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    Attorneys argued that solitary terms constituted cruel and unusual punishment

    Nearly three years after inmates sued the Middlesex County Jail over their "inhumane" stays in solitary confinement, the county and the ACLU have reached a settlement that will change the way the punishment is used.

    Inmates will get shorter confinements, and more hours out of their cell.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the state's Office of the Public Defender announced the resolution Monday, saying the county has agreed to limit the number of days an inmate can be sent to solitary and give those inmates a chance to interact with others.

    "In Middlesex County, it's no longer possible to lock someone in solitary confinement and throw away the key," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Deputy Public Defender Fletcher Duddy.

    The 2015 lawsuit had argued that that is exactly what the county did with at least some of the nine inmates who put their names on the federal suit, alleging the treatment violated their civil rights and constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

    Three were placed in solitary confinement in the North Brunswick jail's "C-Pod Unit" for at least a year, even though they had not yet been convicted, the suit said.

    In C-Pod, the inmates were subjected to complete isolation and "forced idleness," eating and spending at least 23 hours a day in a cell the size of a parking space, the suit said. Five days a week, they were allowed out to shower or spend time in another small space, but couldn't talk to other inmates.

    Generally, inmates are sent to solitary confinement as punishment for infractions, to keep them safe from other inmates or separate them from co-defendants.

    In recent years, the practice has come under fire as experts argue it is cruel, counter-productive to rehabilitation and can exacerbate mental health problems.

    Under the terms of the agreement - reached Sept. 25 - the jail agreed it will restrict disciplinary detentions in the C-Pod to 15 days for a single infraction or 30 days for multiple charges. Anyone in the unit will have at least 28 hours per week outside of their cell, bringing the average hours per day in a cell to 20.

    Solitary confinement in county jail 'deplorable,' suit claims

    The settlement also makes official a mental health screening process that gives the jail's director of mental health the authority to block placements in solitary confinement.

    The county agreed to pay $11,230 for the inmates' attorneys fees, the agreement said.

    The statement announcing the agreement notes the jail has already implemented some of the reforms.

    On its own, the county worked with the Vera Institute of Justice to find ways to reduce the use of solitary confinement, the release said. The county received funds and technical assistance as part of the national institute's Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative.

    "We appreciate the efforts of both the ACLU and the Vera Institute I'm working with us to implement these county initiatives and believe we stand today as the model for other county jails and other correctional facilities," county officials said in a statement.

    Earlier this year, the county agreed to pay $100,000 to settle another solitary confinement civil suit with the ACLU of New Jersey and law firm Blank Rome LLP in state superior court.

    In that case, an inmate referred to only as P.D. argued that his confinement in solitary for more than four months while he couldn't make bail worsened his numerous mental health issues. He received $25,875 in damages, and the remaining $74,125 went to the ACLU's legal costs and fees, according to the settlement.

    "The harms of solitary confinement last long after release from incarceration, which makes it incredibly important to limit its use," ACLU of NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero said in the statement. "Middlesex County deserves credit for recognizing the need to curb cruel practices of solitary confinement and for taking action. We will continue to work with the county to guarantee that every person in the jail has an opportunity to engage with the world beyond concrete walls and their own thoughts."

    The announcement said that the county's C-Pod was a "particularly egregious example" of the problems with solitary confinement, but problems persist in state and county facilities across New Jersey and require a legislative fix.

    The Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, a New Jersey bill that "would drastically limit the human rights abuses involved in solitary confinement" if passed, the statement said. However, former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it in 2016.

    A new version has been reintroduced and proposes requiring mental health and medical exams before placement and limiting stays to no more than 15 days, among other things.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    U.S. News and World Report looked at colleges in 75 countries to select the best research universities on the planet.


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    The winner can also choose the cash option of $1 million

    A Jersey Cash 4 Life lottery ticket bought at a Middlesex County convenience store is worth $1,000 a week for life or $1 million. 

    The lucky ticket for Monday's drawing was sold at 7-Eleven on Old Stage Road in East Brunswick, state lottery officials said Tuesday. It matched five numbers but not the Cash Ball.

    Monday's winning numbers were 7, 23, 25, 35 and 38. The Cash Ball was 4. The ticket holder has the option to take a lump sum of $1 million or spread the payment out over a longer period of time.

    2 Powerball tickets worth $1M sold at N.J. ShopRite, deli; 7 other tickets win $50K

    The odds of a $2 ticket matching five numbers but not the Cash Ball are 7,282,016 to 1. Players have a 1 in 21,846,048 shot to match five numbers and the Cash Ball to win the jackpot - either $1,000 a day for life or the cash option of $7 million.

    Someone who bought a Cash4Life ticket in April at a ShopRite in Wayne also won $1,000 a week for life. That's the most recent ticket bought in New Jersey to win the game's first- or second-prize.

    Cash4Life drawings are held on Monday and Thursday. Tickets are sold in nine states - New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, Indiana, and Florida.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook

     

     


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    8 enforcement agencies were involved in the arrest of Mark E. Elbaum

    Authorities say they have arrested the man believed to be responsible for multiple bank robberies in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania.

    Mark E. Elbaum, 52, of Hillsborough, was taken into custody around 6:30 p.m. Monday, the West Windsor police department said.

    Hours earlier, around 10:14 a.m., he had attempted to rob a Santander bank branch there, though he didn't get any cash from his efforts, Lt. Robert Fow said.

    Around 10:50 a.m., the same day he was allegedly seen in West Windsor, Elbaum robbed the Valley National Bank on Route 27 in North Brunswick, police said.

    "North Brunswick was able to get a license plate," Fow said, adding that this was likely the big break in the case. A North Brunswick spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

    The FBI had created a wanted poster this month for Elbaum hoping to generate leads. At that point, he was thought to have struck at two banks on October 1: one in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and another in Franklin Township, Somerset County.

    But then last week, the Peapack-Gladstone bank in Bridgewater was hit, along with a Northfield Bank branch in Flemington.

    And then on Thursday, he allegedly struck at the Unity Bank in Middlesex Borough, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. He may have also struck in Trenton before the final spree Monday.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    "Go and write a book, paint a painting, act, study, sing, play write. "Fame is a byproduct of writing a good song."

    To say the Kardashians are polarizing would be a massive understatement. Many love the first family of reality television and find them plenty entertaining, while others cannot stand their mega-opulence and hair extensions.

    You can now count New Jersey's Jon Bon Jovi among the latter.

    The legendary Sayreville rock star didn't hold back any of his feelings about the Kardashians in an interview with Australia's "The Sunday Project," noting that he hates reality TV and has "never given 60 seconds of my life, ever, to one of those Housewives of Blah Blah and Kardashians."

    Bon Jovi took aim specifically at Kim Kardashian, remarking about how the leak of her sex tape with R&B singer Ray J added to her fame.

    "What's gonna be in your autobiography? 'I made a porno and guess what, I got famous.' F**k, sorry, I'll pass," Bon Jovi said. "Go and write a book, paint a painting, act, study, sing, play write. "Fame is a byproduct of writing a good song."

    Kardashian first gained attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, who also had a famous sex tape leak. Kardashian's sex tape leaked in 2007, the same year her family's reality show launched on E! Since then there have been countless spinoffs of the show, and Kardashian has become one of the most influential internet and social media presences in the world. She married rapper Kanye West in 2014, and the two have three children together.

    Guess the dream of a Bon Jovi/Kanye collaboration just went out the window.

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at jschneider@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    He is accused of conspiring to kill two members of a friend's family

    A linebacker on the Rutgers University football team was accused Tuesday of involvement in a plot to murder two members of a friend's family, authorities said.

    Izaia Bullock, 22, a junior at the university from Linden, faces two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

    Bullock was dismissed from Rutgers' football team Tuesday, a source with knowledge of the matter told NJ Advance Media.

    Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Rutgers police chief Kenneth Cop announced his arrest and the charges in a news statement Tuesday evening.

    They said the charges came after determining that on Monday, "Bullock initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance."

    The targets, who are not affiliated with Rutgers, were not injured, a prosecutor's spokeswoman said.

    According to his player page on the university's athletic website, Bullock played linebacker and running back at Linden High School, and played with the Gattaca Football Club.

    Gattaca is a private junior college-like program that assists high school graduates into getting recruited by NCAA football programs.

    Bullock is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center before a first appearance in Superior Court in New Brunswick.

    Anyone with information that can assist with the investigation can contract Rutgers Detective Lauren Tredo at 848-932-8025 or prosecutor's office Detective Michael Connelly at 732-745-3254.

    - Reporter Keith Sargeant contributed to this story 

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    His calls to a fellow gang member on contraband cellphones were intercepted by federal agents.

    A 32-year-old MS-13 gang member previously incarcerated in California will spend an additional decade behind bars for arranging a 2015 drug shipment to New Jersey, federal prosecutors said.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares on Tuesday sentenced Luis Calderon, also known as "Lagrima," to 10 years in prison for arranging the shipment of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to an Edison business park, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Prosecutors said Calderon, who pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and possession charges, had access to numerous contraband cellphones while behind the bars of Calipatria State Prison.

    Calderon's calls arranging the shipment with a New Jersey gang member, prosecutors said, were being monitored by Homeland Security Investigations, whose agents intercepted the package before it could be delivered.

    The package contained 95.5 grams of heroin, 54.7 grams of cocaine and 52.4 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls, authorities said.

    Calderon, who was represented by defense attorney Stacy Ann Biancamano, faces five years of government supervision once he serves his sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind NJ.com on Facebook

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    "You can't arrest your way out of addiction," Lynn Regan said of a solution to the opiate epidemic.

    Daniel Regan, a recovering addict who was once a slave to heroin and crystal meth, knows the system all too well.

    He's been arrested and through several rehab facilities only to be back out on the street doing the same thing he always did -- get high.

    "He was dragged through the system like a freight train," his mother, Lynn, said.

    After his fourth stint at a treatment facility, Daniel and Lynn Regan decided to break the vicious cycle by creating their own facility that specializes in long-term treatment options. In 2012, they founded the CFC (Coming Full Circle) Loud N Clear Foundation in Farmingdale, which provides a number of recovery programs tailored to fit each individual addict's needs. Several years later, the group ran a pilot program with the Howell Police Department, which partners trained "recovery coaches" with those addicted to drugs who come face-to-face with law enforcement. 

    "You can't arrest your way out of addiction," Lynn Regan said in a recent phone interview.

    The top law enforcement officer in Monmouth County agrees.

    It's why the county's prosecutor, Christopher Gramiccioni, says he created the "Cuffs to Beds" initiative in 2017. The program provides people arrested with certain drug offenses a path that helps them avoid the justice system by getting treatment. 

    As the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to sweep through New Jersey, law enforcement agencies across the state are finding new ways to fight the problem. In Ocean County, for example, the county offers the "Blue Hart (Heroin Addiction Recovery Treatment) Program," which allows drug addicts to enter several police departments in the county and turn in their drugs in exchange for help. The West Orange Police Department in Essex County offers a similar program.

    And earlier this month, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced $1 million in federal grant funding to help expand his "Operation Helping Hand" program to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and recovery options for "individuals at risk for drug overdoses."

    Monmouth County has been one of the hardest hit in the Garden State when it comes to drug-related overdoses. In 2017, the county had 151 overdose deaths, nearly four times the number of highway fatalities. The county is likely to exceed that number in 2018.

    Under the Cuffs to Beds umbrella, Gramiccioni has signed on police chiefs in 10 of the 42 departments in the county, including the county's largest, Middletown.

    Each department is free to implement its own program, but they must work with an organization that provides recovery coaches, a recovering addict with at least one year of sobriety who is trained to voluntarily help another addict navigate the treatment system. 

    Gramiccioni said he provides the police chiefs with options and they pick the organization that fits their individual needs. Deputy First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Michael Wojciechowski keeps tabs on all the cases with the individual departments.

    Ask Alexa

    Some departments, like Hazlet, will file charges right away and once the defendant completes treatment, will dismiss those charges. Other departments, such as Belmar, will shelve the charges and use them as an extra incentive to get those individuals successfully through treatment.   

    "These (police chiefs) all get credit for looking forward and not backward," Gramiccioni said.

    He said between 55 to 65 percent of those reached under the Cuffs to Beds initiative have accepted some form of treatment.

    "If you think of what we did before, these people would just get released or just leave a scene after being revived (from an overdose), maybe every once in a while they get taken to a hospital and then they're back out using with the same friends and having the same addiction problems that they were having before," he explained. "I'll take the double instead of the home run."

