Letter of Commendation

Patrolman John Breen, Detective Kimberly DiParisi

On April 26, 2019 at 08:08 hours, police officers responded to the Shell Gas Station located at 1010 Highway 18 on a report of an armed robbery.  The victim advised that the suspect had his right hand inside his jacket pocket and was motioning in a way that he had a gun.  The attendant turned over the money, and the suspect also took his cell phone to prevent him from calling the police.  The attendant provided the police with a detailed description of the suspect as well as his last known direction of travel towards Hillsdale Road.

In canvassing the area for the suspect, Detective DiParisi located surveillance video from a residence that identified the suspect vehicle as a silver Acura TL.  The attendant then utilized an app to track his stolen cell phone back to Village Deli.  Patrolman Breen responded there and obtained additional surveillance video that clearly depicted the suspect and the vehicle registration.  Further investigation led to positively identifying the suspect and having an arrest warrant issued.  The suspect was able to be apprehended by the Sayreville Police Department one day later.  Detective DiParisi subsequently interviewed the suspect and obtained a confession to the robbery and theft.

For their dedication to duty, diligence, and sound investigative skills, which led to the arrest of a robbery suspect, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman John Breen and Detective Kimberly DiParisi with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Patrick Lem, Patrolman Paul Jun

On May 1, 2019, Patrolman Ryan Welch and Patrolman Matthew Egnasko stopped a vehicle that was occupied by three occupants for a motor vehicle violation near the NJ Turnpike Toll Plaza. Before the suspect vehicle came to a stop, the rear passenger side occupant opened his door and ran from the vehicle. Patrolman Egnasko gave chase on foot while Patrolman Welch kept the driver and front-seat passenger at gunpoint. Patrolman Egnasko caught up to the fleeing suspect, wrestled him to the ground, and took him into custody with the assistance of Patrolman Paul Jun and Patrolman Patrick Lem. A search incident to arrest revealed the suspect was concealing a loaded 9MM handgun in his pants.

When additional backup units arrived, the remaining two occupants of the suspect vehicle were removed from the vehicle and handcuffed. The vehicle had a strong odor of marijuana in the passenger compartment. A probable cause search of the vehicle's passenger compartment revealed a large sum of money belonging to the male driver. The money was folded and separated into $100 amounts which is consistent with CDS distribution. The female front-seat passenger, who stated she was unemployed, also had a large sum of money that she had no explanation for having. 

Detective Sean Grogan of the Woodbridge Police Department, along with K-9 Blade, responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The K-9 conducted a sniff of the vehicle, which positively indicated the presence of CDS. All three suspects were subsequently placed under arrest. The suspect vehicle was impounded for seizure proceedings, and a controlled sniff of the money by Detective Grogan’s K-9 back at HQ was also positive for the presence of the odor of CDS. The driver of the suspect vehicle had multiple warrants and was charged with Money Laundering and Possession of Marijuana. The female front-seat passenger was charged with Money Laundering and Possession of Marijuana. The rear seat passenger who fled the stop was charged with multiple weapons offenses, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of Marijuana. 

For their proactive policing, quick thinking, and sound tactics, which led to multiple arrests and the removal of a handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Ryan Welch and Patrolman Matthew Egnasko with a Meritorious Service Award. The Department of Public Safety is also proud to present Patrolman Paul Jun and Patrick Lem with a Letter of Commendation.

Detective Crispin Farrace

On May 28, 2019, Detective Crispin Farrace began an investigation into the allegations of physical abuse to adult daycare patients who suffer from severe mental and physical disorders.  Detective Farrace secured several hours of video surveillance from the facility in question.  Upon the extensive review of the video footage, Detective Farrace was able to confirm the veracity of the initial allegations as he discovered several instances of neglect or physical abuse of the patients of the facility.

Detective Farrace was able to develop several suspects who participated in the mistreatment of these patients.  His thorough investigation ultimately led to the signing of criminal complaints against five aides, and their eventual termination from the facility.  

