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Escaped Inmate Apprehended on Route 539 in Manchester

Joseph Brandt and another man escaped from a work detail in Burlington County Monday afternoon; second inmate arrested in Berkeley Township

police arrested an escaped inmate from the Mid-State Correctional Facility early this evening along Route 539 in the township. 

Joseph Brandt, 27, of Browns Mills, was seen walking along the county highway and was taken into custody by Manchester police at 7:09 p.m., said Matt Schuman, a state Department of Corrections spokesman.

Manchester Chief of Police Brian Klimakowksi said that Officer Arthur Cronk was on a patrol in Whiting when he saw Brandt emerge from a wooded area on the westbound side of Route 539 near mile marker 26. Brandt was disheveled, wearing a white T-shirt, boxer shorts and no shoes, the chief said.

"[Cronk] knew right away that something wasn't right," Klimakowski said.

A retired Manalapan police officer also spotted the man at around the same time, ran into a Manchester auxiliary police officer at the and relayed the information to him. The two returned to the scene and assisted Cronk with the arrest as other units rushed to help.

Brandt appeared to be intoxicated and kicked at the patrol car's rear side window after being placed under arrest, Klimakowski said, though protective bars prevented any damage to the vehicle. 

Cronk was forced to use pepper spray on Brandt to "prevent the inmate from injuring himself or damaging the patrol car," said Capt. Lisa Parker.

At 6:45 p.m., Terrence Feeney, 42, was apprehended near Blackbeard's Cave on Route 9 South in Bayville, just 10 minutes after Berkeley police received information from the Ocean County radio room that he was in the area, Berkeley Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele said.

Feeney and Brandt were on a work detail at a military cemetery in Burlington County when they escaped around 1 p.m., Schuman said.

The details of the escape were not immediately available because it is still under investigation by the state Department of Corrections, Parker said. 

Both Feeney and Brandt were classified as full minimum custody inmates. Inmates who fall under that classification are the only ones allowed to leave the facility for work details, he said.

They are both being transported to New Jersey State Prison, he said.

"I guarantee you they are not escaping from there," Schuman said.

The Berkeley officers who made the Bayville arrest were Patrolmen Henry Ganski and Scott Degisi and Lt. Robert Andrews, DiMichele said.

John May 22, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Great Job Ptl Cronk.
ballyjduf May 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM
MPD doing real police work , Thank You
Crestwood 1 senior May 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Nice job Ptl. Cronk! I was eating dinner with my wife in Lakehurst and saw several officers leave the restaurant real quick.....again good job....
billamerica May 23, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Funny isnt this what was said a few months ago about lakehurst restaurants. Im billamerica and I support this message.
onthecuff May 27, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Excellent job to all the officers involved. Thank you for your service and keeping the streets safe!!!!!!


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