The intervention of what Police Chief John Dowie called “two very good concerned citizens” aided a police officer in the arrest of a man who had assaulted him on Kearny Ave. last week, authorities said.
According to police, the incident began at 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 29, when Officer Ben Wuelfing was called to a dispute on the 800 block of the avenue. While Wuelfing was interviewing the parties involved, he noticed another individual charging toward him, Dowie said. The man, described as “yelling incoherently,” stopped just short of the cop but then reportedly pushed him in the chest.
When the officer told him he was under arrest, he allegedly began to grapple with the cop, pulled himself out of his shirt, struggled again with Wuelfing–who had radioed for assistance–and the two fell against the plate glass window of a restaurant, cracking it, Dowie said.
Meanwhile, the KPD was receiving “multiple 911 calls” reporting an officer involved in a fight at Kearny Ave. and Van Cortland Place, the chief said. Before the back-up units arrived, Wuelfing managed to take his assailant to the ground, but the man continued to resist, police said. That’s when the two members of the public came to the officer’s aid, holding the suspect in place so Wuelfing could cuff him, Dowie said.
The officer suffered minor lacerations to his face, and his glasses were broken, police said.
Transported to headquarters, the alleged assailant stated that he needed medical attention, was taken to Jersey City Medical Center, treated and released to police custody and returned to lockup.
The suspect, identified as Paul McGinnis, 43, of Kearny, was charged with assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
• Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
At 7:30 p.m., Officers Wuelfing and Jose Resua, responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle on S. Midland Ave., approached a parked 2000 Nissan occupied by two men and detected a strong odor of marijuana, police said.
The driver reportedly was unable to produce a license, and when the cops ran a driver’s license/warrant inquiry, they found he was wanted on five warrants from four jurisdictions (two from New Brunswick and one each out of East Brunswick, South River and Somerville), police said. Arrested at the scene on those warrants was 21-yearold Stephen Jones of New Brunswick.
Police also reportedly observed and confiscated from the passenger, Joshua Velez, 18, of Somerville, four ziplock bags believed to contain marijuana, and allegedly found on his person four additional bags.
Velez was charged with possession of pot, possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute and possession within a park zone.
• Just before midnight, a report of another suspicious vehicle brought Sgt. John Becker to Kearny Ave. and Halstead St., where he observed a man leaning out the open driver’s-side door of a black 2010 Dodge.
When the individual spotted the patrol car, police said, he jumped into the passenger seat.
Becker and backup officer Ben Wuelfing approached the car, and when the man was asked to exit the vehicle, he had to grab onto a garbage can for support, police said.
After being administered an Alcotest at HQ , Desi Singletary, 44, of Newark, was charged with DWI and DWI in a school zone.
Det. Mike Gonzalez was on patrol at Kearny and Wilson Aves. at 11:30 a.m. when he observed a man he knew to be the subject of an outstanding Kearny warrant, police said. After verifying the warrant, he arrested Anthony Chaparra, 25, of Jersey City and took him to HQ.
• Officers Sean Kelly and Giovanni Rodriguez were on patrol at 7:30 p.m. in South Kearny when they saw a 2005 Nissan with Pennsylvania plates run a red light and illegally pass another vehicle on Fish House Road, police said. When they brought the Nissan to a halt and asked for the driver’s credentials, he couldn’t produce them and a check revealed his license was suspended, police said.
The motorist, Michael Pfleger, 38, of North Arlington, was charged with driving while suspended, failure to observe a traffic signal and failure to exhibit legal documents.
• At 9 p.m., members of the Vice Squad reportedly saw a 19-year-old Kearny man urinating in an alley near Beech St. and the Belleville Pike and then enter a parked car.
Approaching that car, the detectives allegedly saw one of the passengers, a 17-yearold from Kearny, preparing a marijuana cigar, which they confiscated.
When the individuals were asked to step out of the vehicle, the 19-year-old, identified as Michael Nee, immediately challenged one of the officers to a fight, said he knew where the officer lived and threatened to come to his house, Chief Dowie reported. Arrested and cuffed, he allegedly swung his shoulder into the same officer, which constitutes assault.
Nee was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, making terroristic threats, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He was also issued a town summons for urinating in public. The 17-year-old was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
At 1:45 p.m., Officers Sean Kelly and John Fabula were called to a “keep the peace” situation on the 400 block of Kearny Ave., where they encountered a “highly agitated” 19-year-old female allegedly threatening to assault another female. When they tried to calm her and take her away from her intended target, she began screaming and a crowd started to gather, police said.
Fabula asked the target to move from the scene, which she did. When the wouldbe combatant, identified as Cristine Hernandez of Kearny, refused to calm down and was told she was under arrest, she refused to put her hands behind her back and attempted to flee, police said.
Officer Damon Pein assisted Kelly in cuffing her and taking her to a patrol car.
Meanwhile, a second woman started running toward the cops — apparently, in the chief’s words, coming to the aid “of a damsel in distress.” Fabula reportedly recognized her as someone who was wanted on a Kearny warrant. Arrested on that warrant was Daisy Mosquera, 46, of Kearny.
Hernandez was charged with disorderly conduct.
— Karen Zautyk