Wednesday, October 31, 2007




Prepared by Det. Lt. Joseph C. Capriotti

On Tuesday October 30, 2007 at about 4:15PM Middletown Township Police Officers Anthony Bumbico and Sean Sweeney responded to Leonardville Road in the Leonardo section of the Township to investigate a report of a man going door to door soliciting donations for the San Diego fire victims.

The two officers located Michael J. Barich, age 37, from Washington Avenue, Leonardo on Leonardville Road. He told the officers he was raising money for the Red Cross to send to the fire victims in San Diego but the officers found no affiliation with him to any charitable organization. A record check on Barich revealed he was wanted for Contempt of Court by the Municipal Court of Monmouth Beach.

He was arrested by the officers on the outstanding warrant and additionally charged with Disorderly Conduct for his unlawful soliciting and disturbing residents. He was released after posting $100 bail.

The Middletown Township Police Department is cautioning residents about persons who may seek to use the tragic wild fires in California to solicit donations that may never get to the intended recipients. Anyone soliciting money or selling door-to-door in Middletown Township is required to have a Solicitors Permit from the Township. If unsure about the legitimacy of a solicitor, residents should contact the Police Department with a description of the solicitor or request information flyer about the charity from the solicitor with an address where a direct donation can be made.

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