    The program is mainly for people addicted to drugs who have non-violent drug possession charges, Gramiccioni said. Some shoplifting cases, where it's clear the motive was to fuel a drug habit, can also qualify, he said.

    But those charged with second-degree offenses or cases where there are victims most likely won't get the opportunity, Gramiccioni explained.

    In Belmar, police Chief Andrew Huisman said his program has successfully gotten 57 people to complete treatment since he launched it in 2017.

    Belmar police chiefBelmar police Chief Andrew Huisman. (Alex Napoliello | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) 

    "We had no choice but to take some type of action," Huisman said. "Back in the fall of 2016, it was clear we weren't arresting our way out of anything. We were arresting the same people over and over again."

    The police chief in Howell, Andrew Kudrick, said he was being "hit left and right with overdoses" when he took over the department in 2015. The problem, he said, came to a head when one of his officers who was responding to an overdose call got into a car crash with another person who was under the influence. Soon afterward, he connected with CFC to enlist the help of recovery coaches.

    Now, Kudrick said, "whenever there is an overdose, police, fire and EMS get dispatched to it and a recovery specialist is dispatched to the scene. We want to capture them when they're at their most vulnerable."

    Law enforcement officials conceded that, while they are great at maintaining the law and public safety in their towns, they are not as effective as someone who's been through addiction and is trained to help another addict. 

    The proof is in the numbers, Regan said. Seventy-one percent of people referred to CFC by police since 2016 have agreed to seek treatment. 

    Once those with addictions are detoxed, Regan said, they are invited to continue to seek recovery with CFC's five-year program. Most of the individual's expenses are covered by insurance, and if the person doesn't have insurance, the recovery coach will help get them into a facility that accepts people who don't have insurance.

    The goal, she said, is to get those suffering from addiction into long-term treatment to break the cycle of addiction. 

    "You hit a lot of walls because of the traditional system," Regan said. "It's very difficult for police departments. There are so many regulations, certifications and laws that say you can't go outside of this little sandbox. ... It's very hard to break that mold." 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Izaia Bullock, 22, was going through a bad breakup and made alarming comments that were reported by Rutgers to police.

    UPDATE: Rutgers football player had gloves, crushed Tylenol in his car for murder plot, cops say

    A former Rutgers football walk-on player was charged with an attempted double murder after university officials followed protocol and reported concerns to law enforcement, according to five individuals with knowledge of the situation.

    Izaia Bullock, 22, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder Tuesday after he "initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance," the previous day, according to a statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Rutgers Police Chief Kenneth Cop.

    Rutgers coach Chris Ash has refused comment.

    Bullock had a plan, police said

    According to the five people either inside the Rutgers football program or close to Bullock, who were all granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, Bullock was distraught after a breakup with a girlfriend following a lengthy relationship. He made comments construed as threats toward the woman's family.

    The targets were not named by police, but a prosecutor's spokeswoman said they were not injured and are not associated with Rutgers.

    Who is Izaia Bullock?

    Bullock, a linebacker from Linden, walked on to the Rutgers team in 2017 after playing for the Gattaca Football Club, a private junior college team, while attending Middlesex County College.

    According to those who spoke to NJ Advance Media, this is how events unfolded:

    Bullock confided in the Rutgers coaching staff about his struggles with the breakup and missed a recent practice to deal with the issue. The coaching staff directed him to a university counselor, whom he met with for 90 minutes on Monday. Bullock then made alarming comments to an unnamed teammate following that session.

    The teammate recorded the comments, prosecutors said in an affidavit released Wednesday.

    The teammate reported what Bullock had said to a strength coach, who then followed mandatory protocol and informed a superior. The information was eventually given to Rutgers police on Monday.

    Bullock was arrested on Monday, according to court records, with a complaint being issued Tuesday. The arrest was then announced early Tuesday evening, and Bullock was dismissed from the program shortly after.

    Bullock will have a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Middlesex County Court.

    Keith Sargeant may be reached at ksargeant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.

    James Kratch may be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.


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    Izaia Bullock was also accused of asking someone to act as a getaway driver and lookout

    UPDATE: Prosecutors are asking a judge to keep ex-Rutgers player Izaia Bullock jailed without bail

    The former Rutgers University football player accused of plotting a double murder had a few supplies ready, and was looking for someone to help him escape a potential crime scene, court documents show.

