By Karen Zautyk
A “known gang member” — who was wanted by Virginia authorities and was the subject of a national law enforcement alert — was remanded, without bail, to the Hudson County Jail following his arrest last Thursday morning in Kearny, KPD Chief John Dowie reported.
The suspect, Andrew Armstrong, 32, gave police a Kearny address, but this was believed to be false, Dowie said.
The chief said that, shortly after 8:30 a.m., April 9, two KPD officers, Sgt. Paul Bershefski and P.O. John Fabula, on patrol in separate cars, each noticed a man “lurking” in the area of Kearny Ave. and Beech St.
As they kept him under observation, he was seen entering an areaway between two buildings and later emerging near Quincy Ave. carrying “a pretty large amount” of scrap metal, police said.
Detaining him for a field interview, they conducted a warrant check and learned that he was wanted by authorities in Alexandria, Va. When that jurisdiction was contacted later, the KPD was told that extradition proceedings would begin and Virginia law enforcement would travel to New Jersey to take him into their custody.
Armstrong was arrested, charged in Kearny with theft and defiant trespass and with being a fugitive from justice, and was jailed without bail pending the extradition. His Virginia warrant was reportedly for drug-related offenses.
Authorities said that the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database contained a Law Enforcement Caution alert from South Plainfield identifying Armstrong as a known gang member, possibly a member of the Bloods.