Princeton Police Blotter: Marijuana at John Witherspoon Middle School, warrant arrests

On the Evening of March 10, three teens were allegedly in possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol at an event at John Witherspoon Middle School. Police responded to the school after receiving a report about a juvenile who was believed to be in possession of marijuana. Upon arrival, police said they discovered that three 15 year olds were in possession of marijuana and alcohol. They were taken into protective custody and subsequently released to their parents.

A Princeton University student was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly threw a Pepsi can at a police car on March 11. A police officer observed a semi-full Pepsi can strike the right fender of a patrol car. After turning around to find out who had thrown the can, several bystanders directed the officer to a male walking east on Prospect Avenue, and said they saw him throw the can. The person who was identified as Josh Billington, 20. Billington told police he meant to “whiff” the can into the street and accidentally struck the police car due to bad aim. An inspection of the vehicle revealed no observable damage. Billington was issued a summons and released at the scene.

Police conducted a pedestrian stop on Quarry Street just after 1 p.m. on March 15 and arrested a 55-year-old Trenton man because he had a outstanding warrant for $200 from the Trenton Municipal Court. The man was transported to police headquarters, where he was processed and released after bail was posted.

Police were called to McCaffrey’s food market to investigate a shoplifting incident on the morning of March 15. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Clarence Walker, 61, of Trenton for shoplifting groceries valued at about $100. Walker was transported to police headquarters, where he was processed and found to have two active warrants for his arrest totaling $1, 158. He was turned over to another police department.

A random license plate check on a vehicle traveling on Mercer Street on the afternoon of March 16 revealed that the registered owner of the car, Carlos Cruz, 30, had warrants issued for his arrest by courts in Pennsauken and Camden. Cruz, a Camden resident, was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters, where he was processed and released.

After a motor vehicle stop for failing to observe a traffic signal on the morning of March 16, a passenger in the vehicle, Justin Phillips, 22 of Berlin, was found to have active warrants for his arrest from courts in Wildwood City and Clementon totaling $1,750. Phillips was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters, where he was processed and later released.

On March 10 just after 10 p.m., a random license plate inquiry on Boudinot Street revealed that the registered owner of a vehicle had a suspended driver’s license. A subsequent warrant check also revealed an active warrant out of the the Plainsboro Municipal Court in the amount of $500. The driver, a Bloomfield resident, was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters, where he was processed and released after posting bail.

Just before 4 p.m. on March 11, a 31-yer-old male from Somerset arrived at police headquarters to report that he had an active warrant. The active warrant was confirmed by the Princeton Municipal Court in the amount of $114. The man was placed under arrest, processed, and released after posting bail.

After a motor vehicle stop  on John street on the afternoon of March 11, a 27-year-old Princeton resident was arrested for having an outstanding warrant issued by the Trenton Municipal Court in the amount of $100. She was taken to police headquarters, where she was processed and released after posting bail.


  1. I’m glad that nobody seems to have overly freaked out over young teens having weed and booze, and that it will be primarily a matter for the school and their parents to sort out (although I have to wonder what JWMS hoped to accomplish by calling the police). I think it’s also worth noting that if this had happened about 9 miles south of here, you’d have had three kids not released to their parents, but in the school-to-prison pipeline, and I hope the adults in these teens’ lives also explain their privilege to them on that front.

    1. Liz – The students were 15 year olds at an event at the school and nowhere in the story does it say an official from the school called police. It was a public night function and it could have been anyone calling the police.

    2. So you advocate that the law not be consistently applied when it comes to illegal use of substances? Police should not arrest those breaking the law? Please expand on what you mean by “”freak out” and that its a matter primariliy for the school and parents, not law enforcement personnel. You advocate schools and parents fulfill societal requirements for law enforcement in lieu of designated enforcement agencies such as the police? Also, how is it even a topic of conversation if JWMS officials called police if they thought that illegal activity was present? Do you advocate public school officials selectively, subjectively, personally, randomly ‘looking the other way’ in the presence of seemingly obvious legal infractions? And if so, what is the list of laws that you think school officials should ignore?

      1. Wow, you’re animated. My point is simply that it is nothing new under the sun for kids to experiment with substances that are widely used either over age 21 or in states where they’re legal (or not, for that matter). We’re not talking about an assault here; we’re talking about dumb teenagers doing dumb teenage stuff. It seems counterproductive to me to set a chain of events in motion that can result in a record for these kids, if the idea is to set them on the straight and narrow. That is all.

        1. “You’re animated” Not really the point, is it? So we’ll set aside your weak attempt at misdirection. What you confirm is, you think laws don’t apply to privileged Princeton kids. I disagree. That is all; all residents in the USA should be treated as equally as possible, and if anyone disagrees with the existing standards (laws), the course of action is to pursue legislative change, not undermining of laws on the books.

          1. A mere observation. I stated my opinion. And if you took the time to read my original comment, it very clearly stated that the same outcome would not have happened to Trenton kids, which isn’t fair to Trenton kids. I have no interest in engaging with someone who has such a bee in their bonnet, for whatever reason, that they absolutely twist into a pretzel what I said. Out.

            1. Nice try, but yes, I did read your original comment including “Trenton kids.” What you haven’t done, still, is to respond to the larger issue: you seem to be saying the law should not be applied – – I think I agree with “Robert Dana” – – (Trenton, Princeton, whatever), because you in your personal wisdom think the laws on the books are wrong. Yes/no?
              “Bee in their bonnet” Again with the misdirection attempt, but sorry, no. Oddly enough, ironically even, I had supported your comments on PCS all along as I know based on two children going through PHS that its secret sauce is parental demographics, not teaching and.or administrative excellence. Now, sadly, your non-responsive, non-rational entries here cause me to question any and all things you have to say about PCS.

              1. Interesting, since I don’t ever recall you supporting anything about PCS. And what a non-sequitur for this story. Why even bring that up, unless the point was to work in a little PCS-bashing?

                At any rate, normally, reasonable people can disagree about certain issues. You and I disagree on this one. Life goes on.

                1. a- Three times I invite an elaboration from you about law enforcement, etc., and three times you decline. That is not agreeing to disagree, it is completely ignoring the core point.
                  b- A person can have supportive views without writing them down in a Planet Princeton thread.
                  c- I never actually or implicitly “bashed” PCS. I did note your approach in this thread sheds a poor light on your capacity to be a credible representative for PCS. No non sequitur, simply noting that your comments here sadly undermine your efforts to be an effective spokesperson for PCS.
                  d- Not worth my time clearly so by all means have the last word, enter more misrepresentations, whatever.

    3. Don’t mean to be a kill joy, but when a crime is committed on school premises, school officials have zero discretion in determining whether or not to call the police. The possession of marijuana in this case was unlawful. JWMS had no choice in the matter.

  2. Krystal, re first item – my understanding, and I was there at the time, was that the three juveniles were high schoolers. The Princeton Police report of the incident says three 15 year olds, and nothing about the specific school they attend. If you are going to attempt to include other information can you confirm that it’s air-tight and/or ID your source. Thanks.

    1. The first sentence was edited before your comment to read that the incident happened at an event at the Middle School. Age 15 would be likely freshmen in high school. The headline refers to where the incident happened, which we did confirm. Thank ty for commenting.

      1. I was definitely referring to the first sentence re them being students of the school, thanks for making the edit.

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