    Izaia Bullock, a junior linebacker, was dismissed from the team Tuesday after he was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, both first-degree offenses.

    Authorities allege he initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance.

    After tip from Rutgers, walk-on football player charged with murder plot

    Police and prosecutors, in court documents, allege Bullock discussed the plot with a witness, who recorded their conversation and turned over that audio to police.

    Bullock asked the witness to be a getaway driver and lookout, according to the affidavit of probable cause in the case.

    Police who searched Bullock's car found gloves, crushed-up Tylenol pills and a mask, the affidavit says.

    The 22-year-old from Linden later admitted the plot to Rutgers police detectives.

    Bullock was arrested Tuesday and no one was harmed, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said. He was scheduled to appear in court in New Brunswick by video on Wednesday afternoon.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    The walk-on linebacker, who was arrested and charged Monday, was dismissed from the team Tuesday Watch video

    Prosecutors are trying to keep a former Rutgers football player jailed while he awaits trial on charges he plotted to kill two people, a judge said Wednesday.

    Izaia Bullock, 22, made his first appearance in court via a video feed from the Middlesex County Jail Wednesday, two days after he was arrested on two counts each of attempted murder and conspiring to commit murder.

    Bullock, clad in a green jail jumpsuit and guarded by a sheriff's officer, listened quietly as Judge Gary Price explained he would remain behind bars pending the outcome of another hearing, scheduled for this Friday.

    Court staff briefly turned the courtroom's webcam so Bullock could see his mother, stepmother, stepfather and a family friend, all seated at the front of the courtroom.

    The county prosecutor's office has filed a motion seeking to keep Bullock jailed without bail pending the end of his case, an option available to judges under statewide criminal justice reforms that took effect last year.

    After tip from Rutgers, walk-on football player charged with murder plot

    The prosecutor's office charged Bullock, a walk-on junior linebacker from Linden, after an unidentified witness told university police he had solicited the witness to be the getaway driver in the planned killings of two people, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

    The county prosecutor's office has not named the victims, but five people either inside Rutgers' football program or close to Bullock told NJ Advance Media he had recently made threatening comments about the family of an ex-girlfriend.

    Bullock had become distraught about the breakup after a long relationship, these people said.

    The sources said one of Bullock's teammates brought his alarming comments to the attention of a strength coach, whose mandatory report ultimately reached Rutgers University police. 

    At least one person made an audio recording of Bullock talking about his plans, according to both NJ Advance Media's sources and the investigators' affidavit.

    Investigators later found crushed-up Tylenol pills, a mask and gloves when they searched Bullock's car, and the player admitted to police he had concocted the plan, the complaint says.

    The university dismissed Bullock from the team Tuesday.

    Robert Bianchi, a former Morris County prosecutor now practicing criminal defense, told NJ Advance Media the strength of prosecutors' case will rest largely on the quality of the evidence.

    On the state's shoulders lies a particular burden: proving that Bullock would have actually carried out the killings had law enforcement not intervened.

    "Without knowing more," Bianchi said, "it's not your typical attempted murder scenario, where somebody shoots someone and doesn't actually kill them."

    Under state law, he said, having abandoned a criminal plot under consideration is an acceptable defense to an attempt charge.

    "It's just that much more difficult for prosecutors when they have to prove purposeful conduct," Bianchi said.

    Bullock's attorney, Josh Altman, declined to comment on the charges Wednesday, and Bullock's family also left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

    Bullock's detention hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday in front of Superior Court Judge Michael Toto.

    Staff Writers Keith Sargeant and James Kratch contributed to this report.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind NJ.com on Facebook

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    A day after Izaia Bullock was arrested in an alleged attempted murder plot, Rutgers football coach Chris Ash broke his silence on the dismissed linebacker from Linden, New Jersey.

    One day after dismissing Izaia Bullock from the Rutgers football team, Scarlet Knights coach Chris Ash addressed the matter Tuesday.

    In a statement obtained by NJ Advance Media, Ash expressed sadness over the situation but said he was "thankful that no one got hurt.''

