Lakewood Briefs

Driver Accused of Swerving at Orthodox Men Hit with Additional Charges

The teen arrested for twice swerving a car at a pair of Orthodox men in Jackson has been hit with additional charges for assault and attempting to cause serious bodily injury.

On Shabbos, September 15, the suspect, whose identity has not been released due to his being a minor, allegedly drove the car involved in the incident. In addition to charging the two men standing roadside, the driver and several passengers screamed obscenities and anti-Semitic insults.

Those at the scene were able to memorize the license plate and file a complaint with the police who also took reports from other witnesses. The driver was brought into custody and charged with harassment and bias intimidation. The case is scheduled to be heard in family court.

Rep. Smith Autism Bill Signed into Law

Legislation co-authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to authorize $1.8 billion over five years to help individuals with autism by funding research, early detection and treatment has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Known as the Autism CARES Act of 2019, will distribute $1.8 billion to various federal health and research agencies that will be earmarked to study the illness, adds employees to several departments who will be focused on various autism-related projects, and requires a comprehensive report on “the demographic factors associated with the health and well-being of individuals with ASD, recommendations on establishing best practices to ensure interdisciplinary coordination, improvements for health outcomes, community based behavioral support and interventions, nutrition and recreational and social activities, personal safety.”

Cosponsored by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), the law is the latest in several autism related bills sponsored by Rep. Smith.

Rep. Smith said that Autism CARES expands government programs to include older persons with autism that he said are “often misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed and overlooked.”

“Children grow up and become adults, and then lose their education and support services. But autism is a lifetime neurological disorder, and young adults with autism continue to need their services. The Autism CARES Act recognizes the problem of aging out and ensures that the federal government continues to help hundreds of thousands of young adults with autism and their parents by funding research and support programs,” Rep. Smith.

Crash Causes Power Outages Near Massachusetts Avenue

A car crash temporarily shut a section of Massachusetts Avenue and cut power to many in the area on Friday night, September 28.

According to a report by the Patch, one of the vehicles involved knocked over a utility pole cutting power to an estimated 1,100 homes, including the Enclave and Fairways developments.

Massachusetts Avenue was shut for several hours near Cross Street.

Freeholders Announce New Facility for Ocean Ride

Ocean County Freeholders announced the beginning of work on a new facility for the Ocean County Department of Transportation.

“The new facility, which will house drivers, office staff and equipment, will afford the department greater operational efficiencies by being located closer to the senior communities it serves in Whiting, Manchester, Toms River, Jackson and Lakewood townships,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, who serves as liaison to the county Transportation Department which operates Ocean Ride.

The new facility will be on Ridgeway Boulevard in Jackson.

Mr. Quinn said that by moving the department off of Route 9 in Toms River and away from the congestion, it will allow for easier departures and returns for the vehicles that are key to the operation.

Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the County Road Department noted the department is tasked with maintaining more than 1,600 county lane miles annually from paving to snow removal.

The facility will be a hub for the public transportation, Ocean Ride, operated by the county and will have amble equipment for their maintenance.

Ocean Ride began 42 years and now provides over 325,000 trips helping residents get around Ocean County. The service provides reserve-a-ride and fixed bus routes.

Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020.

Assemblyman Dancer to Draft Bill Taking Pensions from those Convicted of Domestic Violence

Assemblyman Ron Dancer announced plan to introduce a measure that would expand the current pension forfeiture law for public employees and officials to include crimes involving domestic violence.

“Those who are convicted of acts of domestic violence do not deserve taxpayer-funded pensions and retirement benefits,” said Assemblyman Dancer (R-Ocean).

New Jersey’s pension forfeiture law currently applies to public employees found guilty of offenses like extortion, bribery and perjury, if the crimes are connected to their job. In July, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that added some forms of assault and harassment.

“Although domestic violence typically happens at home and not work, it certainly affects taxpayers, their trust and values,” said Assemblyman Dancer. “These perpetrators assert whatever power they have to abuse their partner. This would strip them of some of that power and ensure they never benefit on the backs of taxpayers.”