For his dedication to duty and sound use of investigative skills, which led to the arrest of five individuals and prevention of further harm to defenseless patients, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Crispin Farrace with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Patrick Lem, Patrolman Daniel Werner

On June 4, 2019 Patrolman Patrick Lem was on patrol and observed a vehicle make an abrupt lane change and exit onto the NJ Turnpike. Patrolman Lem conducted a motor vehicle stop just prior to the toll plaza. The vehicle was occupied by two adult males, one adult female, and one infant. While conducting his investigation the male driver was unable to produce any identification or documentation for the vehicle. 

Patrolman Lem continued with his investigation and had the male in the backseat step out from the vehicle.  Patrolman Lem observed that the male passenger had a large bulge in his pants pocket, which was found to be a scale commonly used to package controlled dangerous substances.  A further search located a .40-caliber bullet in his rear pocket. At this time the driver of the vehicle suddenly fled on foot. Patrolman Daniel Werner immediately chased after the suspect and a physical struggle ensued. Patrolman Werner was able to quickly place the driver under arrest. The identity of the male from the backseat was later determined, and he was found to have active warrants out of several jurisdictions. This male was searched and found to be in possession of 14 baggies of crack cocaine.  A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded .40cal handgun. All three adult suspects were charged with the unlawful possession of the handgun and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. In addition the male passenger was also charged with possession of CDS and Distribution of CDS. The driver of the vehicle was also charged with hindering, and the female passenger was also charged with child neglect and hindering. 

For their keen observations, quick thinking, and sound tactics which led to three arrests and the removal of a handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Patrick Lem and Patrolman Daniel Werner with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Gabriel Gausachs

On July 10, 2019 at 0020 hours, Patrolman Gabriel Gausachs was assigned to patrol and was in the area of the Best Western Hotel. While patrolling the parking lot, he observed a suspicious motor vehicle that was being operated in an unsafe manner. Patrolman Gausachs continued to observe the pick-up truck driving through the lot and then onto Highway 18 in an erratic and careless manner.  A motor vehicle stop was then conducted on Highway 18 north near Racetrack Road. 

While speaking with the driver, Patrolman Gausachs detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the vehicle. The driver had slurred speech and was making incoherent statements.  A DWI investigation ensued, and the driver was subsequently placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. Furthering the investigation, Patrolman Gausachs then conducted a search of the vehicle. The search revealed a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun on the front seat next to where the driver was seated. The weapon was secured and removed from the vehicle. The driver was later charged with DWI and weapons offenses. 

Due to his keen observations and investigative skills, which led to the removal of a handgun from the streets of East Brunswick and the arrest of an individual who was driving while intoxicated, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Gabriel Gausachs with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Christian Longhitano, Patrolman Christopher Suydam

On August 10, 2019 Patrolman Christian Longhitano and Patrolman Christopher Suydam located a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Best Western hotel. Patrolman Longhitano and Patrolman Suydam approached the vehicle and observed both front windows were open at which time they immediately detected the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the passenger side of the vehicle. They also observed smoke emanating from the passenger compartment as well.  Patrolman Longhitano and Patrolman Suydam instructed the passengers to exit their vehicle to conduct a further investigation. 

The driver admitted that they were smoking marijuana.  The marijuana was secured as evidence and both suspects were placed in handcuffs.   A search of the vehicle was conducted, and it revealed a Taurus 9mm handgun located in the center console.  The handgun was found to be loaded and chambered with hollow point bullets.  The suspect was charged with the unlawful possession of the handgun and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.

For their keen observations, determination, and professionalism which led to the arrest of a criminal and the removal of a handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Christian Longhitano and Patrolman Christopher Suydam with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Luke Guinee

On November 16, 2019, Patrolman Luke Guinee was on patrol when he observed a vehicle failing to keep right on Highway 18 north while traveling 65 MPH in a posted 45 MPH zone.  For these reasons Patrolman Guinee conducted a motor vehicle stop on Highway 18 north near Naricon Place.  

