Carjacking, birthday ‘celebrant’: HPD

A resident of one of Harrison’s new developments was the victim of a carjacking on Tuesday, July 11, according to the HPD.

Police said the incident occurred at about 11 a.m. after the victim, a 24-year-old man from the Harrison Station complex near the PATH station, parked his grey Mitsubishi Galant near his residence.

The victim told officers he was approached from behind by two men, one of whom grabbed his cell phone from his hands and pulled his arms behind his back, while the bandit’s accomplice took his car keys from his front pocket.

Then, police said, the victim felt what he believed to be a gun being held against his back and was forced back to his car where one of the suspects began to search the vehicle.

While that suspect was so occupied, police said the victim punched the suspect who was holding him and ran toward the entrance to 330 Cifelli Drive while being pursued by one of the bandits, which was captured on a nearby video camera.

Police said the victim managed to elude his pursuer and called for help.

Police said the victim appears to have been “targeted by known assailants.”

One suspect was described as a stocky Latino, about 5-feet-8, with short black hair and a full beard, wearing a light blue T-shirt and ripped jeans.

The other suspect was listed as a bald white man.

Both suspects fled west on Cifelli Drive in the victim’s Mitsubishi, police said.

The incident remains under investigation, police said.

In an unrelated incident during the Independence Day holiday, police said they responded, at 2:21 a.m., to the 400 block of Harrison Ave., on a report of someone described as an older white man wearing a brown T-shirt with a firearm.

Police said the responding officer found no one matching that description but, after proceeding east along Harrison Ave. to Manor Ave., the officer observed three Kearny police cars pulled over near the intersection.

There, police said, KPD Officers Rich Poplaski, Michael Gontarczuk and David Bush had stopped Harrison resident Darren P. Donnelly – who had just turned 58 that day – on the sidewalk.

Donnelly matched the description called in previously to the HPD dispatcher, police said.

Police said the responding HPD officer noticed a large knife protruding from the rear of Donnelly’s shorts. The officer immediately disarmed him and placed him under arrest.

A search incident to arrest resulted in the discovery of a silver Sauer & Suhl handgun, loaded with one .25-caliber round, in Donnelly’s right shorts pocket, along with the gun’s magazine which contained an additional six, .25-caliber rounds, police said.

Also found on the arrestee, according to police, were the following: a black-and-silver Mini-Tac knife concealed in a sheath around Donnelly’s neck under his shirt; a black-and-silver Urban Dart triangular blade knife hidden in a sheath clipped inside the waistband of his shorts; a red Snap-On pocket knife clipped to his left shorts pocket, along with a silver Gerber money clip with a concealed razor blade in his left shorts pocket; and a one-piece knife concealed in his brown leather belt.

Police said they also found these items: a white Medtainer jar containing a green leafy vegetation believed to be marijuana; a purple jar labeled “Pot of Gold” with suspected marijuana; and a clear green plastic bag with three blue cylinder-shaped unmarked pills believed to be Roxicodone, all recovered from the suspect’s rear shorts pocket.

Donnelly was taken to HPD HQ for booking and transported to th Hudson County Jail in South Kearny to await court action on charges of possession of weapons and possession of CDS.

– Ron Leir

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.