an application: http://bit.ly/ExplorersApp3

Stovall arrested for shooting on Broadway

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Long Branch – Within 24 hours of a male being shot in front of the Crown Chicken and Long Branch Food Market on Broadway, police have one suspect under arrest.

Dyrell Stovall a/k/a “Nug”, 23, of Long Branch was arrested and charged with attempted murder and various weapons offenses following the August 20, shooting that occurred around 1:40 in the morning. “Detective Michael Verdadeiro of our department and Detective Kevin Condon of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office did an outstanding job taking the lead in this investigation,” said Jason Roebuck, Long Branch Public Safety Director.

Dyrell Stovall, 23, was arrested for attempted murder and shooting.

Roebuck stated that the victim, who is 21-years old, is also a resident of Long Branch but would not elaborate on the number of gun shots or the caliber of the weapon used. However a written statement issued by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office stated the victim was shot multiple times and remains in an unnamed local hospital in stable condition.

According to reports a silver sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima with tinted windows was occupied with three or four black males with the driver as the suspected shooter. The driver, who is alleged to be Stovall, was said to be wearing a black athletic style t-shirt and a baseball hat with a red stripe, and leaned out the window and shot the male victim, who was not critically wounded. Witnesses told police that the car took off in the direction of Highway 36.

While officers were investigation that incident on Broadway, a second shooting was reported less than 60 minutes later on Long Branch Avenue. Roebuck added that the two investigations are ongoing and police have very good leads and information on the second shooting, but would not explain more. “The bail for Stovall is $950,000 with no ten percent option and no victim contact,” said Roebuck.

If convicted of the first degree crime of attempted murder, the maximum potential custodial sentence is a state term of up to 20 years. Charles Webster, Public Information Officer for the MCPO, said in an email, that any custodial sentence imposed for attempted murder would be subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, meaning Stovall would be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The past two years have been very violent in Long Branch, with murders and shootings. Last week the police arrested Brian Farmer, 58, of Long Branch for a double murder. Roebuck credits the working relationship with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and his officer’s dedication to bringing closure to that murder as the reason Farmer was arrested with 13 days of the murder.

Long Branch Man Arrested on Sexual Assault and Child Endangerment Charges

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Dover Police Chief Harold Valentine announce the arrest of Mark S. Ngaojia, 26 years old, of Long Branch, New Jersey on sexual assault and child endangering charges.

Ngaojia was arrested on August 18, 2014, by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, which led the investigation with assistance from the Dover Police Department, Lakewood Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Defendant was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, a crime of the first degree; Sexual Assault, a crime of the second degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a crime of the second degree after a six-year old child alleged that Ngaojia had sexually penetrated her.

The Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. authorized complaints set bail at $150,000.00 full cash, bond or property. The defendant was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

At the time of his arrest, the defendant was employed as a home health care aide and was a reservist in the United States Marine Corps.

Anyone with information relating to these charges is urged to contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit at 973-285-6200. Calls can also be placed to the Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStopper Program at 973-COPCALL.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Detective Louis Sperry of the Dover Police Department, the Lakewood Police Department, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for their contributions to this case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Press Release: August 19, 2014

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

A national law enforcement crackdown on drinking and driving started on August 15, and will conclude over Labor Day weekend. Local departments received funding through a grant and will participate in “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Drive sober!

The concept is to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving by using the high visibility enforcement of sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols, where officers are dedicated to searching for intoxicated drivers.

Of the fatal motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey last year 22 percent were the result alcohol impaired operators. Each year more than 10,000 people are killed in the United States as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

If you drink and drive and are caught you will be arrested. Law enforcement has picked these dates as it is the busiest time of the summer for travel. If you plan to drink, designate a driver or someone who will pick you up. Take advantage of mass transit, taxi, buses or trains.

To report impaired drivers to law enforcement call 9-1-1, or dial #77 to report a drunk or aggressive driver.

Two people shot in Long Branch; two separate shootings

Long Branch – The early morning hours of August 20, gunshots filled the city air. A sound that is becoming more frequent and alarming to many residents. The first of two reported shootings occurred around 1:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

Broadway Food Market located at 230 Broadway in Long Branch was the scene of the first shooting on August 20, where one person was shot. Another shooting occurred shortly after on Long Branch Ave, where another victim was shot.

Police responded to the 230 Broadway, which is the Broadway Food Market. It is nestled between Crown Fried Chicken and the Long Branch Chamber of Commerce office and directly across the street from McDonald’s.

According to reports one victim was found shot at this location and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Police were looking for a silver sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima with tinted windows. The report also went on to say that the car might have been occupied by three to four black males with one being the alleged shooter, which was last seen wearing a black athletic style t-shirt and baseball hat with a red stripe on it.