Patrolman Guinee approached the vehicle without being immediately observed by the driver.  During this time, Patrolman Guinee observed a black handgun resting between the center console and passenger seat of the vehicle.  Closer examination revealed that the gun had a control nozzle for a CO2 canister, indicative of a BB gun.  He also observed that the driver was dressed in all dark clothing and had an orange ski mask on the floor of the passenger side.  The driver was removed from the vehicle and secured in handcuffs without incident.  The driver was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

For his keen observations, sound use of training and tactics, which led to the arrest of an individual who was stopped from potentially committing further criminal activity, including possible robberies, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Luke Guinee with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Michael Napoli, Patrolman Luke Guinee

On December 13, 2019, Patrolman Michael Napoli was on patrol and observed a dark colored Acura traveling southbound on Highway 18.  As that specific vehicle passed, Patrolman Napoli observed that the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt.  A check of the registration revealed that it was expired.  For these reasons Patrolman Napoli then conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of Summerhill Road and Lonczak Lane. 

Shortly after the stopping the vehicle, Patrolman Luke Guinee arrived on scene as a backup officer.  During the course of the investigation, the driver was found to have an active warrant for his arrest for Possession of a Firearm out of Franklin Township, New Jersey.  Upon further investigation, the exact weapon in question, a loaded Raven P25, was located under the passenger seat of the vehicle.  The driver was arrested without incident at this time.  He was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.  While processing the arrestee, Franklin Township Police Department contacted police headquarters and advised that the arrestee was a known gang member and has been involved in multiple shootings within their jurisdiction, one in particular an active homicide investigation.

For their keen observations, determination, and investigative skills, which removed a dangerous criminal and a handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Michael Napoli and Patrolman Luke Guinee with this Letter of Commendation.

Detective Crispin Farrace

In December of 2019, Detective Crispin Farrace received information regarding a resident downloading child pornography. After an extensive and thorough three month investigation, Detective Farrace obtained a search warrant for the residence. With the help of the East Brunswick SWAT Team, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Investigative Division Detectives, a successful execution of the search warrant was conducted. 

An adult suspect was taken into custody as a result of the search warrant. Detective Farrace later conducted an interview with the suspect at police headquarters and obtained a confession.  Seized as a result of the investigation were over 5,000 illicit images and over $20,000 in computer equipment.  The suspect was subsequently charged with second degree possession of child pornography, second degree distribution of child pornography, and was remanded to the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center. 

For his dedication to duty, expertise in the field of computer crimes, and his use of sound interrogation techniques, which resulted in an arrest and seizure of child pornography, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Crispin Farrace with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Luke Guinee

On February 9, 2020 the South River Police Department contacted East Brunswick Police communications via the county hotline radio channel. SRPD advised their officers were at a home in their jurisdiction where a male suspect was armed with a knife and being non-compliant with their officers. SRPD advised that the male had fled the home, and their officers were now in a foot pursuit and requesting immediate mutual aid assistance from EBPD. Multiple EBPD officers responded to assist SRPD.

Patrolman Luke Guinee arrived on location first and observed the male suspect being pursued. A SRPD officer actively deployed OC spray against the suspect, with no effect. The suspect continued to run with the knife still in his hand and eventually jumped onto the hood of a vehicle. SRPD officers and Patrolman Guinee surrounded the male who continued to swing the knife in their direction. The SRPD sergeant advised that he had deployed his taser twice previously, and the three SRPD officers all deployed their OC spray, to no effect. Patrolman Guinee removed his OC spray from the pouch and raised it while giving the male commands to surrender. The male then pulled his own shirt over his face to block the OC spray from being effective. Seeing this, Patrolman Guinee put the OC spray back in the pouch as the male continued to slash with the knife. In doing so, the male purposely slashed at Patrolman Guinee’s arm, striking his left hand, causing a laceration to his thumb. The SRPD sergeant then struck the male with his baton causing him to drop the knife, at which point Patrolman Guinee was able to tackle the male and take him into custody. SRPD charged the male with multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer. SRPD later advised the male was high on PCP during the incident. 

