JACKSON-On Saturday March 24, 2018 at approximately 9:45 pm, Police Officers Matthew Buono and Phil Minissale responded to the parking lot behind Brook Plaza for a welfare check. It had been reported that a female had been observed leaving a child in a GMC pickup truck while she went into a bar located in the plaza.
Officers arrived on scene and up checking the vehicle, observed at least two children left unattended in the rear seat area of the truck. An officer went into the bar and located a male and female playing a game of billiards who advised the truck was theirs. They then went outside and opened the vehicle so the officers could check on the children. Upon the truck being opened, it was discovered that there were four children inside the vehicle ranging in ages from one to eight years old. Although the temperature was approximately 32 degrees outside, the children were checked and determined that they were not injured in any way. Sgt. Mitch Cowit arrived on scene as the investigation continued and it was determined that the children had been left in the vehicle unattended for approximately 30 minutes.
The male and female were placed under arrest at this time and the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) was contacted to take control of the children.
A 29 year old male resident of Jackson was arrested and charged with 4 counts of child endangerment. He was also charged with hindering apprehension when it was discovered that he had provided investigating officers with a false name to conceal his identity and that there were two outstanding warrants for his arrest out of Freehold Boro. He was also charged with driving without a driver’s license, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and failure to use a car seat for children. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail after being processed.
A 28 year old female was charged with 4 counts of child endangerment and hindering apprehension. She was released on summons pending a court appearance on the charges.
The owner of the GMC pickup was issued a summons for allowing an unlicensed person to operate the vehicle. The truck was impounded and towed from the scene.
Identities of the arrested are being withheld at this time to protect the identities of the children involved.