Mansfield Township
Police Department

190-A Atlantic Ave.
PO Box 177
Columbus, NJ 08022

609-298-4411 Police Station
609-723-8300 Dispatch

Mansfield Police Department

Police Blotter – 10/16/13

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On Wednesday, October 9th at 12:05 p.m., officers working at the Manheim New Jersey auto auction observed a subject remove a set of floor mats from a vehicle in the Sales Lot. Investigation revealed that the man, identified as Philip Penta, 57 years old of Hazlet, had taken the floor mats to put in a vehicle that was just purchased and he was removing from the auction property. Penta was taken into custody and transported to headquarters for processing. The theft charge was placed on a special complaint and he was released pending a court appearance.

During a court session on October 10th, police determined that two motor vehicle summonses that had been issued in July 2013 were issued to a person who provided false information to police. The person who appeared in court was not the subject that police had stopped and issued the summonses to in July. An investigation was initiated and police were able to identify the subject that had actually committed the traffic offenses as Christina C. Hansen, 30 years old of Trenton. Hansen was subsequently charged with various motor vehicle offenses, including driving while suspended for the initial encounter with police in July. She was also charged with the criminal offense of Hindering Apprehension for providing false information to police. Additionally, another subject was with Hansen during the incident in July and supported her ruse by providing the same false information to the officer during the stop. That subject, identified as Odyssey Washington, 22 years old of Allentown, PA, was also charged criminally for Hinder the Apprehension of Another for her involvement. The case is currently pending court.

Police arrested Raymond Knuckles, Jr., 37 years old of Trenton, on October 12th at 12:52 a.m. after he was stopped for a motor vehicle violation. During the stop, police learned that Knuckles was wanted on warrants issued by Bordentown Township Municipal Court and taken into custody. After being taken to the police station, Knuckles was cited for several motor vehicle violations, including driving with a suspended license. He was later released pending a new court date for the outstanding warrants.

On Monday, October 13th at 1:07 a.m., police conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 130 after observing the vehicle crash into a concrete barrier in a construction zone.  Investigation on scene revealed that the driver, Andrew Mersel, 43 years old of Florence, had consumed some amount of alcoholic beverages prior to driving.  After he failed to satisfactorily complete a series of standardized field sobriety tests, Mersel was placed under arrest.  At police headquarters, Mersel was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, speeding, and failure to maintain his lane.  After the completion of his arrest processing, Mersel was released to the custody of a family member pending a court appearance.  As a result of the crash, no injuries were reported.

On Monday, October 13th at 6:00 p.m. a random registration inquiry revealed the registered owner had a suspended driver’s license. After stopping the vehicle, police determined that the register owner, Kevin Oakerson, 36 years old of Florence, was a passenger in the vehicle, but not driving. As a result of the stop, Oakerson was taken into custody on an active warrant issued by Edgewater Park Municipal Court. After being processed at police headquarters, Oakerson posted bail and was released pending a new court date.

On Wednesday, October 16th at 9:05 a.m., police arrested Michael Ciobanu, 52 years old of Ozone Park, NY, after an officer witnessed Ciobanu remove a part from the exterior of a vehicle parked at the Manheim New Jersey auto auction and conceal it under his coat. Ciobanu initially disputed the allegation when the officer confronted him, until the part in question fell from under his coat and landed at his feet. Ciobanu was charged and subsequently released pending a court appearance.