    Here is the complete statement:

    "We are deeply saddened by the situation involving Izaia but thankful that no one was hurt. Izaia joined the team in Sept. 2017. During his time in the program, he demonstrated the positive behaviors that we ask of all our student-athletes. He was a good teammate, performed well academically and participated in several community service events.

    "We proactively addressed a very concerning issue that we were made aware of in recent days. The information that we received was passed through the appropriate channels to address the serious nature of the matter. As a result of our actions, the authorities became involved.

    "Over the past two weeks, we witnessed changes in his behavior. He has been dealing with personal issues and we made him aware of counseling resources intended to help student-athletes through difficult times.

    "We have worked to constantly educate our student-athletes on how to handle these situations. We are grateful that the proper steps were followed and that all parties are safe.''

    Bullock, 22, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder Tuesday after he "initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance," the previous day, according to a statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Rutgers Police Chief Kenneth Cop.

    Court documents obtained by NJ Advance Media on Tuesday show Bullock was accused of plotting a double murder had a few supplies ready, and was looking for someone to help him escape a potential crime scene.

    Police and prosecutors, in court documents, allege Bullock discussed the plot with a witness, who recorded their conversation and turned over that audio to police.

    Bullock asked the witness to be a getaway driver and lookout, according to the affidavit of probable cause in the case.

    Police who searched Bullock's car found gloves, crushed-up Tylenol pills and a mask, the affidavit says.

    Bullock later admitted the plot to Rutgers police detectives, records show.

    Bullock was arrested Tuesday and no one was harmed, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said. He appeared in court in New Brunswick by video on Wednesday afternoon and has pre-trial detention hearing scheduled for Friday.

    After tip from Rutgers, walk-on football player was charged with murder plot

    According to the five people either inside the Rutgers football program or close to Bullock, who were all granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, Bullock was distraught after a breakup with a girlfriend following a lengthy relationship. He made comments construed as threats toward the woman's family.

    The targets were not named by police, but a prosecutor's spokeswoman said they were not injured and are not associated with Rutgers.

    Bullock, a linebacker from Linden, walked on to the Rutgers team in 2017 after playing for the Gattaca Football Club, a private junior college team, while attending Middlesex County College.

    According to those who spoke to NJ Advance Media, this is how events unfolded:

    Bullock confided in the Rutgers coaching staff about his struggles with the breakup and missed a recent practice to deal with the issue. The coaching staff directed him to a university counselor, whom he met with for 90 minutes on Monday. Bullock then made alarming comments to an unnamed teammate following that session.

    The teammate reported what Bullock had said to a strength coach, who then followed mandatory protocol and informed a superior. The information was eventually given to Rutgers police on Monday.

    NJ Advance Media reporters Joe Brandt and Thomas Moriarty contributed to this report.

    Keith Sargeant may be reached at ksargeant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.

    James Kratch may be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.


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    Noelle Boynton was charged with possessing a high-capacity magazine and drug possession.

    Noelle Boynton came to the Monmouth County courthouse on Wednesday as an accompanying guest.

    But she never made it to the elevator.

    Instead, Boynton, 35, was arrested after Monmouth County Sheriff's Officers found a loaded high-capacity magazine in her purse, according to a statement from the sheriff's department.

    Everyone who enters the courthouse has to walk through a metal detector and have their belongings put through an X-ray machine.

    Authorities said after officers found the magazine, they searched Boyton's vehicle and found 10 bags of heroin and an unspecified amount of OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription pain medication.

    The officers, however, did not find a gun in the car, authorities said.

    Boynton, of Neptune, was arrested and taken to the Monmouth County jail. She is charged with possession of a high-capacity magazine and possession of drugs.

    Authorities said she had numerous outstanding warrants from various municipalities and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

    The investigation into what gun the magazine belonged to is ongoing, authorities said.

    "The measures taken to provide the utmost security for visitors and those who work at the Monmouth County Courthouse are top notch," Sheriff Shaun Golden said in a statement. "An arrest like this helps keep dangerous weapons and drugs out of the workplace and our communities. I commend the diligent and exceptional police work of all involved." 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Batteries not included.

    The Strong National Museum of Play is located in Rochester, New York. Every year, it inducts a select few iconic toys into its National Toy Hall of Fame. The selections range from brand-specific items like the Atari 2600 game system (2006) to board games like Candy Land (2005) and generic playthings such as bubbles, bicycles and cardboard boxes.

