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Category: News

Highway homicide arrests


Following a month-long investigation, authorities have arrested a Newark couple in the June 12 slaying of a Hackensack livery-cab driver who apparently had been targeted after an argument at a Belleville nightclub.

The victim, Jeff Mansilla, 39, was shot as he was driving on Interstate 80 in Saddle Brook. Authorities say he had been followed from the Belleville Ave. gentlemen’s club, called Wet, by suspects Mujahideen Abdullah and Jomaris Gonzalez.

Abdullah, 25, and Gonzalez, 28, were arrested Friday morning after detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant at their residence. Read more »

Capacyachi joins Century 21 Semiao & Associates

C21 Agent_web

Century 21 Semiao & Associates announces that Joanne Capacyachi has recently joined the company’s Lyndhurst branch as a full-time agent.

A Rutherford resident for the past 16 years, Capacyachi previously held her real estate license with Coccia Realty before joining Century 21 Semiao.

Before obtaining her real estate license, Capacyachi began her career in the limousine business. She provided transportation services to clients all over the world for 25 years, developing excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. Capacyachi is known for being a people person, very warm and diligent in her work.

Capacyachi developed a passion for real estate after owning, managing and renovating several properties in South Florida and northern New Jersey.

Capacyachi looks forward to working with sellers and buyers and using her business experience to assist in achieving their goals.

She lives in Rutherford with her husband Angelo, her two children Chiana and Angelo and her beagle Shiloh.

Capacyachi can be reached at the Lyndhurst office, 761 Ridge Road, or call 201-460- 8000.

Borough fills its police roster


Another one of East Newark’s own is poised to join the borough’s blue ranks.

Newly hired Police Officer Saul Gutierrez was placed on the borough payroll at a starting salary of $25,000, effective July 18, following his appointment by the local governing body on July 15.

He becomes the ninth member of the East Newark Police Department and he’ll be taking the slot being vacated by Officer Anthony Espaillat, who is leaving the borough after two years to become a detective with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, according to Police Chief Anthony Monteiro.

The 24-year-old East Newark native is slated to begin 21 weeks of training – with 64 other rookies from other police departments in his class – at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains on July 28, Monteiro said. Read more »

KPD: ‘Maced’ by mugger

Kearny police are hunting an assailant who used an aerosol irritant in an attempt to disable his victim and take the man’s cell phone.

Police said the incident occurred at 6:30 a.m. on July 13 on the 300 block of Kearny Ave. The victim, a 49-year-old Kearny man, told responding Officer T.J. Hernandez that he had been standing outside a laundromat when he was approached from behind and sprayed in the face with a “Mace-like” substance.

The attacker demanded the cell phone, but the victim grappled with the robber, who fled on foot, empty-handed, down Halstead St.

The victim, who also suffered a hand injury, was treated at the scene, where, police said, they recovered an aerosol spray container and a knife.

Det. Ray Lopez is investigating – interviewing witnesses and checking security videos from the area.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

July 11 

Officer Sean Kelly was at Walmart at 3 p.m., speaking with store security about loss prevention, when he noticed a man moving rapidly through the aisles and pushing people aside. Police said he was clutching a package of razors, but had four more packs in his pocket. When questioned by the officer, the man reportedly identified himself first as Mark Bails and then as Curtis Bails. A fingerprint check revealed he was actually Derrick Bails, 52, of Jersey City, who was wanted by that city and the Hudson County Sheriff ’s Office, police said. He was arrested on those warrants and also charged with shoplifting and hindering apprehension. Police Chief John Dowie said Bails has a record of 17 prior arrests and nine felony convictions.

July 13 

Shortly after midnight, a head-on collision between a pick-up truck and a taxi was reported on Passaic Ave. near S. Midland Ave. After conducting field sobriety tests, Officer Dean Gasser arrested the truck operator, Luis Lopez, 46, of Westminster, Md., for DWI and careless driving. Lopez was subsequently also charged with refusing to take an Alcotest. Police said Lopez was uninjured, but the cab driver and his passenger were taken to University Hospital in Newark.

Officer Jay Ward, responding to the report of a dispute at 1:30 a.m. at a Belgrove Drive residence, encountered Anthony Joana, 40, of Kearny, who tried to block the officer and then pushed past him, police said.

After interviewing the female complainant, who said Joana had struck her, Ward alerted other units, and the suspect was apprehended about a block away by Officers Pat Becker and Glenn Reed. Police said he had to be forcibly cuffed.

Joana was charged with simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia (a marijuana grinder), resisting arrest and “throwing bodily fluids at a law enforcement officer” (for reportedly spitting on Becker).

