Teacher Bullying Video, Rabid Raccoon Attack, $1M Meter Theft Top NJ News

A weekly look at news in New Jersey.


A Cherry Hill father who says his autistic son was tormented for at least six months by public school special education teachers and support staff has taken his case viral with damning, covertly gathered audio of the classroom where he says his son was abused. In a 17-minute video, titled "Teacher/Bully: How My Son Was Humiliated and Tormented by his Teacher and Aide," Stuart Chaifetz replays portions of audio he attributes to "Kelly" and "Jodi," whom he says are his son Akian's former special education and resource teachers.

Raccoon That Attacked Man Confirmed Rabid

Officials have reported that the raccoon that attacked a man near his Pine Street home in New Milford last week tested positive for rabies.

Brian Petaccio, a Toms River contractor who admitted to stealing more than $1 million from Hoboken parking meters between 2005 and 2008, was sentenced in Friday to five years in state prison, Attorney General Jefferey Chiesa said. Petaccio, the owner of United Textile Fabricators, pleaded guilty in 2009 and was charged with second-degree theft by unlawful taking, for stealing approximately $1,175,000 in coins from Hoboken's parking meters.

Woodland Park Officer Accused of Luring 12-Year-Old Girl

A Woodland Park police officer sent a 12-year-old girl explicit photos of himself in uniform and tried to set up a sexual encounter with her, days after meeting the girl while assisting her family in an unrelated police matter, authorities said Wednesday. Steven Vigorito Jr. pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges ranging from attempted aggravated sexual assault to luring and enticing a child. [CBS News]

An protest developed on Friday when a group of students protesting Rutgers University's relationship with a sweatshop monitoring group occupied the Old Queens administration building after being informed that President Richard McCormick was not available to speak with them. United Students Against Sweatshops said they have been engaged in a dialogue with McCormick for two years about having Rutgers cut ties with the Fair Labor Association.

Missed Baby Search Leads to Chaos, Delays at Newark Airport

The failure to properly screen a baby for weapons or explosives led to flight delays and hours of inconvenience for passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport Friday. The security breach, which sparked the evacuation of a section of Terminal C, also exposed tensions between the Transportation Security Administration and the Port Authority Police Department, which makes final determinations about shutdowns and passenger re-screening. [NJ.com]

Two alleged members of the Philadelphia organized crime family of La Costra Nostra were arrested in Newark Thursday on racketeering charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Joseph Licata, 70, of Florham Park, and Louis Fazzini, 45, of Caldwell, were each charged with racketeering conspiracy in a second superceding indictment.

Top Cop: Tale of High-Speed Escort 'Very Disturbing'

New Jersey's attorney general has suspended two state troopers without pay, one of them a 25-year veteran, following reports they served as escorts last month for a group of high-performance luxury cars on a 100-mph trip down a state highway, alarming other motorists. And the leader of the state police force lamented Tuesday that a veteran trooper's distinguished career will likely be defined by the probe into allegations that he escorted—without official authorization—the group of sports cars down the Garden State Parkway last month. [Asbury Park Press]

Police charged three Bellmawr men Thursday in connection with the burglary and apparent cover-up fire of a Black Horse Pike auto shop earlier this month. The arson fire at Performance Motors Automotive badly damaged the business.

The Morris County Sexual Assault Center, together with members of the Morris Alliance to Prevent Sexual Assault, celebrated New Jersey's third annual Denim Day on Thursday to raise awareness for a cause that, in the eyes of many, flies under the radar of government too often. The event featured live music from Alan Grant and Primitive Soul, raffles and speeches from county officials, Morris County Sexual Assault Center representatives and survivors of sexual assault.

Beating up your boyfriend on a River Line train will score you 15 minutes of fame on YouTube. It'll also net you four months in prison.



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