    This year's inductees will be announced on Nov. 8 and will be selected from the following nominees:

    702c30ca12b99606e1029af0b975dc0d.jpgWill the Magic 8 Ball make the Toy Hall of Fame? "Cannot predict now." 

    * American Girl dolls
    * Pinball
    * Chalk
    * Sled
    * Chutes and Ladders
    * Tic-Tac-Toe
    * Fisher-Price Corn Popper
    * Tickle Me Elmo
    * Magic 8 Ball
    * Tudor Electric Football
    * Masters of the Universe
    * Uno

    New Jerseyans should particularly pull for the sled and electric football nominees, as both were invented in the Garden State; read more about them here and here.

    The museum inducted three toys in 2017: the Wiffle ball, the paper airplane and Clue. It's going to be hard to choose from among those 12 strong contenders.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    What was your favorite toy growing up? Aside from a special stuffed animal or doll friend, we all had favorite things to play with. While many have stood up to the test of time, others have slipped from our memories.

    Here's a gallery of toys and games from the past you might instantly recognize and others you may have forgotten about. Some are still around, while others have gone away for a variety of reasons.

    And here are links to other galleries you might enjoy:

    Vintage photos of pastimes and games in N.J.

    Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

    Vintage photos of how things have changed in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Walk-on linebacker Izaia Bullock was dismissed Tuesday after his arrest on attempted murder charges


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    Prosecutors added a charge of fourth-degree cyber harassment to charges related to a murder plot

    Prosecutors have filed an additional charge against a Rutgers football player already accused of plotting the murder of two people.

    Izaia Bullock, 22 was charged Thursday with one count of fourth-degree cyber harassment, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a news release.

    Coach Chris Ash dismissed Bullock from the Rutgers football team on Tuesday after the junior linebacker was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder.

    The announcement from Carey did not specify the target of the alleged harassment or when it was sent. 

    But the charges on Tuesday came after a tip from Rutgers that Bullock made threatening comments about his girlfriend's family to a teammate, who reported that conversation to a strength coach.

    The affidavit of probable cause related to the attempted murder charges said Bullock had crushed Tylenol pills, a mask and gloves in his car. In that document, detectives wrote that Bullock discussed a plot with an unnamed witness, who recorded the conversation. That witness heard that Bullock was looking for a getaway driver and lookout.

    Bullock is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center. He is scheduled for a detention hearing tomorrow before Superior Court Judge Michael Toto in New Brunswick.

    -Reporters James Kratch, Thomas Moriarty and Keith Sargeant contributed to this story.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips 


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    He faces 5 criminal charges including attempted murder

    Izaia Bullock, the former Rutgers player arrested and charged this week with involvement in a supposed plot to commit two murders, is scheduled for a Friday morning appearance in Superior Court in New Brunswick.

    Here's what we know so far.

    What could happen?

    Bullock is on the schedule for a detention hearing, a part of the judicial process here that is conducted instead of defendants paying bail. At a detention hearing, the state, usually an assistant prosecutor, and the defense attorney make arguments about whether the defendant should remain in jail until trial, or be released on certain conditions. Those conditions could be: a requirement of no contact with victims, electronic monitoring or living somewhere else while the case goes on.

    A judge weighs those arguments and the score of a Public Safety Assessment before ruling on where the defendant will spend their time. That assessment weighs past criminal history as well as the nature of the crimes the defendant is accused of.

    Currently, Bullock is in the Middlesex County jail.

    The charges

    Bullock, 22, is charged with four first-degree offenses and one fourth-degree offense. He faces two counts of attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and one count of cyber harassment.

    The cyber harassment charge, which prosecutors tacked on Thursday, is listed in court records as occurring Oct. 25.

    What is he accused of?

    Sources close to the matter told NJ Advance Media that Bullock told a teammate about a plan to kill two members of his ex-girlfriend's family. That teammate reported it to a coach, who passed it up the chain to police.

    Detectives interviewed Bullock and got consent to search his car. He also admitted to creating the plan, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

    What Rutgers has said

    Rutgers football Coach Chris Ash said the allegations "deeply saddened" him but he "was thankful no one was hurt." Bullock was dismissed from the team after the first charges on Tuesday.

