Here’s What Happens To Those Threatening NJ Cops With Coronavirus

NEW JERSEY – If you threaten a New Jersey police officer with the coronavirus, you’re going to suffer for it, authorities say. Eight people in eight New Jersey towns may soon find out how tough that punishment will get (see list below).

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal says his office has taken over prosecution of at least six cases and is filing upgraded charges against defendants who allegedly threatened police officers by spitting or coughing at them and claiming to have COVID-19. Patch also reported additional cases that were not on the state’s list.

Grewal said his office is taking steps as a way of “letting our dedicated officers know that we have their backs as they work tirelessly to maintain public safety and health at this difficult time.”

“We take all assaults on police officers seriously, but it is especially heinous for someone to spit or cough at an officer in an attempt to infect or threaten to infect them with COVID-19,” Grewal added.

Indeed, officials reported that 288 members of New Jersey law enforcement have tested positive for the new coronavirus. Col. Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the State Police, said on Monday that 2,477 have self-quarantined. Read more: 288 In NJ Law Enforcement Positive For Coronavirus

“Hundreds of officers across New Jersey are already infected with the virus, which, in many cases, they likely contracted by protecting and serving the public while on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19,” Grewal said. “We have zero tolerance for anyone who uses the coronavirus as a weapon or instrument of terror against officers bravely performing their duties during this health crisis.”

Callahan noted that troopers and officers throughout the state do not have the ability to work from home or practice social distancing while doing their job.

“Law enforcement comes with many risks, none of which do the men and women who wear a badge shy away from,” said Callahan “For a defendant to intentionally expose an officer to COVID-19 is not just an assault on that officer, it’s an assault on their family members, fellow officers, and the general public. Anyone who uses the virus as a weapon against an officer will face a swift law enforcement response.”

On several cases, Veronica Allende, director of the Division of Criminal Justice, said her office has upgraded potential punishments by adding second-degree charges of making terroristic threats during a state of emergency.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Patch has reported several similar cases that were not on the attorney general’s list:

In other cases, people have used the disease as a way to get out of trouble.

A Carteret man who State Police say was driving under the influence — and caused a crash on the Parkway — was also charged with falsely telling state troopers he had the coronavirus to try and avoid being taken into custody, said police. Read more: Man In Hazlet Parkway Crash Lied, Said He Had Coronavirus: PD

The following cases, which initially were charged by local police and county prosecutors, have been superseded for prosecution by the Division of Criminal Justice:

  • David Haley, 52, of Perth Amboy was charged after allegedly throwing bodily fluid at an officer and resisting arrest. On March 21, Haley allegedly spit on Perth Amboy officers who responded to a domestic violence call. He claimed to be infected with the coronavirus. He also is charged with simple assault/domestic violence.
  • Raymond Ricciardi, 51, of New Providence allegedly claimed he had the coronavirus and purposely coughed at police and medics.
  • Marina Bishara-Rhone, 25, of River Edge was involved in a domestic violence incident on March 14 and allegedly coughed directly on an officer, claiming she had the coronavirus and hoped he was now infected.
  • Kenneth Wideman Jr., 30, of Flemington allegedly yelled in the faces of police officers and actively coughed and spit at them on March 19, claiming to have the coronavirus. He refused police commands that he wear a mask.
  • Vanessa Shaaraway, 35 of Kearny was charged on March 27 when Belleville Police responded to a report of a shoplifter, and then encountered the suspect. Shaaraway allegedly fled and refused commands to stop. When she was caught by two officers, she purposefully coughed on them and claimed that she was infected with COVID-19, the OAG said.
  • Jennifer Burgess, 35, of Plainfield was charged during a motor vehicle stop on March 16 in Dunellen. Burgess allegedly attempted to elude police and deliberately coughed on an officer, telling the cop that she had the coronavirus.

103 drink-driving arrests in fortnight despite lockdown

103 drink-driving arrests in fortnight despite lockdown
Police warn those driving under the influence are putting lives at risk and emergency services under pressure at a critical time. Credit: Presseye

Despite the lockdown in place across Northern Ireland and a 60% reduction in traffic flow, police have arrested 103 people for driving while under the influence in the last fortnight.

According to the PSNI, some drivers have been detected by officers on patrol and at vehicle checkpoints aimed at limiting unnecessary journeys during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, arrests have also been made following calls from members of the public, shop and security staff, and in some cases, concerned family members.

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech said: “At a time when we are all working together to try and minimise unnecessary pressure on our NHS and emergency service colleagues, it is particularly disappointing that so many people have decided to put lives at risk by driving after drinking or taking drugs.

“We have significant numbers of police officers on duty across the country and are determined to continue our road safety enforcement.”

It is critically important that we all look out for each other. Stay home. Save lives.