While police were investigating that shooting, a second call reported shooting had occurred on Long Branch Avenue. The exact location of that shooting has not been released by police, but two witnesses stated that a person was shot at that location.

Long Branch Police Lieutenant Doug Gotfredsen did confirm that two shootings had occurred and two victims were being treated for gunshot wounds. He would not give details on the names, ages, race, sex or conditions of the two victims.

Detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office were also out assisting in the investigation. Law enfo9rcement is asking the public for help in ridding the communities of these violent attacks. They have established an anonymous tips line which can be reached on the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential tip-line 1-800-671-4400, or by texting “Monmouth” plus the tip you want to report to 274637. E-mail is also a way to reach them; www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Long Branch Police Department 732-222-1000 or the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443.

Ocean Police arrest resident and seize 47 weapons

Ocean – Police responded to a Sunset Avenue residence on August 18, at 6:50 in the evening on a report of a man with a gun.

The AR-15 is one of the most popular assault weapons, and is also banned. It was not specified if this was one of the weapons seized at Gregory Riley’s Ocean Township home.

Officers involved in the call were Sergeant Todd Gregory, Officers Steven Walker, Randy Slawsky, Casey Larrison, Matthew Guido, and Detectives Michael Melody and Jessie Orbach. According to a release by Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller, an investigation revealed that a tenant at the location, identified by Faller as Gregory Riley, 59, of Ocean Township, had accosted an individual who was working at the property as the request of the owner.

“The victim reported that Mr. Riley produced a handgun and demanded the victim leave the property,” wrote Faller. That victim then contacted the Ocean Township Police Department.

Faller stated that during the investigation police seized 130 items from Riley’s home including 47 firearms, which included an unlicensed assault rifle, a bayonet, stun gun, a silencer, 38 high capacity magazines and multiple rounds of hollow point bullets.

“Mr. Riley was charged with unlawful possession of a weapons, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of assault firearm without a license, possession of a firearm silencer, possession of hollow nose bullets, possession of OC (pepper spray), reckless endangerment, possession of high capacity ammunition magazines and possession of a stun gun,” added Faller.

Honorable municipal court judge Thomas McGoughran set bail at $50,000 with no ten percent option. According to the release, Riley made bail and is awaiting a future court hearing.

Why was a convicted child sex offender on the streets?

Long Branch – Just hours after the announcement was made on August 13, that Brian Farmer, 58, of Long Branch, was arrested for murder of his 62-year old cousin Joan Colbert and her 10-year old foster daughter Veronica Roach, people were asking why he was on the streets.

Brian Farmer, 58, of Long Branch a convicted sex offender is now accused of sexual assaulting a 10 year old girl, then killing the girl and her step-mother.

According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Farmer was at the Lippincott Avenue home of Colbert and was sexually abusing Roach and taking photos of the act with his cell phone. Police are assuming that Colbert walked in on the act and that Farmer allegedly strangled both Colbert and Roach and then left. Their bodies were discovered three days later.

Farmer has a criminal history dating back to the 1970’s and it’s a violent past. Five years ago he was released from East Jersey State Prison, where he served 13 years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 15-year old girl, who was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time, according to reports. Farmer was armed with a knife during the attack. He then held the girl and her mother hostage for days, until they escaped. In a violent outrage he burned down their Long Branch home.

In 1996, Farmer was sentenced to 25 years in prison for those crimes. A check of the criminal data base shows that he was released in October 2009. Dave Thomas, executive director of New Jersey’s State Parole Board, was quoted in the Asbury Park Press as saying that Farmer was not released on parole at the time. “He maxed out, he served the maximum,” said Thomas.

Many people contacted The Link New with questions. One of those was Barbara Range Dalto who asked; “Why the heck was he even walking the streets with his track record?”

To answer Dalto’s question, it means that the state had no choice or decision in the matter. They had to let Farmer out of prison. He was labeled a Tier Two sex offender, meaning that the chances of him repeating the crime were low, or moderate according to state standards.

Farmer was placed on lifetime supervision and was checking in frequently with his officials, who stated that he was working, and had registered where he was living. The address they had on file was Ludlow Street, which is still located near two elementary schools. Thomas again was quoted as saying authorities were notified.

However, when Farmer was arrested it was on John Street, two houses away from the Amerigo A. Anastasia Elementary School, where Veronica Roach attended. Farmer was living with his son at the time of his arrest and had not notified officials of his change in address. It was also disclosed that Farmer lost his job, failed a drug/alcohol test, and was homeless.

Farmer was in attendance last Tuesday morning at the funerals for Colbert and Roach. When people heard that he was the accused killer and had the audacity to show his face at the services they were disgusted.

Framer was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one-count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Additional charges were also filed within the last 48 hours which included failing to avoid alcohol, failing to refrain from contact with minors, and failing to get permission to change his address.

Housing Authority rents rise for some in city, many elsewehere

By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — About 15-20 people in Long Branch, and hundreds of thousands nationwide, will be affected by new laws on rent requirements for affordable housing.

Congressman Frank Pallone speaks to residents of Hobart Manor about raising rent prices.

Under the new guidelines, the Long Branch Housing Authority, and all similar organizations around the country, are now required to charge at least 80 percent of the fair market value in rent, or 30 percent of a person’s income.

Before the new guidelines for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were passed, housing authorities had discretion on what percentage of the fair market share they charged.

On Monday, at a meeting in Hobart Manor, Congressman Frank Pallone and Housing Authority officials explained how the new laws had come about, and suggested residents contact national organizations to work to change them.

Pallone said this new law came about due to the policial situation in Washington, particularly because of “the Republican majority in the House,” many of who have a philosophical opposition to government assistance.

“They want to cut back, in real terms, on the HUD budget,” Pallone said. As part of that, they’ve introduced new requirements on what must be charged for affordable housing; in the past, a group like the Long Branch Housing Authority could charge less than the 80 percent. That’s no longer the case.

“It is mandated by law, a law I don’t like,” Pallone said. “The (Long Branch) Housing Authority doesn’t have the option of charging less.”

For a one bedroom at Hobart Manor, 80 percent of the fair market rent is estimated to cost $816 a month, which Pallone pointed out is almost $10,000 a year. For many on a fixed income, that’s not an option.

The U.S. Social Security Adminstration estimates the average payment to retired workers is just under $1,300 a month.

“The only alternative to that is the 30 percent of your income,” Pallone said.

For most of the residents in units under the control of the Long Branch Housing Authority, the law won’t have a major effect because they are paying based on their income.

Attendees from several of the developments in the authority filled the meeting room, voicing questions and concerns.

“How are we going to settle this matter?” one woman asked. “We have retirement. We are sick. We have other bills. We won’t even have money to buy food.”

Others said they thought that the method the Long Branch Housing Authority was using to come up with their numbers for rent was incorrect, asking them to recalculate the formulas.

The Housing Authority says that the fair market rent is determined by looking at rates around the city, not just at specific locations. That means, for example, Hobart Manor’s rates are not affected by the fact that it is only a few blocks from the ocean, where rents are often higher than inland.

Daniel Gibson, Chief of Staff of the Long Branch Housing Authority, said the changes would only affect about 15-20 city residents. However, the issues has been a large concern; the meeting Pallone attended was the third the Authority had held to discuss the changes.

He also noted that the minor impact in Long Branch would be felt heavily in other cities around the nation.

“In New York City, there are approximately 24,000 … who are affected,” Gibson noted. Jersey City and Newark also appear to be strongly impacted by this, he noted.

Pallone said that in recent years, older affordable housing units around the country had been demolished, diminishing the supply. When the recession hit in 2009, demand rose sharply for the reduced amount of housing, creating a problem.

Pallone said the usual way he encourages his constituents to lobby for change – contacting their local representatives – won’t help in this case. He opposes what the House has done, as do New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Corey Booker.

“I would never discourage anyone from doing letters, doing petitions,” he said. “But we agree with you.”

He said the Republican Congressmen who voted for it were often hurting their own constituents, since many of them represented states with much higher poverty levels than New Jersey.

He said he believed that repealing the law would depend on the results of upcoming elections.

Instead of contacting local representatives, he recommended local groups work with national groups, lobbying for change around Washington.

“Get other people involved, so it isn’t just Long Branch,” he said.

Gibson said the Long Branch Housing Authority was already doing that, working with a nationwide organizations of authority administrators to lobby for change in Washington.

Recalling how Schroeck turned the football squad around

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Long Branch — Page 61 of the 1970 Long Branch High School yearbook has a small story on the Green Wave football coach, Ken Schroeck. It states that he came to Long Branch High School four years earlier (1966), picked up what was at the time an average football squad and turned it into the eighth best team in the state.

Long Branch High School senior Donald Covin (22) runs for a first down back in 1974 on the team. Now Covin is a member of the Long Branch Board of Education.

Coach Ken Schroeck of the Long Branch Green Wave football team (1966-1975) looking on at his 1971 team.