    A university spokeswoman said Bullock, a labor and employment relations major, will also face university disciplinary proceedings.

    An expert opinion

    Robert Bianchi, the former Morris County prosecutor who now practices as a defense attorney, said this case is far from a standard attempted murder case. 

    He said a potential defense could focus on whether the plot was abandoned under consideration.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips 

     

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    Joseph Armstead, a former school principal, is one of 3 candidates vying for three open seats in a Warren County town

    He's accused of stealing from an educational nonprofit when he was a school principal in Middlesex County, and he remains on the ballot for a school board election in his hometown.

    Joseph Armstead, the former principal of the Piscataway campus of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, was indicted in July on counts of burglary, two counts of theft and one of forgery.

    Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a news statement at the time that Armstead received checks from the nonprofit, which tutors kids and helps them apply to colleges. He was also accused of taking $10,000 in property from the organization's offices and placing it in storage in Edison.

    His lawyer listed in court records, Scott Kraus, did not return multiple requests for comment in recent days, including emailed questions about his status on the ballot, or if he would like to discuss his case.

    But officials confirmed that Armstead is still in the school board race.

    He is one of three candidates up for three open seats on the Washington Township Board of Education in Warren County.

    "Unless somebody is a write-in or people for another reason do not vote for him," Armstead could be elected, said Jason Sarnoski, a Warren County freeholder and the liaison to the county Board of Elections.

    Being indicted does not bar him from election, but any school election candidate, when filing a petition for nomination, consents to a criminal history background check within 30 days of their election.

    He has not attended a school board meeting since Feb. 12 of this year, the meeting minutes show.

    Armstead was last in court on Oct. 22. At this appearance, the matter was adjourned until Nov. 30, Carey's spokeswoman said.

    He is no longer listed as principal of Middlesex Vo-Tech on the school's website.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips 

     

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    The 14-year-old was last seen at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday

    Police in Edison are asking for the public's help as they look for a 14-year-old who they believe ran away from home on Halloween. 

    missing.edison-boy.jpgJeremiah Dicesaris (Edison police) 

    Jeremiah Dicesaris hasn't been seen since he went to visit a friend at a home on Varady Drive in the Fords section of Woodbridge at 4:45 p.m., Wednesday

    The 5-foot-9, 145 pound teen was last seen wearing a gray polo shirt and black cargo shorts, police said.

    Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 732-248-7400.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    Isaia Bullock was granted an adjournment at his detention hearing on Friday. Watch video

    A former Rutgers football player accused of hatching a murder plot will remain behind bars at least until Wednesday.

    Isaia Bullock, 22, appeared before a Superior Court judge in Middlesex County on Friday to learn if he would remain jailed pending trial or released and placed on monitoring.

    Bullock is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and cyber harassment. Authorities said the Linden native and former Rutgers football walk-on linebacker was plotting to kill two people. Prosecutors have not said the relationship those people have to Bullock.

    Bullock's attorney, Steven Altman, requested an adjournment to have more time to review the discovery in the case.

    "I'm doing everything I can to get Mr. Bullock out (of jail) as quickly as possible," he told Judge Michael Toto.

    Toto's granted Altman's request for additional time.

    keep044.jpgFormer Rutgers linebacker Izaia Bullock was arrested after university officials alerted law enforcement to potential threatening comments he made. (James Kratch | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) 

    In a criminal complaint filed against Bullock, authorities contend he attempted to recruit an associate to be the getaway driver and the lookout as he carried out his plan.

    The associate recorded Bullock talking about the plan, the criminal complaint said, and then turned over the recording to the Rutgers Police Department.

    When police searched Bullock's car, they found a mask, gloves and crushed Tylenol, according to the criminal complaint.

    Coaches who knew Bullock, who played football at Linden High School before his college career, told NJ Advance Media in interviews that they were shocked to learn of the news.

    "He was a model kid," former Linden High coach Deon Candia said. "He was one of our leaders. He was one of those kids who wasn't the most talented. He worked so hard and he became a starter. He's always had a good attitude. ... He wasn't a street kid at all. It's just unfortunate."

    Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey attended Wednesday's detention hearing, but left the courtroom before he could be approached for comment. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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