KPD: Girl charged in Kearny Ave. slashing

Police said it started with a friendly conversation at Dunkin’ Donuts, escalated to a robbery and ended with a man being slashed in the chest with a knife — allegedly wielded by  a 17-year-old Kearny girl. The story: 

At 3:15 a.m., Sunday, May 7, KPD Officer Jose Perez was flagged down at Kearny and Bergen Aves. by a passerby who reported a crowd of people, at least three of whom were engaged in a fight, near Halstead St. Perez, with backup Officers Jay Ward, Jose Castillo and Esteban Gonzalez, separated the combatants and gathered information on what had led to the brawl.

According  to the report: Two 17-year-old females — one from Kearny, one from Newark — had been chatting with a group of males in the donut shop. One of the girls asked to see a wristwatch belonging to one of the males. She reportedly then put it on — and left, heading north on Kearny Ave. with the other female. 

When the males attempted to retrieve the watch, a shoving match ensued, in the course of which the Kearny female pulled a knife and slashed one the men across the chest, police said.

The victim,  a 20-year-old from Newark, was transported by Kearny EMS to Clara Maass Medical Center for treatment of what was described as a non-life-threatening wound.

Both females were charged with robbery and conspiracy. The alleged slasher was additionally charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Both were remanded to the Union County Youth House (which is where Hudson County juveniles are now incarcerated).

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

May 5

Officer Daniel Esteves, on patrol at 7:30 p.m., observed a suspicious individual walking on Passaic Ave. near S. Midland  Ave. Suspicious how? Police said that, despite the relatively mild weather, he was wearing heavy winter clothing, with a hood over his head.

Stopped for a field inquiry, the man reportedly could produce no I.D. but gave his name as Jose Rodriguez, born in 1972. Police said he later gave his birth year as 1977.  He was carrying a red bag, which he claimed he had found and which contained a vehicle jump-starter and a set of Stanley wrenches, police said. During questioning, he reportedly tried to discard a glass crack pipe, which Esteves retrieved, then placing him under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.

At headquarters, he was formally identified as Jose M. Rodriguez, 40 (born 1976), of Newark, wanted on a $3,000 Newark warrant for trespass and possession of burglar tools. He was additionally charged on that and with hindering apprehension. (The origin/ownership of the bag and its contents have not been determined.)

May 8

Vice detectives, at Chestnut St. and Woodland Ave. at 11:40 a.m., observed Sebastian Quebleen, 26, of Harrison, apparently engaging in a hand-to-hand drug transaction, exchanging currency for something he then put in a cigarette pack, police said.

The officers identified themselves and recovered the pack, which allegedly held two alprazolam tablets. Quebleen was charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug and drug paraphernalia and on an NCIC theft warrant out of Palm Beach County, Fla. He was processed at KPD HQ, and Florida authorities were notified.

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At 7:30 p.m., Officer Michael Gontarczuk observed Catherine Contreras, 37, of Newark, apparently “asleep on her feet” near Kearny and Midland Aves. Police said she admitted having taken heroin and was arrested for being under the influence of a CDS, possession of drug paraphernalia (a cut plastic straw) and on a $150 Newark ordinance-violation warrant.  Police said she was taken to St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, to insure that she would not overdose.

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Officers Jonathan Dowie and David Bush responded to an 8:15 p.m. report of an accident in the area of the Rt. 7 overpass, where they found that an Isuzu had apparently struck a parked Mack truck laden with construction equipment. 

Police said the Isuzu operator, Kinny Lewis, 42, of Belleville, was unable to produce his driver’s license — because it was suspended. He was charged with that offense and on four warrants, three of them motor vehicle-related: Kearny, $200; Bloomfield, $90; Belleville, $500. Police said he also had a no-bail NCIC contempt-of-court warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. After his booking, the KPD turned him over to Essex County.

May 10

At noon, Det. Michael Andrews followed a 2006 Nissan he had reportedly seen speeding toward East Newark and stopped it on Central Ave. in that borough. Police said driver Jonathan Ortiz, 20, of Newark, initially ignored repeated requests to turn down his “blasting” radio, then refused to exit the car and had  calm down, the “gentleman’s” reported response was that he would slap her in the face if she did not “shut the f— up.” He was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing the administration of law.

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At 3:30 p.m., HQ was advised that a man and a woman were attempting to sell objects to passersby in the area of Kearny Ave. and Liberty St.  

Det. Sgt. Michael Gonzalez and Officers John Donovan and Richard Poplaski Jr. located the duo and detained them for questioning.  Police said the male foolishly gave his name as Alex — “foolishly” because he already was well-known to them as Axel Rodriguez, 44, of Kearny.

Police said an inquiry showed he had “multiple” Essex County contempt warrants, so he was arrested on those and a charge of  hindering apprehension. No charges were filed against his companion, a 46-year-old Newark woman, and we have no information on exactly what they had been trying to sell, but obviously it wasn’t drugs.

At HQ, Rodriguez reportedly cited a “medical condition,” which meant he had to be transported to Jersey City Medical Center for examination and clearance.

May 11

Pursuant to an ongoing drug-distribution investigation, Vice officers were in the Marshalls/L.A. Fitness mall on Passaic Ave. at 1:30 p.m. and saw their target, Freddy Rosario, 30, of Newark, walking in the lot. As they approached for a field interview, police said he appeared to be trying to conceal something in his waistband — something that reportedly turned out to be a Dutch Masters cigar pack containing 40 wax folds of suspected heroin, stamped “PNC,” and 24 vials of suspected crack cocaine.

Rosario was booked for possession of both drugs, possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute in a school zone, and on a no-bail Essex County drug warrant. He was then sent to the Hudson County Jail.

Karen Zautyk



Karen Zautyk | Observer Correspondent