Courier-Post from Camden, New Jersey on May 2, 1998 · Page 13
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Courier-Post from Camden, New Jersey · Page 13

Camden, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 2, 1998
Page 13
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Courier-Post Saturday May 2, 1998 Metro Desk 486-2408 G ir inn t it U TH E m) IB) Hijacker of bus pleads guilty By RENEE WINKLER Courier-Post Staff CAMDEN A 35-year-old Camden man, whose attempt to hijack an NJ Transit bus a year ago led to a hostage situation and paralyzed center city traffic at the evening rush hour, pleaded guilty Friday to charges stemming from the incident. Dwayne Thomas of the 700 block of Division Street pleaded guilty to charges of carjacking, aggravated assault on a police officer and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The plea agreement includes a recommended sentence of 30 years in state prison with a 15-year bar on parole ineligibility. The agreement calls for dismissal of kidnapping and attempted murder charges. Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Michele Morgera said she will ask Superior Court Judge Louis F. Hornstine to order the term be served after Davis completes a five-year sentence for possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. Sentencing is scheduled for June 19. Thomas had been a fugitive on May 13, 1997, when he was spotted by a police officer who wanted to question him in connection with a robbery investigation. Thomas ran to a bus near the transportation terminal, pointed a handgun at driver Samuel Harvey, and ordered him to drive. Harvey, 52, of Camden, shouted to passengers to get off the bus, but was held hostage himself for almost four hours. Police officers were able to get to the rear of the bus and cut its ignition wires. Meanwhile, Thomas continued to hold his gun to Harvey's head and then switched clothing with the driver. Camden Police Lt. Michael Katner negotiated Thomas' surrender, but Harvey could not leave the bus because by disconnecting the wires police also prevented the doors from opening. An NJ Transit technician, wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet, was able to crawl beneath the bus and release air valves, allowing the door to open. Harvey walked out of the bus with Thomas' hands around his neck. He had put the gun in the back of Harvey's pants, but the driver grabbed the handgun and tossed it to police. Thomas was convicted of murdering a motorist in 1978 during a traffic dispute in Camden when he was 17. He was paroled after serving IVi years but later violated his parole and was jailed again until February 19. He had failed to appear for sentencing on the school zone drug charge a week before the hijacking. TOMORROW' A Cherry Hill High School West graduate returns to the area in the touring company of Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. Meet the former street musician on Sunday's Arts page. J IS ? CLASSIFIED 6 IN OUR TOWNS 4 OBITUARIES 5 J I --. boLJ P ;' :- i. 5 : ' -.7- - jr r.: - - - Photos by Ron Karafin, Courier-Post No summer camp: Students from Camden traveled to Fort Dix Youth Inc. Army drill sergeants started some of the 220 inner-city for a three-day para-military camp sponsored by Partnership for youths off with a round of pushups Friday. Students taste military discipline By LOUIS T. LOUNSBERRY Courier-Post Staff FORT DIX Seconds after 14-year-old Luis Zayas Jr. stepped off the bus Friday, he was on the pavement doing 20 pushups as an Army drill sergeant and a Camden police officer stood watch and shouted orders. "This isn't what I expected. I pictured it being something like a summer camp. You know, baseball, soccer . . . This isn't going to be a picnic, but I hope to leave here a better person," Zayas later said, noting he had to do pushups because he was noisy on the bus ride from Camden to Fort Dix. The Pyne Point School student was among 220 seventh-and eighth-grade students from five Camden City schools taking part in a three-day paramilitary camp and seminar sponsored by Partnership for Youth Inc. Another 14-year-old, Melynn Davis, laughed as she was getting into line after getting off the bus. A drill instructor ordered her to "drop to the pavement." She thought it was funny and laughed again. The drill instructor then gave the command more forcefully. Seconds later she was in tears. She recovered and then realized she would have to obey Atlantic City using low-interest A light industrial site is planned near Absecon Boulevard. By WILLIAM H. SOKOLIC Courier-Post Staff ATLANTIC CITY - The proposed expansion of North Carolina Avenue to ease the flow of traffic to the uptown side of the city has led to a plan to create a light industrial park near Absecon Boulevard. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, in cooperation with Tropicana Casino and Resort, will fund a below-market rate loan pool of $2 million to entice casino-related service industries to an area bordered by Nephew gets life for '96 slayings By LOUIS T. LOUNSBERRY Courier-Post Staff MOUNT HOLLY - A 22-year-old man sat silently and calmly in court Friday as a judge sentenced him to life for killing his great-uncle and his best friend. Jeremy South pleaded guilty March 9 to the stabbing death of Elmer O. Green Jr., 61, his great-uncle and a convicted child abuser, and the fatal shooting of Patrick Magoon, his best friend who once helped authorities prosecute Green. All three men lived within Please see KILLINGS, Page 2B Jll i 2 ft pru : ' - . - f s L ( Shape up: Army Sgt. Douglas Reed (left) and Camden Detective Leon Reed Jr. (no relation) get in Bryant Zazas' face. the commands. "That's the way we do it. We tear them down and rebuild their character and give them the self-confidence they will need," said Army Sgt. Ronnie Langston. "I guess they're doing this for my own good. They're trying to show me what life will be like in the world after I get out of school North Carolina and Pennsylvania avenues, and Adriatic Avenue and Absecon