KPD: You’ve won a trip to Florida!

It started with a shoplifting-turned-robbery, morphed into a foot chase in the brush and with an assault on two officers and concluded with the suspect in the county jail awaiting transfer to the Sunshine State. The details:

At noon on Feb. 27, Officers Daniel Esteves and Daniel Lopez responded to Walmart on a report that a shoplifter had assaulted a female security officer who had tried to stop him from leaving the store with $183 worth of merchandise.

The cops spotted the suspect — identified as Hiram Martinez, 37, of Edison — running from the store property toward Rt. 280, where he disappeared into the meadows.

The officers followed on foot and found him hiding in a “dense, wooded area,” police said. When he eventually obeyed their commands to show his hands and stand up, Martinez reportedly pushed Esteves and had to be forced to the ground. Police said he continued to “resist violently” and OC spray had to be deployed to pacify him. He was taken into custody and Kearny EMS was summoned to headquarters to deal with the after-effects of the spray, but police said he refused medical attention. (His interesting mug shot is evidence of those after-effects.)

Martinez was charged with robbery, resisting arrest and two counts of assault on a police officer. Kearny Municipal Court Judge Thomas D. McKeon set bail at $100,000.

Police said Martinez was also found to have a $1,000 shoplifting warrant out of Cherry Hill and a no-bail, full extradition warrant from Orange County, Fla., on a charge of trafficking in stolen property. He was remanded to the Hudson County Jail, awaiting pick-up by Florida authorities.

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Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

Feb.  28

Shortly before midnight, Officers Joseph Martin and Derek Hemphill were called to the 400 block of Beech St. on the report of an assault and found an 18-year-old Newark woman bleeding from the face. She allegedly had been punched by James Hamilton, 25, of Kearny, who was arrested and charged with simple assault.

Feb. 29

At 11 a.m., Det. Sgt. Michael Gonzalez and Officer John Fabula observed two men drinking (Keystone Light beer) in public near Kearny and Johnston Aves., ran a warrant check and found that one was wanted by Newark, $100 and $200 warrants, and Kearny, $250 for a prior drinking-in-public offense. Geovanny Gonzalez, 42, of Elizabeth was arrested and transferred to the county jail. The other morning-beer imbiber received a town-ordinance summons.

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Another warrant check led to the 2:45 p.m. arrest of Michael Matos, 51, and Patricia Cuadra, 46, both of Kearny, by Officers Jordenson Jean and Jose Castillo at Duke and Devon Sts. Police said the arrestees were wanted by Harrison: Matos, on a charge of receiving stolen property; Cuadra, drinking  in public. Harrison police were notified that the two were in custody.

March 1

Shortly after midnight, at Beech St. and the Belleville Pike, Officer Jon Dowie spotted a 1994 Toyota with a lighting violation and was alerted that the owner/operator had a suspended license, suspended  registration and a Jersey City motor-vehicle warrant, police said. Shaphera Lewis, 30, of Jersey City, was arrested on the charges and was later released on bail.

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Vice detectives, in the area of Laurel Ave. and Argyle Place at 1:45 p.m., observed Kearny residents Nathan Dasilva, 21, and James Gelcius, 19. And confirmed that the former had a $500 Rochelle Park drug-paraphernalia warrant, police said. As they approached the pair, they detected the odor of marijuana and found Gelcius to be in possession of two bags of pot and a hypodermic needle, police said.  Both were arrested: Dasilva, on the warrant; Gelcius, on the possession charges.

March 2

Officers Rich Pawlowski and David Bush, on patrol at 2 a.m., observed two men in the middle of the Belleville Pike near Beech St., one of whom was kicking objects around the street, “causing a disturbance.”  Police said the kicker,

Matthew Kochell, 25, of Harrison, appeared to be heavily intoxicated, became loud and profane and refused to produce his I.D. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and public intoxication — and on a $250 criminal warrant out of Harrison. Harrison police were notified.

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Vice officers, in the area of N. Midland and Passaic Aves. at 1:30 p.m., saw Shaun Ippolito, 34, of Rutherford, on the abandoned railroad trestle. In a search incident to his arrest on a trespassing charge, he reportedly was found to be in possession of two full and two empty folds of suspected heroin, all stamped “Dunkin’ Donuts,” and, in his sock, a hypodermic needle and a metal spoon. In addition to defiant trespass, he was arrested for possession of heroin, drug
paraphernalia and the needle.

March 3

At 7 p.m., Officers Esteves and Lopez stopped a 2011 Honda on the 400 block of Belgrove Drive for a tinted-window violation. Approaching the car, they detected the odor of raw pot and, in plain view, saw a black jar with what appeared to be a marijuana leaf printed on it, police said, adding that it was, indeed, found to contain suspected weed.

Driver Tristen Sanchez, 24, of Jersey City, was charged with driving with a suspended license, failure to surrender same, possession of pot and paraphernalia and possession of  a CDS in a MV. He was also booked on three outstanding warrants, all from Newark: $1,000, drug possession;  $500, MV violation; $100, speeding. The Kearny Municipal Court added another $2,500 bail.

Karen Zautyk | Observer Correspondent