Officers Luis Moran and Daniel Esteves, on patrol in South Kearny at 3:30 p.m., stopped a truck for an equipment violation and found that the driver, Jason Patrick, 38, of Bayonne, had an outstanding warrant from Jersey City. Patrick was arrested on that and received summonses for the MV violation and for failure to provide proof of insurance.

July 14 

At 11:30 a.m., units responded to an assault at Walmart, where a 23-yearold Jersey City woman said she had been kicked and punched by a man she knew. Officer Jose Canela located the suspect a short time later in the area of the parking lot. Tyrone Wilson, 24, of Jersey City, was charged with simple assault and was also found to have two Jersey City warrants, police reported.

 July 15 

The KPD was back at Walmart shortly after midnight on the report of an unruly shoplifter. Officers Chris Medina and Derek Hemphill arrested Charlie Jones, 25, of Newark, who allegedly had tried to leave the store with three TVs, with a total value of $4,300. He was charged with shoplifting and on a warrant from Newark.

Officer Chris Levchak, called to a male-female dispute on the 500 block of Chestnut St. around noon, arrested the male half — Christopher Beltran, 24, of Kearny — after a warrant inquiry indicated he was wanted by Kearny, police said.

July 16 

Officer John Fabula, on patrol at Bergen Ave. and Forest St. at 7 a.m., stopped a Mazda pick-up truck for an illegal turn and found that the driver, Ernest Dieudonne, 59, of East Orange, had a suspended license and outstanding warrants from Bayonne, Union and Elizabeth. Police said he also found that the plates on the truck belonged on another vehicle. Dieudonne was charged on those violations and with careless driving. The pick-up was impounded.

July 17 

At 1:30 a.m., Officer Tim Castle, responding to a  motor vehicle accident at Passaic and Johnston Aves., found a Honda van resting against the bridge abutment and the “confused” driver still behind the wheel, allegedly holding a marijuana cigarette. Police said Castle removed the joint from the man’s grasp and removed him from the van, but he was unable to stand and could not account for the crash. Jose Melendez, 36, of Belleville, was charged with DUI, possession of pot, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs in motor vehicle and refusal to take an Alcotest.

At 1:34 a.m., Officer Ben Wuelfing saw Danny Morales, 36, of Newark, panhandling in the lot at Quick Chek at Bergen and Kearny Aves. After Morales was found to have a Bloomfield warrant, he was arrested on that and Bloomfield authorities were notified, police said. Morales was also issued a summons for violating the Kearny ordinance against “begging for alms.”

– Karen Zautyk 

SMMC offers tips to stay safe in the sun

As part of the observance of UV Safety Month, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, is urging its patients and members of the community to take precautions this summer against exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays which can result in serious skin damage and in some cases, skin cancer.

“Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States,” said SMMC primary care physician, Dr. William DiGiacamo. “UV rays from the sun are not only the main cause of skin cancer, but can also cause significant damage to skin including wrinkles, blotches and spots. Luckily, all of these effects from getting too much sun can be prevented,” he said.

DiGiacamo recommends taking the following steps to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage:

• Limit your sun exposure be tween 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.—when the sun is strongest.

• Use sunscreen with SPF  15 or higher and remember to reapply frequently.

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat  and sunglasses.

• Stay in the shade whenever  it is possible.

• Check your skin regularly  for changes.

“It is important to remember that one can get sunburned even on a cloudy day,” added Dr. DiGiacamo. “Taking precautions in the sun is vital when enjoying the outdoors—even if the sun is not shining strong.”

For a physician referral  or more information about SMMC, call 973-877-5000, or visit www.smmcnj.org.

Around Town


Belleville UNICO sponsors a bus ride fundraiser to the Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, Sunday, July 27. Cost is $30 prepaid or $35 the day of the trip. The bus will leave at 8:50 a.m. from the Senior Citizens Center, 125 Franklin Ave. A continental breakfast will be served at the center at 8 a.m. Call 973-759-9259 to reserve seats. (No last minute cancellations.) Mail checks, payable to Belleville UNICO, to: Gene Antonio, 436 Joralemon St., Belleville, N.J. 07109.

A Polka Dot dance party is set for Aug. 4 and a balloon making workshop for ages 8 and up is scheduled for Aug. 11 as part of Belleville Public Library and Information Center’s Eight Great Live Monday Nights series at 221 Washington Ave. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, there will be a new show every Monday night during July and August at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call 973-450-3434. These programs are for the entire family, unless otherwise noted.


Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., announces a trip to Caesar’s Casino, Atlantic City. The bus leaves Oakeside Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m., and will return at 5:30 p.m. The $30 cost includes roundtrip bus transportation and $25 in slot play at the casino.

Reservations are required and must be paid within five days of booking to ensure a place.

There are no refunds on paid reservations. Call Oakeside at 973-429-0960 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Essex County SummerMusic Concert Series presents “Shadows of the ‘60s” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 25, at Brookdale Park. The tribute production show features music of the Four Tops, the Temptations and the Supremes. Admission is free. In another upcoming show, Tony Scally and Jazzmataz will be featured Tuesday, July 29, in a 7 p.m. concert at Watsessing Park. For more information, call 973‑239-2485.

East Newark 

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. The group provides an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for patients and family. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa 201-246- 7750, Fatima 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@yahoo.com. Together we will fight this disease.


The Town of Harrison sponsors a blood drive Wednesday, July 23, 2 to 6 p.m., at the Harrison Recreation Center, 401 Warren St., in the gymnasium. All donors who register July 21-27 will be entered to win one of 10 $25 ShopRite gift cards. Winners will be announced July 29. Donors must weigh at least 120 pounds, know their Social Security number, bring a photo or signed ID, eat a meal and drink plenty of water prior to donation.


Mary’s Traveling Seniors sponsors a five-day, four-night trip to Wildwood, Sept. 14 to 18. Final payment is due by Aug. 1. Price includes transportation, accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, entertainment, dolphin watch cruise, a visit to Cape May and Atlantic City. Cost for double occupancy is $482 and single is $90 additional. Deposit of $150 per person is required. For reservations and more information, call Mary at 201-998-1030.


Join Special Angels Recreation, an organization for special needs children, as they take on the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad in a kickball game Aug. 16, at 9 a.m., at the Lyndhurst Little League field on Riverside Ave. After the game there will be fun activities for all. For more information or to learn how to participate, call 201-804- 2469 or email recruitment@emergencysquad.com.

The Lyndhurst Health Department is collecting donations for students in need. Items welcomed include backpacks, marble composition books, notebooks, dividers, loose paper, crayons, and 3-ring binders. Donations can be dropped off, prior to Aug. 31, at the Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. People with children in need of school supplies are asked to contact the Health Department at 201-804-2500 to schedule a pick-up of the needed supplies. Be prepared to give the child’s gender and grade level.

The Children’s Room at Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts these events:

• Crazy scientist Brian Richards will introduce amazing experiments on Wednesday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. The program is recommended for ages 3 and up.

• Children in pre-k to grade 8 discover more about making bubbles and get to stand inside one of their own Monday, July 28, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required for both events. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to register. Seniors are welcome to register for the following two programs hosted by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Registration is recommended for both. Call 201- 777-2431 to register.

• “Seeing the Light,” a brief history of New Jersey’s lighthouses and the U.S. Life- Saving Service, is offered by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Instructor Chet Nesley Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park.

• Grab a partner and dance the way folks did in the late 19th century at a free barn dance on Thursday, July 31, at 7 p.m. at River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. Carpooling is recommended since parking is limited.

• “Nature Draws Itself and Other Works of Art,” a digital illustration exhibit by Lyndhurst artist E. Jessie Monaco, will be on display from Monday, Aug. 4, through Thursday, Sept. 25, at NJMC’s Flyway Gallery in the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park.

The Flyway Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. Directions to DeKorte Park can be found in the “About the NJMC” section of the Commission’s website, www.njmeadowlands.gov, or by calling 201-777-2431.

North Arlington 

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, presents a lecture by Civil War expert Bill Gent on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, July 30, at 1 p.m.

Borough residents are invited to a free outdoor concert featuring the Duprees set for Aug. 6 at Riverside County Park at 7 p.m. This concert is co-sponsored by the Borough Recreation Department and Inserra ShopRite.

Food vendors will be available at the park. Residents are advised to bring their own lawn chairs.

The Duprees are known for their romantic interpretations of some of the most popular songs from the ’50’s and ’60s.


Join Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, for the following programs:

• Movie and Craft: Children of all ages are invited to the library on Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m. to make a “Muppets Most Wanted” movie-themed craft. Children can stop by the library and make crafts while supplies last. • Science Workshop: “Kitchen Science” — recommended for ages 8 and up — is set for Wednesday, July 30, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

• Essex County Environmental Workshop: “Soda Bubbles,” open to children ages 7 to 10, is set for Thursday, July 31, at 11 a.m. Registration is required. It’s open to Nutley Library patrons only.

