by Al DellaFave, OCPO
TOMS RIVER-Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the arrest of Richard Michael Gato, 70, of Margaret Court in Toms River on charges of Attempted Murder and Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose. He is being held in the Ocean County Jail pending his first appearance.
His arrest stems from an incident reported to the Toms River Police Department on February 8th at 10 pm when they responded to 400 Kettle Creek Road (Unit 10). Arriving police found Robert Oleynick, 34, of Toms River with a gunshot wound to the chest. Oleynick was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center for medical treatment where he remains in stable condition.
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crime Unit responded to assist Toms River PD with the investigation. The partnering agencies found that the shooting event took place earlier in the evening at Richard Gato’s Margaret Drive residence. It was determined the Oleynick was at that address looking for a friend when he encountered Gato, a retired Fort Lee Police Officer, outside Gato’s residence. The encounter resulted in a physical altercation between the two men that led to Oleynick being shot in his left chest by Gato.
As part of the investigation, a search warrant was approved for video from 46 Margaret Court that had captured the entire event. The video review would subsequently lead to the above charges.
The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.