MANCHESTER – Police said they encountered more than 200 people, some of them in ATVs and water craft, in various locations around the Heritage Minerals man-made lake on July 30.
Local officers were joined by members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the Toms River Police Department, the New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, and the New Jersey State Police Marine Unit. Once enforcement measures began, many of the patrons attempted to leave the area.
Police said they issued 131 summonses, which included 90 criminal violations and 39 traffic violations.
Police reported that at the end of the detail, there were also reports of a vehicle stuck in the sand near the south east area of the lake. That vehicle was found after a brief search and all personnel worked together to free the vehicle which managed to get stuck another three times while attempting to escort the vehicle out.
Ultimately Priced Rite Towing was contacted and was able to remove the vehicle at the owner’s expense. The vehicle’s owner was also issued summonses.
Originally operated by ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company), Inc., the property was sold to and subsequently operated by Heritage Minerals until the end of mining operations in the early 1980s.
Township Police are reminding the public that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property and as such is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to go there.
There have been several drownings and serious ATV crashes on the property over the years.
In the interest of public safety, Manchester Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to hefty fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.
Township police have been plagued with numerous incidents of trespassers at Heritage Minerals in recent weeks and were requested to add more enforcement details to that area.
Manchester Mayor Robert Hudak recently told The Manchester Times that he expects some additional ordinances that may increase fines for illegal activity in the area.