• Science Workshop: “Weather Science,” recommended for ages 8 and up, is offered Thursday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required for this program which is open to Nutley

Bank suspect nabbed



Less than a week after the robbery of a PNC bank in Kearny, the suspect in the holdup was in custody, arrested when he showed up for a court appearance in Passaic, Kearny Police Chief John Dowie reported.

Carnie Monts, 28, of Paterson, was booked at KPD headquarters last Monday, July 14, and was transported to the Hudson County Jail, where he was being held on $100,000 bail.

According to police, Monts held up the bank, at the corner of Kearny and Midland Aves., at about 2:30 p.m. on July 9. He allegedly warned a teller that he had a weapon, but none was shown.

Police said Monts fled on foot after being given approximately $3,000. A search of the surrounding area proved fruitless, but the suspect was soon identified thanks to a joint investigation by the Kearny and North Arlington police, the FBI and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, authorities said.

Officers began tracking him, including visiting his home in Paterson. They later developed information that Monts was due to appear in court in Passaic on the morning of July 14 on an unrelated matter, and Kearny Det. Mike Gonzalez and FBI agents were there to arrest him, Dowie said.

– Karen Zautyk 

News from the Nutley police blotter

July 12 

A motor vehicle stop on Washington Ave., at 3:59 a.m., led to the arrest of James Washington, 38, of Irvington, for two active warrants from Newark and Irvington. He was also ticketed for driving with unsafe tires. Washington was turned over to Irvington PD after failing to post bail.

At 9:22 a.m., a Park Ave. business reported that one of its delivery trucks was found with the gas tank open and about half a tank of gas syphoned out. Nothing was taken from inside the truck, police said.

At 10:29 a.m., headquarters received a report of a van stolen from an Essex St. location. The owner told police the van was parked in their driveway overnight, but, upon leaving for work in the morning, it was gone, along with $9,000 worth of tools inside. An investigation is continuing.

At 10:34 p.m., a Columbia Ave. resident reported that a large tree branch from private property had fallen onto the front of their truck, causing an unestimated amount of damage.

July 13 

A Paterson man was arrested, at 1:50 a.m., after police pulled over the car he was driving on Webster St. Police charged Ruben Cordova, 23, with driving while intoxicated, loud muffler and failure to provide registration. He was released pending a court appearance.

At 12:20 p.m., police responded to a River Road location on a report of burglary. Police said the homeowner told them a cordless hedge trimmer and several other items had been removed from a shed. Police said they found no sign of forced entry. Detectives are investigating.

July 14 

At 1:49 p.m., a Franklin Ave. business owner reported a theft. The owner told police that four males began trying on several articles of clothing and, according to police, one is seen on the store’s security tape placing new sneakers on his feet, placing the old sneakers under a couch, and then walking out of the store. The owner told police that several T-shirts and hats, valued at about $200, were also missing. Detectives are investigating.

At 5:21 p.m., police arrested Kevin Moran, 29, of East Rutherford, at a Bloomfield Ave. location after learning he was wanted on a warrant from Wallington and turned him over to Wallington PD.

July 15 

A multiple burglary suspect arrested the week prior has been linked to another crime. Police said they found a GPS unit valued at $250 that was believed to have stolen from a resident’s vehicle on the suspect, William Lanzo, 40, of Newark. Lanzo, being held at the Essex County Jail, will be charged with additional complaints for burglary and theft, police said.

July 16 

At 4 p.m., an Ackerman St. resident reported another in a series of criminal mischief incidents involving their vehicle. In the latest episode, police said they found minor scratches to the vehicle’s driver’s side windows. The vehicle was damaged while it was parked in the resident’s driveway.

– Ron Leir 

Subwoofer stolen from Nutley resident’s home, police say


July 5

Someone swiped a Kicker Subwoofer Speaker valued at $700 from a Passaic Ave. residence, the occupant told police. The theft was logged at 1:10 a.m.

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A William St. resident told police that after loaning their charge card to someone, they noticed that two transactions they didn’t authorize had been made on their card and that they’d been unable to reach the card’s borrower. Police said they couldn’t contact the borrower, either. The card has been canceled.

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At 7:49 p.m., a Parallel St. resident reported someone had stolen their engagement ring from their home. The ring was valued at $2,000. Police said they found no sign of forced entry to the residence. Read more »

Ridge Road closed 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today from Pike to Jauncey Ave.


Ridge Road will be closed today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the Belleville Turnpike to Jauncey Ave. for the funeral of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, the NAPD says. Limited local traffic may be permitted along Ridge Road up to Sunset Ave. at certain points, but the NAPD suggests motorists take alternate routes during this time frame to avoid any confusion.