Kearny police last week got some assistance from their brothers in North Arlington, including borough Police Chief Louis Ghione, who apprehended a motorist who had nearly mowed down a pedestrian in Kearny, Chief John Dowie reported.
It all started at 9:30 a.m., Sept. 24, when KPD Officer Pete Blair, on patrol at Boyd St. and Kearny Ave., saw a car fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and almost hit the individual, police said.
Blair stopped the vehicle at Bergen Ave. and asked the driver, Michael Castillo, 22, of North Arlington, for his credentials. When the officer returned to his patrol car to check the driver’s license, Castillo reportedly bolted, running east on Bergen.
Blair broadcast the runner’s description, and police searched the area, to no avail. They also alerted the NAPD.
About an hour later, Dowie said, North Arlington Officer Michael Hofmann saw Castillo near the Belleville Pike. Castillo again ran, with NAPD cops in pursuit in their cars and on foot. They followed him back into Kearny, where Ghione and his officers cornered him on Van Cortlandt Place.
North Arlington charged Castillo with resisting arrest, then turned him over to Kearny where he was criminally charged with obstructing the administration of law and issued summonses for: failure to yield to a pedestrian; driving with a suspended license; driving an uninsured vehicle; failure to exhibit registration and failure to surrender a suspended license.
Police said Castillo was also wanted on an outstanding warrant from Mount Olive Township.
Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
Officer Brian Wisely, on patrol at Afton St. and Kearny Ave. at 2:30 p.m., recognized a Kearny man he knew to be wanted on a $90,000-bail warrant for aggravated assault in Harrison, police said. Wisely booked him at KPD HQ, and 21-yearold Xavier Cantillo was, in the words of Dowie, “delivered to the waiting arms of Harrison.”
At 10 p.m., pursuant to a drug-distribution investigation launched in the first week of September, members of the Vice Unit observed their target enter a vehicle as a passenger at Highland and Johnston Aves. Believing that a drug transaction was taking place in the car, they stopped it on Rose St., where they saw the driver apparently attempt to secrete an object between the front seat and console and saw the target discard money on the floor.
The officers reportedly recovered a bag of marijuana from between the seats, and police said a subsequent search of the target’s apartment produced a shoebox holding a plastic container filled with more than 150 grams of pot, sandwich bags, a digital scale and $1,700 in cash.
The target/alleged dealer, Christopher Beltran, 23, of Kearny, was charged with possession of more than 50 grams of the drug, possession with intent to distribute and intent to distribute within a school/park zone.
The driver/alleged customer, Brian Matos, 25, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot and drug paraphernalia.
Sgt. Paul Bershefski and Officer Stephen Hronchic responded to Webster Ave. at 8 a.m. on a report of someone shooting at cats with a slingshot, which in New Jersey is an illegal weapon. The officers found several cat-feeding locations where nearby metal objects — barbecue grills, downspouts, etc. — appeared to have been stuck by projectiles. They confronted 44-yearold Thomas Romano, who reportedly admitted having a slingshot. It was confiscated and he was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Dowie told The Observer, which has a fondness for felines, that “no hurt cats have been found yet.”
Officer Peter Blair was on traffic enforcement at Bergen Ave. and Elm St. at 9:20 a.m. when his Mobile Data Computer alerted him that the owner of a passing car was wanted by the Elizabeth, PD. Arrested was Natasha Davis, 32, of Elizabeth on a $580 warrant and a $380 warrant for traffic-related offenses.
The Vice Unit, which had been conducting a monthlong investigation into the sale of CDS in the area of Ann St. — a probe that had already produced a half-dozen arrests — executed a search warrant at an Ann St. house at 4:30 p.m. and arrested the occupants: Jamal Coote, 26, and Shawn Mendez, 20, who reportedly are brothers.
Police said they found a digital scale in the kitchen, six plastic bags of suspected cocaine in a second-floor bedroom closet, two hollowpoint bullets in a dresser drawer, and 11 plastic bags of suspected marijuana in a third-floor bedroom. Coote reportedly was carrying $661 on his person.
Both suspects were charged with: possession of pot, cocaine and drug paraphernalia, possession of pot and coke with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and 500 feet of a public housing project (Harrison Gardens) and possession of armor-piercing bullets. Bail was set at $7,500 for Mendez; $10,000 for Coote.
At 4 p.m., Officer Chris Levchak responded to a report of “a heated dispute” between two females on the 100 block of Devon St. When he interceded, one of the women heeded his request to cease and desist, but the other reportedly continued to be profane and threatening. Plus, she allegedly was spitting mad — literally. Arrested on a criminal complaint for disorderly conduct and issued a summons for violating the town ordinance against public expectoration was Stephanie Dealmedia, 26, of Kearny.
Just before midnight, Officer Joe Martin was sent to a Washington Ave. residence on the report of a disturbance and found Scott Huaman, 23, of Kearny, yelling obscenities out a window, police said. Inside the house, Huaman was reportedly screaming and throwing furniture around. Given the state of man’s apparent intoxication, the officer summoned Kearny EMS, but police said Huaman refused medical attention. He was taken to HQ and booked on disorderly conduct.
At 7:30 a.m., a concerned citizen reported seeing a suspicious individual enter the driveway of a house under construction on Oakwood Ave. and believed he had taken something from within the home or from a vehicle before fleeing south on Highland Ave.
Officers Cesar Negron and Joe Vulcano, Lt. Anthony Gouveia and Capt. Stephen Durkin responded, and Negron spotted and stopped a man matching the suspect’s description at Quincy and Kearny Aves. Durkin contacted the witness, who accompanied the captain on a drive-by and identified the suspect, police said. A search of the Oakwood scene revealed that a van had been burglarized.
Arrested for alleged burglary to and theft from a vehicle was 19-year-old Newark resident Dessaron Covington- Smith.
Police said the witness had seen the suspect in possession of a camouflage backpack, and Gouveia, searching the path of flight from Oakwood, found the backpack, along with a Sony PlayStation, an Omni GPS, a DVD player, headphones and a phone charger.
– Karen Zautyk