She added: “While I would like to thank all those who reported incidents of people they suspected were driving while under the influence, I would again repeat our road safety appeal – now more than ever, please take personal responsibly for road safety.

“Please slow down. Wear a seatbelt. Pay attention to your surroundings. Never, ever drink or take drugs and drive.”

Police are also warning that, while there is less traffic on roads across Northern Ireland, there are greater numbers of pedestrians and cyclists at all times of day.

Restrictions on movement have been extended by another three weeks to try to limit the spread of Covid-19.

People are urged not to make unnecessary journeys and to leave home only for essential groceries or medication, to work if it is essential and cannot be done from home, or for exercise once a day – while adhering to social distancing by staying at least 6ft apart from people who are not part of your household and avoiding gatherings.

‘God has forgiven me.’ Central Kentucky candidate refuses to leave race after DUI plea

A candidate for Kentucky state representative for part of Fayette County asked for votes and forgiveness as she announced Monday she’s staying in the race after pleading guilty to driving under the influence.

Monteia Mundy is running to represent the state’s 88th district, which includes southern Fayette County. She was arrested in April in Madison County and charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid and failure to wear a seat belt. 

When she pleaded guilty to the DUI charge Monday, the other two counts were dismissed, according to court records. TOP ARTICLES    Truck repossession leads to 5 shot, police say. Kentucky man charged in murder

In a statement released Monday, Mundy said that she’d taken a prescribed medication the day of the crash and arrest. 

“That evening, I had a drink not realizing that a possible side effect of the medication was disorientation and loss of judgment if I consumed any alcohol at all,” Mundy said in the statement. “I should have been more careful while under medical care.”

Mundy went on to say that she accepted full “blame and responsibility” and apologized to anyone put at risk. 

“I’m grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse, and I’m grateful to the Kentucky state trooper who located me and took appropriate action to ensure the public’s safety,” Mundy said in the statement. “I was disoriented and I didn’t belong on the road. I know that God has forgiven me, and now I can only hope others can find it in their hearts to forgive me as well.”

Mundy, a Republican, said in her statement that her decision to remain in the race was influenced by her primary opponent. 

“Of course, I considered withdrawing from the race,” Mundy, an attorney, said in the statement. “It was only natural. However, during that same time, while my primary opponent was making public statements saying he was praying for me, he was messaging me privately threatening me. He gave me a deadline to withdraw from the race and back him, and if I didn’t meet his deadline, he indicated that he and his people would ruin me and my future.”

The opponent in question, Aaron Yates, denied the accusation that any threat was made. He also denied having any part in a “multimedia attack” Mundy mentioned in her statement. 

Yates called Mundy’s statements about his campaign “inflammatory attacks” and said that he stands by his previous call for her to leave the race.

While Mundy did not point to any specific online attacks, a website poking fun at her arrest went live on April 28. A Facebook account linked to the website shared Mundy’s statement Monday, saying the website and social media accounts were run by one person and denied that they were in any way involved with a campaign or candidate. It also addressed Mundy’s allegation that money was being spent on the attacks, saying that the person responsible for the website spent $10 on a domain name for the website and nothing else. 

When asked about the website and social media accounts, Yates also said he and his campaign had nothing to do with them. 

“Let’s not mince words, my opponent under her own will drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol, struck a young woman rendering her car immobile on the side of the road and then fled the scene to avoid the consequences of her actions,” Yates said in his own statement. “Today Monteia claimed she’ll accept the consequences of her actions, yet believes she gets to determine what those consequences are. As someone in the legal profession, she should know that’s not how justice works.”

In Mundy’s arrest citation, a Kentucky State Police trooper wrote that she was incoherent and stumbling after the April 25 crash. The trooper attempted to give her a field sobriety test but stopped after she failed to follow instructions, according to the citation. 

After colliding with another car near a Love’s gas station, Mundy drove off and crashed in a ditch near another gas station less than half a mile away, according to the citation. 

“I made a mistake and I’m sorry. Beyond sorry,” Mundy said in her statement. “In spite of that, I still believe that I’m the best person in this race to bring conservative values to Frankfort. I take full responsibility for my actions, and if the people of the 88th District can find it in their hearts to forgive me, and they send me to Frankfort, I will work each day to make them proud, and show that we can all continue to do good in spite of past mistakes.”

The current representative for the 88th district is Democrat Cherlynn Stevenson, who is running for re-election.

Dump truck driver charged with DUI

An Auburn man has been hit with numerous felony charges after he struck and killed a 62-year-old woman with his dump truck outside the Casey’s General Store in Auburn on Monday.

Bennie Jackson, 43, of Auburn, was charged Wednesday with three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, one count of reckless homicide, one count of official misconduct, one count of possession of methamphetamine and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the Illinois State Police, Jackson, the driver of an Auburn Township dump truck, “failed to negotiate a curve” on Illinois 4.