For his professionalism and proper use of training and equipment, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Luke Guinee with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Matthew Egnasko, Detective Crispin Farrace

On March 1, 2020 at 22:46 hours, the Speedway Gas Station located at 234 Highway 18 reported an armed robbery involving a handgun. Patrolman Matthew Egnasko located and stopped a male riding a bicycle on Serviss Avenue.  Patrolman Egnasko conducted an investigation, which confirmed the man’s identity.  A pat down search for weapons was conducted with negative results.  Further information provided revealed that the clothing description of the suspect did not match the clothing description of the male he had stopped.  The interaction was documented and the male was released. 

A responding canine later led officers to clothing evidence and a paintball handgun that was located near the fence line by Motel 6. The case was turned over to Detective Crispin Farrace, who immediately started following up on leads including evidence located by the canine. Coupled with the information from Patrolman Egnasko’s pedestrian stop, he was able to secure surveillance footage tracking the suspect's movements after the robbery. Detective Farrace also reviewed CAD entries of recent contacts involving the male. Detective Farrace was able to match video footage from prior contacts and a court appearance involving said male to the clothing evidence located by the canine. This led to probable cause to arrest the male, who was charged with robbery and weapons offenses. Furthermore, through this investigation and arrest, the male was developed as a suspect in three gas station robberies in Edison, and one gas station and one convenience store robbery in Old Bridge. 

For their keen observations, dedication to duty, and sound investigative techniques, which led to the arrest of a suspect for armed robbery and assisted 2 other jurisdictions in identifying a suspect, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Matthew Egnasko and Detective Crispin Farrace with a Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Shawn Yeager

On March 5, 2020 at 23:19 hours, Patrolman Shawn Yeager was on patrol traveling on Highway 18 south in the area of Racetrack Road.  At this time he observed a vehicle failing to maintain its lane.  After briefly following behind the vehicle and observing additional motor vehicle violations, he conducted a motor vehicle stop into the Exxon gas station at Highway 18 south and Rues Lane.

During the course of the motor vehicle stop, Patrolman Yeager detected the odor of marijuana and conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle. The search yielded approximately 4.2 pounds of marijuana, 13 THC cartridges, 5 alprazolam pills, drug paraphernalia, and $9,937.00 in cash. The driver of the vehicle was placed under arrest and charged w

ith multiple narcotics offenses including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.  The arrestee’s vehicle and cash were also confiscated for civil forfeiture proceedings.

For his keen observations and proactive work ethic, which resulted in an arrest and the removal of illegal narcotics from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Shawn Yeager with this Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Robert Theoret, Patrolman Paul Jun

In May of 2020 Patrolman Robert Theoret and Patrolman Paul Jun received credible information from a confidential informant regarding the distribution of narcotics from a residence in New Brunswick.  In conjunction with the New Brunswick Police Department, a thorough investigation ensued.

Suspects were later able to be positively identified through DMV photos.  The investigation continued and involved controlled purchases, surveillance, and other computer checks.  A search warrant was later obtained and executed as a joint operation.  As a result, two individuals were arrested on scene, over 28 pounds of marijuana was seized, along with over $9,000.00 between cash and bank account seizures.

For their dedication to duty, investigation skills, and direct assistance and cooperation with another police agency, which resulted in two arrests and the removal of illegal drugs and proceeds, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Robert Theoret and Patrolman Paul Jun.

Patrolman Robert Theoret, Patrolman Paul Jun

During the summer of 2020 an anonymous tip was made regarding a male who was engaged in drug sales out of an East Brunswick residence.  The tip specifically named an address, a suspect, and that the drugs included marijuana and cocaine. The Community Response Unit then conducted surveillance to determine if the tip was credible.  

