A group of juveniles zooming around on ATV's crashed into, and fatally struck, a man who was trying to talk them into calming down their antics.

The deceased man's widow has just now slammed the juveniles and their parents with a civil lawsuit. 

The lawsuit also names as defendants the Township of Jackson, so Township taxpayers will be on the hook to defend this litigation.

According to the complaint, filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Ocean County by Red Bank Attorney Steven L. Kessel Esq. of Drazin & Warshaw, P.C.:

Debbora Holmes and Matthew Holmes lived together in their home on Indiero Road, Jackson, NJ, which is a public street. N.J.S.A. 39: 3C-17(b) prohibits the operation of a dirt bike on public streets.

Over many months, Vinson Kaufmann, Christopher DelMonte, Antonio Delhaya, and Robert Mazalewski, Jr. , repeatedly raced dirt bikes in groups on Indiero Road, in front of the Holmes' house.

The dirt bikes did not have working mufflers or other noise suppression. Their operation created a private nuisance and disturbed Debbora and Matthew Holmes as they tried to enjoy the tranquility of their home and neighborhood.

Throughout these months, Matthew Holmes and other residents repeatedly called the Jackson Township Police Department to complain about the manner in which operators of dirt bikes disturbed the neighborhood.

Matthew Holmes also tried to flag down the bike riders to request that they comply with the law and not operate their dirt bikes on Indiero Road so as not to disturb him or his wife or terrorize the neighborhood. They refused to stop and they disregarded him.

On August 7, 2022, Matthew Holmes was working in the front yard of his home when Kaufmann, DelMonte, Delhaya, and Mazalewski, Jr., acting in concert, rode their separate dirt bikes on Indiero Road in tandem with each other in front of the Holmes' home.

A short time later, they again drove their dirt bikes on Indiero Road in the opposite direction.

When Kaufmann, DelMonte, Delhaya, and Mazalewski, Jr., drove their dirt bikes past the Holmes' home the second time, Matthew Holmes stepped into the street in an effort at self-help to abate the nuisance they were causing. When he was in the street, Kaufmann drove his dirt bike into Matthew Holmes, failed to yield to him, and struck him, causing him pain and suffering until he died from his injuries.

Vinson Kaufmann, Christopher DelMonte, Antonio Delhaya, and Robert Mazalewski, Jr., acted negligently and in concert to create a private nuisance to disturb Matthew Holmes and Debbora Holmes and provoke Mathew Holmes to respond to their actions, and doing so, caused his death.

Vinson Kaufmann acted negligently in failing to yield to Matthew Holmes or slow down when he saw Matthew Holmes in the roadway in front of him, and in operating his dirt bike so as to strike him and caused his death.

At the time of the crash, Debbora Holmes observed her husband when or immediately after he was struck by Vinson Kaufmann and died. As a result of the concerted actions of Vinson Kaufmann, Christopher DelMonte, Antonio Delhaya, and Robert Mazalewski, Jr., and the actions of Vinson Kaufmann, these defendants negligently inflicted emotional distress on Debbora Holmes.

The complaint demands that judgment be entered in favor of the Estate of Matthew Holmes and against Vinson Kaufmann, Christopher DelMonte, Antonio Delhaya, and Robert Mazalewski, Jr., jointly and severally, for damages, together with interest and costs.

The complaint also names as defendants Robert J. Mazalewski, the parent of defendant Robert Mazalewski, Jr, and Jill Delhaya, the parent of defendant Antonio Delhaya, Chris I. DelMonte and Jennifer DelMonte, the parents of defendant Christopher DelMonte, and Edward Kaufmann and Valerie Kaufmann, the parents of defendant Vinson Kaufmann, as they "had a duty to supervise and control [their childrens] illegal behavior," and the dirt bikes were not covered by a policy of liability insurance, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:3C-20 and was unregistered, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:3C-3, and could not be operated on public streets pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:3C-17(b), yet, "they negligently permitted [their children] to use the bikes, thereby causing Matthew Holmes’ death.

The suit also names as Defendant the Township of Jackson, through its employees working in its Police Department.

Numerous complaints were made by members of the public between 2019 and August 7, 2022 to the Jackson Township Police Department concerning the illegal operation of dirt bikes on Indiero Road and throughout Jackson Township in general. The Jackson Township Police Department failed to identify persons who were illegally operating dirt bikes, failed to take action to reduce or eliminate the effects of their illegal operation of the dirt bikes upon nearby residents, failed to restrain the illegal dirt bike activities on public roadways, and failed to utilize their police powers to reduce the disturbance and danger caused by the dirt bike riders’ illegal activities.

Because of this unreasonable failure by the Jackson Township Police Department to discharge its duty, both Debbora Holmes and Matthew Holmes were caused to be injured and Matthew Holmes was caused to be placed in danger died in an effort to stop behavior that the police could not.

Township officials have 35 days to answer the complaint.

At the time of the fatal crash, the Jackson Township Police Department opened an initial investigation. Due to the possibility of filing criminal charges against some of the juveniles, the police department forwarded the investigation to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Ultimately, the Prosecutor's Office chose not to file any criminal charges in the matter.

As previously reported here on FAA News, after the Prosecutor's Office refused to release to Mrs. Holmes' attorney the identities of the juveniles so they could commence a civil lawsuit against them, the attorney filed suit.

Ultimately, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Craig Wellerson ordered the Prosecutor's Office to release the identities of the group of minors. This lead to the filing of the instant action against them.

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Dennis said...

If the the Lakewood School system receives funding to busing private school children then should RBC, Donnavan Catholic, Seton Hall, and all other schools in Jersey also recieve aid? Lakewood Township reduced property tax for 2023. Lakewood school should get relief from the two percent cap and tax the land owners for busing their children. Why should I, not a Lakewood resident pay for Lakewoods over growth while Lakewood residents get a tax cut?

Shlomo Rockman said...


Lakewood Township did not reduce property taxes in 2023.

In fact, taxes increased $4 million.


Second, the law (NJSA 18A:39-1.8) requires ALL public school districts to offer either transportation or what is known as “Aid in Lieu of Transportation’’ to students who attend a non-profit school within a certain distance from their home.

This bussing (or aid in lieu funding) is provided directly to the student - not the schools.

Hope this clarifies your questions.

Mindy said...

The other private schools get funding or Aide in lieu for transpotong students. Im not saying I agree or that girls and boys need to be separated, but thr other schools do get funding. I believe Aide in Lieu is now 1250 a year per child,if bussing isn't available.