A motorist who crashed his car on Passaic Ave. fled the scene of the accident, but conveniently provided clues to help police find him — pieces of his car scattered in the roadway.
At 3:40 a.m., Saturday, March 28, Officers Derek Hemphill and Dave Rakowski responded to the report of a one-vehicle crash near Passaic and Laurel Aves. and arrived to find the auto gone. But police said they recovered debris indicating it was a dark-green car that apparently had headed north on Passaic.
A BOLO was issued to surrounding agencies, and Rakowski began a search.
On the far side of the Belleville Pike bridge, at the intersection of Main and Rutgers Sts., he located a green 1999 Buick “with extensive front-end damage, including the absence of a left front tire,” KPD Chief John Dowie noted.
Police said the driver — Robert Smith, 26, of Belleville — was unsteady on his feet and “had difficulty following simple instructions.” After field sobriety tests and an Alcotest, he was charged with DWI, reckless driving and leaving the scene. What was left of the car was impounded.
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Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
Officer Daniel Esteves, on patrol at 5:30 p.m. at Brighton Ave. and Liberty St., saw a pedestrian whom he believed to have warrants. After confirming that there were two — one each from Scotch Plains and Newark, and both traffic-related — he arrested Tristen Sanchez, 23, of Kearny, took him to headquarters and notified the two municipalities.
Shortly after midnight, Officer Jay Ward was dispatched to a tavern on the 400 block of Kearny Ave. on a report of an unruly patron. Police said that when the man, Ataullah Barnes, 39, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was asked to leave, he began shouting at Ward and ignored repeated advice to desist and to call for a ride home. He was charged with disorderly conduct, transported to HQ and placed in a cell “until he was in a state of mind to take care of himself and behave.”
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At 8:30 a.m., Officer Esteves stopped a ‘98 Honda with New Hampshire plates and a broken tail light on Harrison Ave. near Walmart and found it operated by Rose Abraham, 29, of Jersey City. After he was advised by HQ that she had a suspended license, she was arrested on that charge and was issued a summons for the lighting violation.
At 4:30 p.m., Officer Christopher Levchak stopped a passing 2007 Nissan with New York plates at Passaic and Webster Aves. after he saw the driver talking on a cell phone, police said. Sharon Worth, 44, of N.Y.C., produced a N.Y. driver’s license, but a check with Motor Vehicles reportedly revealed that she also had a N.J. license — a suspended N.J. license. In addition, police said, she had three motor-vehicle related warrants, from Clifton, Clark and Berkeley Heights. She was charged on those and with driving while suspended, and received a summons for yapping on the cell phone while driving.
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Officer Jordenson Jean was dispatched at 4:36 p.m. to Walmart, where security had detained Helen Chacon, 50, of Jersey City, for allegedly trying to steal a USB charger. A search incident to arrest found her to be in possession of a dozen suspected Xanax tablets in an umarked Rx container, police said.
Chacon was charged with shoplifting, unlawful possession of a prescription drug, possession of drug paraphernalia — and on a $2,500 drug-related warrant from Newark.
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At 5 p.m., after police were advised that Kmart security was in foot pursuit of a shoplifter, Officer Frank West spotted the suspect — clad in red pants — squeezing through a fence behind ShopRite, apparently heading toward Belgrove Drive. West issued a BOLO, and Vice detectives nabbed the man after seeing him emerge onto Belgrove near Rose St.
The suspect was found to be in possession of marijuana and to have a criminal warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, police said. Kmart security reported that $70 worth of electronic merchandise had been hidden in the red pants. Elijah Easterling, 20, of East Orange, was charged with shoplifting and possession of pot and drug paraphernalia and was held for pick-up by Essex County.
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Police said Christian Garcia, 25, of Kearny, was arrested at 9:45 p.m. after Vice officers, aware that he had a suspended license, saw him driving a 2005 Saab on Kearny Ave.
At 4:30 p.m., Officer Brian Wisely saw a man, who seemed to be fumbling and unsteady on his feet, enter and start a 2004 Pontiac parked near Kearny Ave. and Halstead St. When Wisely and Det. Michael Farinola approached the car, the man appeared to be nodding behind the wheel and the odor of alcohol was detect ed, police said. Following FSTs and an Alcotest, John Edwards, 56, of Wallington, was charged with DWI, possession of a presciption drug (Suboxone capsules), possession of drug paraphernalia (a diagonally cut plastic straw) and possession of drugs in a motor vehicle.
Officer Wisely, on patrol near Madison and W. Bennett Aves. at 6:30 p.m., saw a woman sitting in the curb and smoking a hand-rolled cigar. When she saw the patrol car, she reportedly tossed the cigar aside and began walking away. Wisely retrieved it and confirmed it was marijuana and, as he approached her, saw her try to discard a knotted plastic bag under a parked car, “while protesting her innocence,” police said. Julissa Nazario, 22, of Newark, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.
– Karen Zautyk