An overzealous door-to-door solicitor got himself arrested after an encounter with a 70-year-old woman who wouldn’t put up with his aggressive manner, Kearny police reported.
Police said the incident occurred around 4 p.m., July 25, in a residential complex at S. Midland and Passaic Aves., where several people had complained about three individuals, purportedly representing an energy company, who were knocking on doors, saying they could help lower PSE&G bills. The solicitors were not PSE&G employees, but reportedly wore uniforms with logos similar to those of that utility.
The senior citizen, after listening patiently to the spiel, said she wasn’t interested, but the solicitor was insistent, and when the woman tried to shut the door, he allegedly thrust his clipboard and shoulder between it and the frame. She had to push him back to prevent him from gaining access, police said.
Officers Chris Levchak and Daniel Esteves and Sgt. Peter Gleason responded to the complex, obtained the man’s description and took into custody 30-year-old Manhattan resident Joseph Estrada, who reportedly had an outstanding warrant out of East Rutherford. He was arrested on that, also charged with criminal trespass and issued a summons for canvassing without a town permit.
The other two canvassers were also issued town ordinance summonses.
Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
Also at 4 p.m., the Vice Unit had Juan Gonzalez, 32, of Newark, under surveillance near Midland Ave. and Belgrove Drive, saw him enter and exit an apartment building and then ingest what they believed to be a CDS. They followed his car to Johnston Ave., where they conducted a motor vehicle stop and saw him discard a cut straw containing a white, powdery residue, police said. In a search subsequent to his arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia, police said he was also found to be in possession of 38 bags of suspected heroin, stamped “War and Peace.” Gonzalez was charged with that offense and with possession with intent to distribute. Police believe he had a customer in the apartment building he had visited.
Officer Jay Ward and Sgt. John Becker responded at 11:30 p.m. to a report of someone sleeping on the steps of a building on the 300 block of Davis Ave. Armed with the snoozer’s description and information that he was now walking, they located a 17-year-old Kearny male, who they said smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. When the youth was confronted, he fled north on Davis but was overtaken by Ward, police said. He was charged with underage consumption of alcohol, violating curfew and resisting arrest.
PSE&G figured in another incident, but this one involved a legit PSE&G employee who reportedly was the victim of an assault. At 8:30 a.m., Sgt. Paul Bershefski responded to a “heated dispute” near Kearny and Quincy Aves., where the worker was trying to “perform his duties” in connection (or disconnection) with an unpaid utility bill, police said. Alexander Constantine, 30, of Kearny, had allegedly physically threatened him and verbally abused him regarding his race and ended up being charged with aggravated assault. Police said Constantine was also wanted on an Elizabeth warrant.
At 1:30 p.m., Det. Michael Farinola witnessed Jesus Morales, 45, of Kearny, apparently sell a small electronic item to a passerby near 150 Kearny Ave. Farinola confronted the buyer, who said Morales — claiming his car had broken down and he needed cash to get home — had sold him a TomTom GPS unit for $20.
Interestingly, Kearny has had a rash of thefts from cars, many involving GPS units.
Officers Jack Corbett and Dave Rakowski located Morales at Woodland and Highland Aves., where he was identified by the buyer, police said. Morales was charged with possession of property lost or mislaid, receiving stolen property and possession of a hypodermic needle.
Police activated the recovered GPS and have contacted its owner.
– Karen Zautyk