He drove through a ditch, over Lincoln Street, and landed in the gas station’s parking lot where his vehicle struck the victim, Obaidah Gresham of Auburn, who was standing outside of her vehicle.

Gresham, of Auburn, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:45 p.m. Monday by Coroner Jim Allmon.

Man arrested on fourth driving under the influence charge after crashing into State Police cruiser, authorities say

Posted May 12, 2020 

Mass. State Police cruiser struck by drunken driver
Mass. State Police say a drunken driver struck a cruiser in Fitchburg on May 11, 2020.

A 48-year-old Fitchburg man was arrested on his fourth driving under the influence charge Monday night when authorities say he crashed into a Massachusetts State Police cruiser.

A trooper had stopped a vehicle on Summer Street in Fitchburg just before midnight. Craig Jatrinski drove his car into the back of the trooper’s cruiser, state police said.

The trooper was outside of the cruiser and was not hurt. Jatrinski was also not injured.

Authorities said Jatrinski had slurred speech and the trooper detected an odor of alcohol on him.

“Troopers administered field sobriety tests and a portable Breathalyzer test,” state police said.

He was arrested as a result of those tests.

Jatrinski had three prior driving under the influence charges on his record. His driver’s license had also been suspended because of those cases.

Jatrinski was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol – fourth offense, negligent driving, driving an unregistered vehicle and failure to move over for an emergency vehicle.

Authorities said he refused to take a breath-alcohol test at the state police barracks. The refusal triggers an automatic suspension of license even though his license was already suspended.

The state police cruiser’s blue lights were on at the time of the crash. Jatrinski got out of his 2007 Honda Accord sedan after the crash, state police said.

Jatrinski will be arraigned in Fitchburg District Court.

Man charged with DUI after eating marijuana during Summerfield traffic stop

Adam Ahmed

A Gainesville man who was stopped in Summerfield for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and admitted to eating marijuana to hide it from a Marion County sheriff’s deputy is behind bars.

An off-duty deputy was traveling west on County Road 42 on Sunday night when he came up behind a red Toyota Prius that was unable to maintain a single lane and had crossed over the double-yellow and fog lines several times. After the vehicle, driven by 30-year-old

Adam Ahmed, failed to come to a complete stop at the red light at the intersection of CR 42 and U.S. Hwy. 27/441, the deputy conducted a traffic stop. He reported the just prior to the stop, the vehicle was traveling in the center of the two lanes on the highway.

A second deputy arrived and made contact with Ahmed, who had bloodshot eyes and was “nervously shaking.” The deputy, who is a certified drug recognition expert and noted the smell of burnt marijuana in Ahmed’s vehicle, also observed that his pupils appeared to be dilated in the direct light of his flashlight.

After Ahmed struggled through field sobriety exercises where he had eyelid and body tremors, the deputy put him under arrest and sat him in his patrol vehicle. After completing an inventory of Ahmed’s vehicle, the deputy returned to his cruiser and noticed a strong odor of marijuana that hadn’t been present earlier, a sheriff’s office report states.

After being read his rights, Ahmed told the deputy he had eaten marijuana that was hidden in a plastic baggie inside his left shoe. The deputy field tested the remaining green leafy substance in the baggie and it tested positive for marijuana, a sheriff’s office report says, adding that Ahmed admitted to smoking marijuana about 24 hours before the traffic stop.

Ahmed was transported to the Marion County Jail, where he provided a breath sample that showed .000 blood alcohol content. He also provided a urine sample and agreed to a drug influence evaluation. The deputy noted that he believed Ahmed was impaired by cannabis at the time of that evaluation and “could not operate a motor vehicle safely.”

Ahmed was charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, obstructing justice (tampering in misdemeanor proceedings) and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held on $13,000 bond and his next court date hasn’t yet been set, jail records show.

Drunk Park Ridge Man Points Gun At Driver: Prosecutors

. Brian J. Konteck, of the 200 block of North Delphia Avenue in Park Ridge, faces several charges following the April 24 incident.

KANE COUNTY, IL — A 33-year-old Park Ridge man faces drunken driving and weapons charges following a road rage incident that happened in Elgin in recent weeks. Brian J. Konteck, of the 200 block of North Delphia Avenue in Park Ridge, is free from jail after a Kane County judge set Kontek’s bail at $50,000 and released him on “his promise to appear in court,” according to a news release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Kontek also was ordered to surrender all guns and his Firearm Owners Identification card, not to have any contact with the victim and two witnesses, and not to drink any alcohol, prosecutors said.

Kontek was arrested following the April 24 incident, which started around 12:30 p.m. when Kontek trailed a person in his car to an address in the 100 block of North Edison Avenue in Elgin following a “non-contact incident.” Prosecutors say Kontek drove recklessly and on the wrong side of the road before getting to the Elgin address, which is a location where the person who he’d followed used to work.

Two people inside the business came outside, saw the commotion and called police, according to the news release. Kontek got out of his car, walked up to the victim’s vehicles and pointed a handgun at the individual, prosecutors said.

Elgin Police Department arrived at the scene and found a handgun tucked into Kontek’s waistband, according to authorities. He had a valid FOID card but did not have a concealed carry license.

Police said Kontek showed “multiple signs of impairment.”

Kontek has since been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon/loaded in a vehicle/no concealed carry license, a class 4 felony; three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, class 4 felonies; carrying a concealed firearm while under the influence of alcohol, a class A misdemeanor; aggravated assault, a class A misdemeanor; and unlawful use of a weapon/possessing a firearm in public, a class A misdemeanor; and driving under the influence, a class A misdemeanor

Kontek is next expected in court on June 25.

New charges filed against woman who allegedly struck Port Authority Police Officer while under the influence

Amandeep Tiwana

A Queens woman who critically injured a Port Authority Police Officer last week after striking him with her vehicle, as well as injuring two Jersey City Police Officers, has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and additional upgraded charges after her blood alcohol test determined she was allegedly over the legal limit.

On Tuesday, April 28, just after 12:30 a.m., the Jersey City Police Department responded to a motor vehicle accident in which the driver, a 32-year-old New York woman, overturned her vehicle on eastbound Route 139 (depressed highway). The driver was transported to the Jersey City Medical Center with minor injuries.

While Port Authority Police Officer Peter Siano III and three Jersey City Police Officers were securing the initial crash scene and doing traffic control, 27-year-old Amandeep Tiwana of Flushing NY – who was heading eastbound on Route 139 – allegedly struck the median divider, a JCPD radio car, and also Officer Siano causing serious bodily injuries.

Tiwana was arrested without incident just after 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5, in Harrison, New Jersey, by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Regional Collision Investigation Unit and officers from the Harrison Police Department.

Tiwana was charged with Driving While Intoxicated. She also received upgraded charges from fourth degree Assault by Auto, which she was charged with on April 29,  to second degree Assault by Auto.

The Hudson County Regional Collision Unit investigators also allege that Tiwana was traveling “at an excessive rate of speed,” according to the press release, and she has additionally been charged with multiple motor vehicle offenses, including reckless driving, speeding, unsafe lane change, failure to obey traffic restrictions during emergency conditions, disregard of officers directing traffic, and committing a disorderly act during an emergency.

Siano remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition at Jersey City Medical Center.

Both Jersey City Police Officers were treated at Jersey City Medical Center for minor injuries.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office will be moving to detain Tiwana on the upgraded charges.

The above charges are merely accusations. Tiwana is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

McDonald’s call brings OVI arrest


Police were dispatched to the Oxford McDonald’s last week after a caller had reported a woman in the drive-through allegedly intoxicated.

An officer responded at 9:22 p.m. April 25 and saw a vehicle in the parking lot with its headlights off. The car soon turned out north onto South Locust Street with no headlights or taillights operating, and with no visible license plate.

The officer followed and initiated a traffic stop. The driver turned into a parking lot.

The driver, Nicole Marcum, 18, allegedly had marijuana inside the vehicle, according to police. She later allegedly admitted she smoked marijuana about five minutes before the traffic stop.

Marcum told the officer she did not have a license and purchased the vehicle earlier in the day. She was asked her name and misspelled her middle name twice in saying it out loud for the officer. 

She said she had proof of purchase of the vehicle at home, but was unaware there was no license plate.

The officer confirmed Marcum had no driver’s license, just a permanent ID card. 

She reportedly told the officer, “I’m really sorry. I told him I did smoke a little bit of weed before I left and I forgot to turn on my lights because it is my first time driving.” 

She also said, “… that’s the only reason why I took the risk, because I’ll pay the fine and go to court and I’ll admit to my wrong.”

She produced a 0.019 after taking a Breathalyzer test, and taken to the hospital for a urine test. 

She was cited for OVI, operating a vehicle without a license, and headlights and license plate violations. She was issued a summons to appear in court. 

Additional charges are pending lab results, according to police, and later transported to her residence.

Woman crashes into telephone pole, gets arrested on suspicion of 2nd-offense OWI

Police lights

RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP, Wis. — Deputies with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman on suspicion of second-offense OWI on Saturday night after receiving a report of a vehicle that had crashed into a telephone pole.

According to an incident report, Sara Tietz, 30, of Randolph, was transported to Beaver Dam hospital and later transported to UW Hospital via helicpoter.

Officials said Tietz crashed into the pole near the intersection of Krueger Road and Highway 33 shortly before 9 p.m.

Police said Tietz was initially trapped inside the vehicle.

Upon investigation, deputies found Tietz had a revoke driver’s license due to a prior OWI conviction and she is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in her vehicle, which she did not have.