Brick police, with the assistance of county sheriff’s officers, arrested 19 people in three days following a shooting near Brick Memorial High School last Tuesday and another shooting the previous weekend.
Both of the shooting victims survived, but not before news crews from across the region descended upon Brick to report on the violence. As expected, residents demanded action – especially in and around a number of apartment and condominium complexes that account for much of the township’s crime – and that is exactly where police focused their efforts, authorities confirmed.
In response to the two recent shootings Chief Jim Riccio said he has stepped up patrols and special enforcement in areas “known for criminal activity.” Among other initiatives, manpower has been added to the department’s Drug Enforcement Unit and Selective Enforcement Team, special anti-crime and SWAT-type units. During the recent sweep, Brick detectives joined forces with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office in a joint effort to target areas known for illegal activity.
“The units worked together to aggressively target these areas which included areas which were frequented by the juveniles arrested in connection to last weeks shooting incident,” said Sgt. Jim Kelly. “This cooperative effort lead to the arrest of 19 individuals over a three day period.”
The string of arrests, which took place between Oct. 23 and Oct. 26, involved charges of possession of controlled dangerous substances (illicit drugs), possession with intent to distribute drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, hindering apprehension, and outstanding warrants. The drugs for which arrests were made included crack cocaine, heroin, MDMA/Ecstasy and marijuana.
“Our community was shaken by the senseless acts of violence which occurred last week,” Riccio said in a statement. “It’s important for our residents to know that we will always do everything we can to keep our community safe and our township peaceful.”
Officers continue to “monitor, patrol and investigate these areas with the unwavering objective to seek out and arrest those responsible for criminal activity,” the statement from Kelly said.
Two juveniles were arrested in connection with the Oct. 22 shooting which grazed a Brick Memorial High School student walking along Lanes Mill Road who ran back to the school (which had already been dismissed) afterwards, prompting a lockdown of three schools. Police have not divulged the names of the suspects, who were 16 and 17-years-old, respectively. The victim of the shooting was expected to fully recover.
The teen suspects were each charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and weapons charges.