911 calls from Short Hills Mall murder reveal widow’s frantic wait for ambulance
Recordings of 911 calls made by the widow of slain Hoboken attorney Dustin Friedland revealed that it took 18 minutes for first-aid responders to reach the scene of the crime at the Short Hills Mall last month, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, which obtained the tapes.
“We called an ambulance a half an hour ago: where is it?” said Jamie Schare-Friedland to a 911 dispatcher several minutes after a group of men shot her husband in the head and stole the couple’s Range Rover.
Millburn Police Chief Gregory Weber acknowledged that it took an ambulance even longer to respond to the murder, which took place in a parking garage, because the ambulance could not fit under the garage’s ceiling. The ambulance staff was forced to roll a stretcher up the garage’s ramp to reach Friedland, Weber said.
According to the Ledger, the tapes reveal a confusing conversation between Schare-Friedland and 911 dispatchers, who claimed that the ambulance was at the mall, though they apparently could not locate Schare-Friedland and her wounded husband.
The shooting took place around 8:30 p.m. Friedland died at Morristown Medical Center around 11:45 p.m., nearly three hours after the shooting.
Despite a section of the tape that shows Schare-Friedland alleging that emergency services failed to respond for 30 minutes, Weber confirmed to the Ledger that it was 18 minutes, though he admitted further 911 calls from the evening could not be located and that he was unsure some of the ambulance’s activities on the night of the murder, according to the Ledger.
Since the murder, prosecutors have charged four men with the murder: Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 35, all of Newark, and Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington. The four men pleaded not guilty last week.
Zimmer calls for investigation into rent control election results
Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Wednesday called for an investigation into potential vote-by-mail improprieties relating to a referendum on the city’s rent control laws that was defeated by 122 votes in last November’s election.
In a press release, Zimmer acknowledged the existence of a legal challenge by a group of Hoboken landlords and property owners seeking to overturn the referendum’s results for the second consecutive year, but said her reasons for wanting an investigation are in the public interest.
“Both the Superior Court and the public must have the information they need to evaluate whether the rejected ballots were lawfully cast,” said Zimmer in a statement. “This issue has seriously eroded the confidence of our citizens in the integrity of our election process, and it is imperative that a full investigation be conducted so that the public can have confidence that proper result has been achieved.”
Prior to the election, Zimmer had asked her supporters to vote against the referendum, which would have allowed landlords to remove rent control from buildings with four or fewer rental units once a current tenant moves out, and to allow a one-time decontrol in buildings with five or more units.
Despite her statement, Zimmer did not go as far as to come out in support of the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA), the group which fought to place the measure on the ballot in the first place and is now alleging that the Hudson County Board of Elections unlawfully rejected almost 300 vote-by-mail ballots.
The suit filed by MSTA is set to be heard in Superior Court later this month. If a judge sides with MSTA, it is possible that the results of the election could be overturned for a second consecutive year. The results of an identical referendum on a 2012 ballot were challenged by MSTA in court throughout much of last year, on the grounds that voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy were barred from weighing in on the question because it did not appear on statewide ballots.
A representative of the Hoboken Fair Housing Association, a tenant’s advocacy group that fought to defeat both referendums, was invited to comment but had not issued a statement by press time.
Zimmer, St. Patrick’s Day committee still at odds over parade’s future
Both sides in an ongoing debate over the future of Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a longstanding tradition which was cancelled for the second consecutive time last year due to safety concerns, reiterated their opposite stances on Monday, signaling that 2014 may be another off-year for the city’s Irish revelers.
The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, which has curated the event for decades, said that they are unwilling to hold it on a weekday like Mayor Dawn Zimmer has suggested, said Bill Coughlin, a representative for the group.
Meanwhile, Zimmer’s position on the matter is unchanged, said city spokesman Juan Melli.
The parade was a major issue for some voters in last November’s mayoral election. Fourth Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti, who lost to Zimmer, promised to bring the parade back in a controlled environment on the riverfront that separated attendees hoping to consume alcohol and those looking for more family-oriented activities.
Zimmer said that the only way she would allow the parade to return would be to hold it on a weekday, when attendees would be less likely to excessively drink, in an effort to maintain public safety.
Public opinion on the matter is divided as well. Many of the city’s young residents say that they want the parade back, while some older Hobokenites would rather not deal with the possible fallout.
It is unclear if LepreCon, a separate bar crawl event unaffiliated with the parade, will take place this year.
Local Assembly members sworn in
Carmelo Garcia from Hoboken was among six Hudson County residents sworn-in during the New Jersey General Assembly reorganization meeting on Jan. 14. The afternoon ceremony at the War Memorial marked the commencement of the 216th Legislature. He will represent the 33rd District, which includes a portion of Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken.
Garcia, along with Raj Mukherji from Jersey City, is beginning his first term in the state Assembly after being elected in November.
They join veteran Hudson County Assembly members Jason O’Donnell and Charles Mainor, (31st Dist.) who represent half of Jersey City and Bayonne, and Assembly members Angelica Jimenez and Vincent Prieto, (32nd district) who represent Secaucus, North Bergen, West New York, Guttenberg and west Hudson County.
Prieto will also serve as the speaker for the State Assembly, one of the two most powerful posts in the state legislature.
Prieto is currently assigning committee posts to various assembly members. O’Donnell will return to the Labor Committee, Financial Institution Committee and Housing and Urban Development Committee. Other committee assignments are to be announced shortly.
CarePoint Health Offers Free Glaucoma Screenings in Recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Month
CarePoint Health – Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center – in coordination with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, announced this week that it will offer free glaucoma screenings in recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
According to the Prevent Blindness Foundation, Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and affects over 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40. As glaucoma goes undetected in many cases, it is extremely crucial for everyone to receive an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam to prevent the onset of irreversible damage caused by glaucoma.
The screenings will be held at Hoboken University Medical Center on Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. and at Christ Hospital on Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. To schedule your free screening, call (201) 418-2335.
Nationally acclaimed author to help Hudson County parents learn how to parent in the Digital Age
Faye de Muyshondt, author of “socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS: How to Give Children the Tools to Thrive in the Modern World” and TODAY show contributor will speak at a free workshop, “Parenting in the Digital Age,” at Mustard Seed School in Hoboken. The workshop will take place on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:15 p.m. at the school, 422 Willow Ave. (at 5th Street).
“Parenting in the Digital Age” will teach parents how to take an interactive approach and partner with their children.
The average youngster has logged thousands of hours on a number of digital technologies by the time they leave home.
These technologies have changed the scope of duties and roles of parents today. Apps and websites have many advantages, but they also create more decisions, more research, and more rules to negotiate with children. deMuyshondt will give parents the tools that they need to use technology successfully with their children.
This event is free and open to the public. Go to www.mustardseedschool.org for more information or contact Michele Postema, director of Admissions and Public Relations at Mustard Seed School, (201) 653-5548, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faye de Muyshondt is the founder of the New York City based socialsklz:-), a nationally acclaimed program featuring modern-day social and emotional workshops for kids and young adults. Her book received a Gold Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards. PARENTS magazine calls the book a “cutting edge, must-have manual for raising polite and safe kids in the digital world.”
de Muyshondt was previously an Adjunct Professor at NYU and the Fordham Graduate School of Business.