During one day of surveillance, three possible drug transactions were observed, one of which resulted in an arrest for possession of marijuana and cocaine.  During the second day of surveillance a prior suspect was observed again at the residence.  This suspect was also stopped and arrested for possession of marijuana.  After a 24 hour period of surveillance and two arrests confirming the tips information, a search warrant was obtained.  While executing the search warrant, the main suspect residing at the residence was arrested without incident.  4.5 pounds of marijuana, 9.8 ounces of cocaine, 2 ounces of mushrooms, a large variety of THC analogs, and over $76,000.00 in cash was seized from the residence.

For their dedication to duty and sound use of investigative skills, which resulted in three arrests and the removal of illegal drugs from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Robert Theoret and Patrolman Paul Jun with this Letter of Commendation.

Detective Dennis Chieffo

On August 19, 2020 Detective Dennis Chieffo was conducting a follow up investigation when dispatch advised over the radio that a suspect just evaded the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, US Postal Police, and South River Police.  Dispatch provided a vehicle description and relayed that the suspect was involved in a narcotics transaction. 

Detective Chieffo located the suspect vehicle on Renee Road and attempted to stop it.  The driver immediately threw a container out of the window and failed to yield to his emergency lights and sirens. Detective Chieffo engaged in a brief motor vehicle pursuit through Loehmann's Plaza and onto Highway 18 southbound.  The suspect encountered heavy traffic, which allowed for Detective Chieffo to exit his vehicle.  After a brief struggle with the suspect, he was able to take him into custody. The suspect was turned over to MCPO Narcotics Task Force at the scene, and the container that was thrown from the window was recovered.  That container was found to have one half of a kilogram of suspected cocaine.  

For his keen observations and proper use of training and tactics, which resulted in the arrest of a narcotics dealer, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Dennis Chieffo with this Letter of Commendation.

Detective Joseph Bauer

On November 15, 2020 Detective Joseph Bauer responded to 826 Cranbury Road to investigate a burglary to four trailers and a theft of a motor vehicle.  Detective Joseph Bauer collected several pieces of evidence at the scene including tire impressions and fingerprints.  A short time later, information was received from a New Jersey State Police Detective, along with surveillance video, which identified two suspects that were operating the stolen vehicle with fictitious plates.

The stolen vehicle was later recovered in Tinton Falls and one of the suspects was taken into custody.  During the processing of the vehicle, personal identifying items belonging to both suspects were located.  Through a series of additional interviews, the second suspect was able to be identified.  A Communications Data Warrant for the second suspect’s cell phone also was executed.  It confirmed that the suspect’s cell phone was at the location of the original burglary and at the time of the crime.  Detective Bauer later obtained full confessions, which resulted in both suspects being charged.

For his sound investigative skills, determination, and thoroughness, which resulted in the arrest of two suspects involved in a burglary and theft of a motor vehicle, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Joseph Bauer with a Letter of Commendation.

Patrolman Thomas Soulias

On November 23, 2020 at approximately 22:41 hours, Patrolman Thomas Soulias was on patrol on Highway 18 when he observed a vehicle traveling southbound near Eggers Street.  He observed that the driver was operating the vehicle while using a handheld cell phone, while also failing to maintain his lane despite traveling under the posted speed limit.  For these reasons Patrolman Soulias conducted a motor vehicle stop.

Upon speaking with the driver Patrolman Soulias detected the odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle.  The driver was uncooperative and refusing to identify himself.  The driver refused orders to exit the vehicle and advised that he had a gun on his hip.  The driver was then removed from the vehicle and held in a compliance hold until a backup officer could retrieve the Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun.  The driver then began resisting arrest.  Patrolman Soulias again utilized a compliance hold and was finally able to secure the driver with the help of additional backup officers.  Upon completion of the investigation three rifles, one handgun, three high capacity magazines, ammunition and marijuana were seized.

For his keen observations, proper use of tactics and training, and sound investigative skills, which resulted in an arrest and the removal of narcotics and weapons from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Thomas Soulias with this Letter of Commendation.