That year Glenn Covin was earned the title of “Player of the Year” from the Asbury Park Press.
“Glenn was probably the best football player to ever wear a Green Wave uniform,” said Joe Tuzzio, class of 1974.

Tuzzio was a linebacker and tight end and played for Schroeck for the 1971-73 seasons. He is also organizing a reunion of football players from 1966-1975 that played for Schroeck.

“The reunion party will be held on August 18, here at my restaurant.”

During Covin’s senior year in 1970, he rushed for 1,000 yards and had 17 touchdowns and four 2-point conversions. John Penta, another big name running back for Long Branch, and Herbie Perez, a defensive tackle, were also given top honors that year by the Asbury Park Press.

Tuzzio, who graduated with Donald “Coach” Covin (now a Long Branch Board of Education member), stated that when Glenn was in college many of the Green Wave players went to see his game with Coach Schroeck, but they were late getting to the game.

“As we walked into the stadium, we saw them taking Glenn out on a stretcher. He had blown out his knee, and that was the end to his football career. He would have definitely played in the National Football League,” said Tuzzio.

During the 1971 season, the Green Wave moved into the B North division of the Shore Conference, one that has always had a history of being very competitive. That year Long Branch had four shutout victories.
It was also the first time that Long Branch faced neighbor Ocean Township on the football field. The team that year was led by Bob Davis, who ended up playing professional, Dean Joannou, Ron Greene and Steve Schwartz.

Nineteen seventy-four was not one of the record win years for Schroeck, as the Wave finished 2-5 in the A Division of the Shore Conference. Teams get realigned every few years in the conference. That year Long Branch suffered a number of injuries as reflected in their won/loss record.

However, senior John Walsh and junior Fred Balina led the offensive unit as they gained All-Shore recognition. On defense, Steve Hitman and Don Covin were the leaders. Covin was named the All-Shore Defensive Player of the Year.

“Coach Schroeck is 80 years old and the players from his years at Long Branch get together every 10 years,” said Tuzzio. During the summer, Schroeck lives in the New England area and goes to the south during the winter.

“His son lives in Monmouth Beach, so he stops in on his way in-between summer and winter locations. It’s always great seeing him and how active he is. I know a lot of us look forward to that reunion party.”
If you have any questions on the event please feel free to stop in and have dinner with Joe or call him at Tuzzio’s 732-222-9614.

Celebration of life

By Patty Booth O’Neill

Long Branch — A service was held at the Second Baptist Church on Liberty Street on Tuesday morning celebrating the lives of Joan Colbert and Veronica Roach. The church was filled to capacity, standing room only.

Joan and Veronica were loved and looked up to in the Long Branch community.

Both were found murdered in their Lippincott home on Friday, August 1.

Elder Caroline Bennett spoke about how Joan was always willing to help people out. If anyone was short on money and hungry, she’d have a barbecue in her backyard. And if she said she’d be there to help someone, she would always show up. Bennett reminded the crowd of people that the two were with God now.

“Never mind who did it,” Bennett exclaimed to shouts of amen and nodding heads. “God will bring them to justice! Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”

Joan Colbert, sixth out of 18 siblings, passed away at the age of 62. The service held at Second Baptist Church was for Joan and her foster child, 10-year-old Veronica Roach, who died the same day.

Joan had been a member of Aslan Youth Ministries for over 20 years. She drove a bus, picking up children for meetings, field trips and other events. When she could no longer drive, she became an assistant and helped wherever she could.

Aslan is an organization that provides community outreach programs to the youth in town, based out of theLong Branch Covenant Church. She brought Veronica along with her, as was remembered by Aslan co-founder Lynn Ann Bogard.

“People like Joan and Veronica changed my life,” Bogard said. “When you hold them in your arms and you weep when they weep and pray with them, your faith deepens.”

Some, like Sheila Gibson spoke about their memories and choked up, having trouble continuing. Others spoke about happy times causing those present to laugh at the vision it created.

One of those memories shared was from Joan’s brother George Colbert, who  told a story about Veronica. He told how Veronica, whose nickname was Binky, wanted to follow him everywhere when he was at their house.

“I was taking the trash out and she begged to come along,” George said. Veronica followed him to the garbage can and when he moved it they saw a skunk behind the can. It stiffened up, and its tail went up in the air. “Before I could even react I heard a “clunk”. Binky had run into the house and locked the door,” George laughed. “When I ran up to the door yelling to let me in she just giggled on the other side.”

Reverend Aaron Gibson spoke about how Veronica had just finished a two-week vacation bible school. “She asked if she could start coming to Sunday bible study and I said ‘sure, but you’ll have to ask your mother,’” Gibson said. “She never made it to bible school, but she made it to heaven.”