Boulevard. The CRDA, which uses casino-generated dollars to fund development projects, unveiled its plans Friday. The impetus for what the CRDA terms a "jobs park" evolved from plans to widen North Carolina from Absecon to Arctic avenues, a project that will require relocation of Atlantic City Linen Service Inc. from its current location along the street. The company, which supplies laundry and linen rental to the casino industry, expects to move into the proposed industrial park after the start of the two-year roadway expansion sometime in 1999. S 4 '. , - Judgment day: Jeremy South of New Hanover stands alongside his public defender, Ann Manning, as Judge Victor Friedman sentences him to life in prison Friday. ' -V. t ., -V Li.: H .lt.x i - , M. i V... -' ' . VMI r-: tf and that I had better be prepared for it," said Davis, who was attending the camp with her sister, Candice Schwilk, 12. Partnership for Youth was co-founded in 1994 by Camden Detective Leon Reed Jr., Sgt. Robert McGriff Jr. and career soldier Douglas M. Reed, who is not related to the detective. Officials at the linen company were unavailable for comment, but Jim Kennedy, executive director of the CRDA, said the firm employs 245 workers. The proposed industrial park harks back to an earlier era in Atlantic City when a number of businesses located in the resort to service the hotel and restaurant industries. Most of those companies had moved to the mainland or gone out of business by the time the city declined in the late '60s. Kennedy hopes the CRDA-Tropicana partnership can rekindle old times. The below market interest rates will reduce construction costs, making the park more competitive for potential busi nesses. -? XxJ The group's goal was to instill positive values during the difficult time of early teen-age years and to show that there is more than "just the life in the streets of Camden," said Leon Reed. "The culture shock was almost immediate as Army drill instructors and police, all of whom volunteer their time, began to instill "a sense of military styled discipline" among the youths, he said. "If you can remember your first day at the reception center when you joined the military, you can get a pretty good idea of what they're going through," said Leon Reed. "There was no talking back, no laughing. You did what you were told. Resistance was futile and met by by orders to 'give me 20.' " he added. Unlike first-timers Luis, Melynn and Candice, 14-year-old Kevin Brown was a repeat guest at the camp. "I just like it. If you follow the rules, it can be fun. They just want to show us and tell us what we're going to face. They want us to know that there is more to life in Camden than just drugs and violence. That we are the masters of our own destiny and our lives will be whatever we make of them," Brown said. Please see CAMP, Page 2B loans for "What we'll look for is high labor intensive employment that can draw on neighborhood residents who can walk to work," State grant to P IT 7 1 a. ior wasmngion iwp. sue ByGENEVERNACCHIO Courier-Post Staff WASHINGTON TWP. - A $270,000 state Transportation Trust Fund grant will fund construction of a 30- to 40-foot pedestrian tunnel at the township's sports complex and eliminate the need for youngsters to negotiate busy traffic on Hurff-ville-Grenloch Road. Mayor Jerry Luongo said the grant, which was received this week, also will allow the township to apply municipal funds already earmarked for the project to be used instead for property tax relief. Luongo said the complex has seven football, baseball and soft-ball fields and is heavily used from early spring through De- f Off-duty trooper killed in crash By CLINT RILEY Courier-Post Staff GLOUCESTER TWP. A decorated state trooper was killed while off-duty early Friday when his personal vehicle veered off the Black Horse Pike and crashed, authorities said. Trooper David B. Costill, 41, a 15-year state police veteran and father of three from Medford Lakes, was driving south on the pike about 3:42 a.m. when his vehicle left the road, collided with two parked cars and overturned after hitting a third car, police said. ! Costill, who was alone, was ejected from the vehicle between Cleveland Avenue and Church Street. He suffered massive head injuries. No one else was injured. The cause of the one-vehicle crash remains under investigation bjr Gloucester Township police. Au-. thorities would not say whether Costill was wearing a seat belt' Costill, assigned to the Red, Lion Station in Burlington County, had received 50 letters of, commendation from the superin- numerous county prosecutors, local police and the public for hi police work. "Throughout his assignment with the New Jersey State Police,' Trooper Costill displayed courtesy and professionalism and offered aid and assistance to the citizens of this state," Col. Carl A. Williams, superintendent of the state police, said in a prepared statement. "Trooper Costill upheld the finest traditions of the New Jersey State Police he will be missed." During his career, Costill worked in Burlington, Cumberland, Salem and Atlantic counties. He is survived by his wife Deborah and three children, Kyle, 17, David, 12 and Tyler 7. Funeral arrangements were not complete Friday. 'jobs park9 Courier-Post Kennedy said, citing food distribution as a prime example of the type of business the agency will seek. fund tunnel TP cember by approximately 10,000 participants in the township's' athletic programs. Parents and children generally park across Hurffville-Grenloch Road from the park. Parents and coaches have long' complained about the safety threat. Occasionally, parents have taken to forming human! chains across the street to get cars to slow down. "I've been begging for this thing," said Charlie Doud, a football and baseball coach in the township. "It's absolutely, 100 percent necessary. Doud said cars routinely exceed the 45-mph speed limit and kids are always darting across the street to get to rest rooms and a concession stand.

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