The A to Zzzz of law enforcement

By Karen Zautyk

The shoulder of Rt. 21 is not necessarily the smartest place to catch 40 winks, as a driver and his passenger discovered last week.
Shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 4, police spotted a car parked on the side of the highway in Nutley with two individuals asleep inside. When the pair were awakened, they were reportedly “uncooperative and combative with officers.” The passenger, identified as 20-year-old Sinead Stevenson of Belleville, was found to be wanted on outstanding warrants out of Englewood — and was also found to be in possession of a hypodermic needle, police said. He was charged and later released, while the driver, a 27-year-old man from Passaic, was issued a summons for driving with a suspended license.
Sleep also reportedly played a role in a Sept. 5 accident on Franklin Ave. near Centre St.
Police responded to the area at 9:27 a.m. and found that the driver of a BMW had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel, driving up the curb, taking down a light pole and parking meter and then hitting another car.
No injuries were reported. Summonses were issued.
Other reports from the Nutley Police Department blotter for the week ending Sept. 8 included, but were not limited to, the following:

Sept. 1
A Rhoda Ave. resident reported that someone had entered her 2011 Hyundai overnight and had stolen more than $2,000 worth of electronics.
A Stanley Ave. resident reported someone had entered their 2000 Infinity and stolen a number of items.
A Franklin Ave. resident who had removed flood-damaged items from his basement and stored them at the rear of his building for insurance purposes reported that a number of them had been taken. The missing items were valued at more than $1,000.
8:07 p.m. — A Franklin Ave. gas station reported a man had made multiple attempts to purchase cigarettes using counterfeit money. Police forwarded information along with the bills to the Secret Service, which is investigating.

Sept. 2
9 a.m. – An officer operating radar along Rt. 21 stopped a 2010 Acura doing 79 mph. The driver, Anibal Burga, 21, of West Orange, was found to be suspended and wanted on a $525 warrant out of Caldwell.
3:08 p.m. — A patron was accidentally locked in a store’s dressing room when the owner closed shop. The customer contacted police to document the incident, and the owner of the store advised the patron to exit through a side door.
7:24 p.m. — Alfarad Inzar, 23, of Newark turned himself in on an outstanding warrant totaling $2,500. He posted a bond and was released without incident.

Sept. 3
9:38 a.m. — A dog was hit by a motorcycle on High St. Police responded to the scene and transported the dog and owner to a veterinarian. Condition of dog unknown.
2:54 p.m. — A Franklin Ave. resident reported a $350 BMX bicycle stolen from behind their apartment building.
10:14 p.m. — Steven Nemec, 18, of Nutley was arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief after he allegedly punched another man on Franklin Ave. The victim, who was hit in the face, told police Nemec also smashed the windshield of his parked 1998 Chevy. Nemec was later released pending a court date.

Sept. 4
12:17 a.m. — A car speeding down North Road was reportedly kicked by a man standing in the roadway. The driver stopped, and an argument ensued. There were several individuals on the scene, and while the man in the street denied kicking the car, he told police he had yelled an expletive and told the driver to slow down. Parties were advised to sign complaints.
1:58 AM Police responded to Yantacaw Park where a Porta-John had been knocked over and vandalized with bias-related graffiti. Nutley police and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
3:42 a.m. — Police stopped a motorist on River Road for usa motorist on River Road for using a cell phone while driving and discovered that the vehicle was unregistered. The vehicle was subsequently impounded and the driver issued several summonses.
10:22 a.m. — Police stopped a 19-year-old Belleville man on Washington Ave. after he was observed spinning his car tires in an attempt to race another vehicle. Summonses were issued, and he was allowed him to leave without incident.

Sept. 5
4:33 p.m. — A Race St. resident reported his garage had been burglarized and more than $500 worth of tools were missing.
8:30 p.m. — A Prospect St. resident reported seeing several young males entering driveways. When the homeowner asked what they were doing, they told him they were looking for their ball. They were later observed entering a dark-colored vehicle and leaving the  scene.
9:12 p.m. — Police responded to Franklin Ave. and Kingsland St. in response to reports of a man banging on car windows. Officers found Mathew Neff, 55, of Nutley, who told police he was asking for directions. Officers reportedly found a large bottle of pills in his pocket and arrested him on possession of prescription medication without proper paperwork. He was later released pending a court date. The pills were later identified as Xanax.

Sept. 6
12:59 a.m. — Police arrested and charged a 17-year-old Nutley boy with driving while under the influence after he crashed his mother’s 1998 Chevy into a tree on Church St. He was also charged with underage consumption of alcohol and violation of a provisional license and later released to his mother’s custody.
10:17 a.m. — A Hillside Crescent church was reported vandalized by someone who spray-painted the front door.

Sept. 7
6:02 a.m. — Police responded to a Centre St. gas station, where a burglar had apparently gained entry through a broken window and stole an undisclosed amount of items.
Sept. 8
12:31 a.m. — Police were called to assist a vehicle that was trapped in floodwaters at the intersection of Bloomfield Ave. and Centre St. When officers arrived, the 20-year-old occupant had already exited her car. Police arranged to have the vehicle towed.
10:21 p.m. — Police responded to Franklin Ave. and separated two young men engaged in a physical altercation. Police said one of the individuals, Guiseppi Cofone, 18, of Nutley, was wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Bloomfield. He was charged with simple assault and turned over to the custody of Bloomfield police.

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