On Oct. 5, at 1:30 a.m., Kearny police received reports of a northbound SUV travelling past Applebee’s on Passaic Ave. on only three wheels. Responding Officer Tom Sumowski spotted it at Passaic and South Midland Aves. Its left rear tire was badly shredded, and there was fresh collision damage all along the driver’s side of the vehicle, police said.
Detecting the odor of alcohol, police said, Sumowski and Officer Joe Martin had the driver perform field sobriety tests and then brought her to headquarters for an Alcotest. Subsequently charged with DWI and careless driving was 28-year-old April Martinello of Lyndhurst.
According to police, Martinello claimed she did not know how the SUV sustained all its damage. Surrounding towns have been notified of the arrest and the condition of the vehicle “in the event there was a report of any hitand- run” in their jurisdiction, Police Chief John Dowie said.
Other recent entries on the KPD blotter included the following:
At 5:30 p.m., Officer Giovanni Rodriguez responded to a report from Kmart that a shoplifter had just fled the store on Passaic Ave., leaving behind the four pairs of jeans he had allegedly attempted to steal by stuffing them in his waistband. Given the suspect’s description and direction of flight, Rodriguez spotted him running south on Passaic and apprehended him in East Newark. She detained him there, and Kmart security came to the scene and identified him, police said. Arrested was Robert Harrell, 42, of Orange.
Officer Brian Wisely was on patrol on the Belleville Pike at Beech St. at 6:10 p.m. when he observed a pedestrian reportedly guzzling a 24-ounce Budweiser. Wisely, preparing to write a summons for violation of the town ordinance against drinking alcohol in public, did a warrant check and, police said, found that 51-year-old Miguel Gonzalez of Newark had two: one from Newark and a no-bail warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested and turned over to the other agencies.
Officer Pete Jahera, responding to a report of a two-car crash at Davis Ave. and Devon Terrace at 6:45 p.m., reportedly detected the odor of alcohol about the person of one driver: Susan Kasper, 62, of Kearny. After field sobriety tests, she was charged with DWI and reckless driving. Kasper was brought to HQ and her car was towed from the scene. Police said there were no injuries in the accident. After Officer Wisely reported a car parked at the deadend near the old railroad cut off North Midland Ave. at 8:30 p.m., the Vice Squad responded as back -up and reportedly observed one occupant with a hand-rolled cigarette. Fabian Arroyo, 18, of Kearny was also allegedly in possession of three plastic bags of suspected marijuana. He was charged with possession of the drug and of drug paraphernalia.
Vice detectives, at Hoyt St. and Davis Ave. at 8:40 p.m., observed an individual known to them in a parked vehicle with a cigar and with folded paper on the dashboard, police said. The officers followed the car into West Hudson Park, stopped it at the Schuyler Ave. entrance, and reportedly detected the odor of marijuana. After Charles Bravin, 22, of Kearny gave them the paper, which allegedly contained the drug, he was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.
After a 9:30 p.m. hit-run crash where the Belleville Pike meets Harrison Ave., the crasher reportedly drove off, westward down Harrison, with the crashee in pursuit. The latter called the KPD, and Officers John Fabula and Jose Resua stopped the fleeing car on Bergen Ave. The driver, Michele Raia, 43, of Kearny, was given field sobriety tests, taken to HQ for an Alcotest and charged with DWI and reckless driving.
A “fight” several citizen callers reported at 3 p.m. on Bergen Ave., just west of Kearny Ave., turned out to be a confrontation between several Rite Aid employees and a suspected shoplifter they had pursued from the nearby pharmacy. The first cop on the scene was Chief Dowie, who had been driving in the area and saw the commotion — along with the thief’s loot, tubes of body lotion, all over the street.
When the man refused to comply with instructions and submit to arrest, a scuffle ensued, but the chief forced the man to the ground and cuffed him. The suspect, Yasmil Lopez, 31, of Newark, was turned over to the custody of Officer Jack Corbett.
Because Lopez had also reportedly struggled with employees, the charge of shoplifting was elevated to robbery, but he was also charged with shoplifting and conspiracy in connection with an earlier theft and was found to be wanted on a Newark warrant, police said.
On Oct. 1, Dowie said, Lopez and Jose Perez, 33, also of Newark, were caught on security video at the pharmacy but managed to get away. Perez returned alone to Rite Aid on Oct. 5, and was busted on a shoplifting charge. On the 10th, it was Lopez who returned solo to the store.
And what was stolen? Since Oct. 1, Rite Aid reported, about $2,000 in merchandise — mostly deodorants and body lotions — disappeared from the shelves. If they are the culprits, Lopez and Perez must have very soft skin. And smell good, too. Allegedly.
– Karen Zautyk