A warning for lugs everywhere

By Karen Zautyk

A relatively minor accident led to the recent arrest of an auto repairman, who, had he done his job correctly, might still be walking free. But unluck, or fate, intervened.
At about 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 Kearny P.O. John Fabula responded to the scene of the mishap at Schuyler and Midland Aves. where a tire had fallen off a car. Fallen off because it had no lug nuts.
The driver stated he had just had the vehicle repaired. The mechanic had either not sufficiently tightened the lug nuts or forgotten to put them back on the wheel.
When police went to the repair shop, the worker in question produced a phony I.D., Chief John Dowie reported. An investigation revealed his true identity and the fact that he was wanted on $1,000 warrant out of Essex County.
He was turned over to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. And a local business may be in need of a competent auto repairman.
Earlier the same day, another bit of dumbness resulted in the arrest of a 28-year-old Bloomfield motorcyclist who had caught the attention of Sgt. John Taylor on the Belleville Turnpike.
At 8:05 a.m., the officer was driving west on the Pike in the meadows area when he observed a motorcycle ahead of him passing traffic by riding on the shoulder.
Taylor attempted to stop the cycle, but the rider accelerated and began riding recklessly, including crossing into the eastbound lanes, Dowie said. This caused Taylor to discontinue the pursuit, but he continued to follow the bike at a distance.
On the curve near the cemetery just east of Schuyler Ave., the cyclist finally hit a car, lost control and fell to the ground — and then attempted to flee, Dowie said. But he eventually surrendered near Prete Ave.
Instead of just a summons for improper passing, the biker is now facing the criminal charge of eluding a police officer. He was also ticketed for reckless driving, operating an unregistered and uninsured motorcycle, and failure to comply with the directive of a police officer.
On Sept. 3, a 22-year-old Kearny man, wanted on warrants out of Bricktown and Woodbridge, managed to get himself nabbed by standing in the street at Stewart Ave. and Elm St., shouting profanities. At 2:30 a.m.
When Officers Wayne Shivers, Ben Wuelfing and Dean Gasser responded to the complaint, the individual reportedly removed his shirt, assumed a fighting stance and said, “Arrest me!” The officers complied. (He allegedly said some other things that cannot be printed in a family newspaper.)
Along with the warrants, the man is now also charged with disorderly conduct.
Elm and Stewart was the scene of another arrest at 4:40 p.m. Sept. 4, when Officer Mike Andrews spotted a 47-year-old Kearny man whom he knew to be wanted. That individual had a $1,500 outstanding Kearny warrant, one for $1,000 out of Secaucus and a no-bail warrant from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. He was turned over to Bergen County.
The following day, at 4:15 p.m., Andrews stopped a couple at Kearny and Bergen Aves. after he recognized the woman, a 30-year-old from Swoyersville, Pa., who had an active warrant from Roxbury, Dowie reported.
Her companion, a 34-year-old Kearny man, was holding a black plastic bag that reportedly contained 10 boxes of Crest Whitestrips (“Whiter teeth for a brighter smile!”). The man told Andrews he had just purchased them at Pathmark, but could produce no receipt, Dowie said. Additionally, the chief noted, the boxes bore tags from the CVS store on Ridge Road in North Arlington, which reported that 17 boxes had been stolen. It is doubtful he used 7 boxes of them on his own teeth between North Arlington and Kearny. North Arlington police were contacted.
On Sept. 5, at 7:15 p.m., P.O. Neil Nelson arrested a 46-year-old Kearny man on Forest St. near the railroad tracks for possession of crack cocaine, after the suspect tried to flee and discarded a cigarette pack that turned out to contain seven vials of the drug, Dowie reported.
The individual, who was already wanted on a Belleville warrant, was also charged with resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia and was held on $5,000 bail.
Mike Andrews was the arresting officer at 9:30 p.m. the same night after he stopped a car with illegally tinted windows at Maple and Afton Sts.
When the driver, a 19-year-old Kearny woman, was asked for identification, she opened the glove box, and Andrews detected “a strong odor of raw marijuana” emanating from it, Dowie said.
It reportedly was found to hold a sock containing a bag of suspected pot and a pack of empty ziplock bags, while small ziplocks and blunt cigars were allegedly on the driver’s seat.
Both the driver and her passenger, a 22-year-old man from Kearny, were arrested on drug charges. And she got a summons for those windows.
At 10:30 p.m., Sept. 7, Officers Sean Kelly and Rich Pawlowski responded to a report of a possible break-in at the floral shop at the gas station at Passaic Ave. and Belgrove Drive.
In the area, the officers noticed a group of four individuals, whom they stopped for questioning on Johnston Ave. The men denied having been near the store and told the cops they were “sightseeing.” (Editor’s note: You can’t make this stuff up.)
Although the four apparently had no connection to any break-in, two of them, both from Kearny and both 29, did have outstanding warrants. One was wanted in Newark; the other, in Kearny. An 18-year-old from Kearny was issued a summons for underage possession of alcohol, and one of the older men, for having an open container of alcohol. The fourth member of the quartet, Dowie said, had “no warrants, no alcohol, and was sent on his way.”

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