On September 22 2020, at about 1928 hours, Newark Police were called to the Phillips Park basketball courts, on B Street, for a report of a person pointing a firearm at other people. Arriving officers located the suspect that was described by the caller. During the course of the investigation, officers learned that the suspect was in possession of three handguns in his backpack. However, no victim was located reporting that they had a gun pointed at them.
Officers searched the suspect’s backpack and located three loaded handguns, one of which was an AK-47 style pistol loaded with more than 25 rounds. Officers located more than 100 rounds of ammunition along with the handguns. Although the suspect was found to possess a license to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania, this license is not valid in Delaware.
The suspect was identified as Markee Johnson, 23, of Chester, PA. Johnson was taken into custody without incident and transported to Newark Police headquarters where he was charged with three counts of Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon. Johnson appeared before Justice of the Peace Court #11 by video and was released on his own recognizance.
The Newark Police Department is proud to be joining forces with first responder agencies in the U.S. and Canada today for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety initiative in North America.
Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year. The event is held during the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.
The Newark Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents and enforces trespassing laws on the various railroad tracks that run through Newark, including CSX, Amtrak and Norfolk Southern. Newark ordinances prohibit anyone from “entering upon the track of a railroad for any reason other than to pass over such track at a marked and identified public crossing.” Violation of this ordinance may result in a fine of a least $100.00 and not to exceed $500.00, or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or by both fine and imprisonment.
“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, first responder agencies will be participating in a virtual Operation Clear Track event this year. These agencies across North America will be promoting rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites. Participants will also be emphasizing the importance of obeying rail crossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.
In 2019, the Newark Police Department worked with Amtrak and CSX to create a short public service announcement video to demonstrate the dangers of disregarding the gates at a railroad crossing. The PSA can be found here: 60 second version; 30 second version
Grade crossing safety tips and trespassing information can be found here.
For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit www.oli.org.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train! provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.