Kearny blotter: Showers & bath salts

Kearny police arrested two people in the shower this week, but before you start speculating, we note that they were not together and both were fully clothed.

The first incident occurred Nov. 11 at an “uninhabited” house near Maple St. and Woodland Ave., where, at 9 p.m., Officer Frank West responded to complaints about a man standing outside the home and repeatedly “bellowing” a woman’s name. (“Jessica,” not “Stella.”)

West found all the doors unsecured and was directed to a shower area, where he encountered Anthony Montgomery, 28, of Paterson.

Montgomery was arrested, not because he was a bellower, but because, police said, he had eight outstanding warrants: four from Camden, two from Manalapan, and one each from East Windsor and Burlington. Those jurisdictions were notified that he was in custody.

At 7 a.m., Nov. 12, the proprietor of a deli on the 300 block of Belgrove Drive arrived at the store to find it had been burglarized overnight. Missing were a bottle of Bacardi, a bottle of Hennessy, $150 in cash and three packs of Newport cigarettes.

Officer Thomas Bannon and Det. Lt. Anthony Gouveia responded and found “significant clues,” including a shoe pattern, at the scene, Chief John Dowie said.

While canvassing the area, Sgt. Michael Cardella was approached by a concerned citizen who turned over packs of Newports he had found on Belgrove. “It was like a breadcrumb trail,” Dowie said.

From evidence gathered, police decided to question Joseph Ferguson, 21, of Kearny, whom the deli owner reportedly had been seen walking in the vicinity before the crime was discovered.

Dowie said they were granted entry to the residence and were told Ferguson was downstairs using the shower. They did find him in the shower, but the water was not on and he was fully clothed, the chief noted.

Ferguson has been charged with burglary and theft.

“It was,” said Dowie, “a clean arrest.”

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Nov. 8

At 12:30 p.m., Officer Steve Hroncich responded to the report of a suspicious individual near Elm St. and Quincy Ave. and saw a man fitting the description getting into the driver’s seat of a parked car. Questioned, he reportedly told the officer he had been waiting “all night” for a friend.

In plain view in the vehicle reportedly were an open pack of Bling Bling Monkey “bath salts” and two hand-rolled cigarettes. Likewise, back-up Officer Leroy Bibbs reportedly saw a plastic bag of suspected marijuana and a still-burning joint in the back seat.

Taken into custody on charges of pot and paraphernalia possession was Sadrak Vincent, 27, of Hillside, who, police said, also had an outstanding Hillside warrant.

While taking inventory of the suspect’s property, police reportedly found four $20 bills, all bearing the same serial number. The U.S. Secret Service, which handles cases involving counterfeit money, was notified.

Officer Jay Ward, responding to a 5 p.m. report of a burglary and scrap-metal theft on the 200 block of Chestnut St., interviewed the caller and was told that she had seen a man holding metal objects leaving the house and fleeing in a blue vehicle, police said.

Det. Ray Lopez developed as a suspect 36-year-old Kearny resident Samuel Medina. Warrants have been issued for Medina’s arrest.

Nov. 11

The Vice Squad arrested Tristen Sanchez, 22, of Kearny, on the 500 block of Kearny Ave. at 4:10 p.m. on an outstanding warrant from North Arlington. Authorities in that borough were notified.

Nov. 12

At 5 p.m., Officer John Fabula saw a man hunched over and apparently asleep behind the steering wheel of a car at the Belleville Pike and Madison Ave. Police said that, after repeatedly pounding on the window with “negative results,” Fabula was finally able to rouse the man, whom he recognized from past encounters, and get him to take the vehicle out of “drive.”

Police said the motorist did not understand why he was being detained and was unable to answer back-up Officer Brian Wisely’s inquiry as to what day of the week it was. Matthew Dischler, 28, of Kearny was taken to headquarters for testing and was charged with DWI and careless driving.

– Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff