News from the Kearny Police blotter

The lucrative business of illegal scrapping got four Newark men arrested in Kearny on December 14. Officers John Fabula and Sean Kelly responded to the vacant Wilcatabox building at the bottom of Tappan and Hoyt Sts. The officers received a call from local residents who saw men coming out of the building carrying materials and placing them in a Chevy Tahoe. After calling for backup and securing the perimeter, one of the individuals walked out of the building and spotted the officers, then immediately closed and locked the door. Officers entered the building after the fire department breached the door. Given the size of the area they needed to canvass, Kearny police called in K-9 units from the Bergan County Sheriff’s office to help in the search. Officer Kelly and Detective Ray Lopez were able to locate two individuals, 23-year-old Ruben Whiteneck and 18-year-old Nicholas Soto, both from Newark, hiding with debris in the flooded basement.  After apprehending the two men, Det. Lopez, Officer Kelly and Officer Pat Walsh went back into the building. On the second search, the officers found two more men, 36-year-old Jose Williams of Newark and Juan Vazquez, 24, of New Haven, CT. The men were charged with burglary, theft, conspiracy, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest. In the Tahoe were assorted burglar tools including bolt cutters, flashlights, and screwdrivers. Police also retrieved a large amount of copper wiring and ductwork that had been dismantled and stacked near the exit of the building.
The next morning, police responded to a call from a Kearny resident who said they had seen a suspicious man in the back of a Jaguar. Officers Joe Vulcano and Jose Canella, along with Sgt. John Taylor responded to the 200 block of Devon St. to find the man still in the back of the car. The man, 47-year-old Stanislaus Luganga from the Bronx, said he didn’t own the car, but apparently knew the owner and decided to get in the car to “take a smoke break.” The man was taken into custody after it was discovered that he carried several outstanding warrants. He couldn’t make bail and was taken to Hudson County jail.
Later on the night of Dec. 15,, Officers Mike Santucci and Andrew Palagano were investigating a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Belleville Tpke. and Passaic Ave. when they observed another vehicle, not involved in the initial accident, drive up the driveway of the Kearny Auto Spa and slam into the retaining wall, putting the car in a precarious position over the wall. A female and a male were assisted from the vehicle, smelling of alcohol. After observation, they determined that the driver, 38-year-old David Hudak from Linden, was under the influence. He was given summonses for DWI and careless driving.
On the night of Dec. 16 and into the early hours of Dec. 17, Officer Chris Levchak was conducting a roving DWI assignment he stopped a vehicle driving southbound on Kearny Ave. Levchak detected the smell of alcohol and asked the driver, 51-year-old Newark resident Steven Bornemann if he had been drinking.   The driver explained that he had consumed a couple of drinks at work and told Levchak that he was driving with a suspended license. At that point, Sgt. John Taylor came to the scene and conducted a roadside sobriety test.  Bornemann was subsequently placed under arrest. It was also discovered that the Bornemann had warrants out in Nutley, Colts Neck, Maplewood, Rutherford, and Belleville. He was charged with DWI, careless driving, driving while suspended and failure to exhibit an insurance card.
Finally, on Monday December 19th around 7:00 p.m., a multivehicle accident occurred with several minor injuries when a vehicle driving east on Bergen Ave collided with another going north on Schuyler Ave. While directing traffic, Officer Sean Kelly was struck by a vehicle and knocked to the ground on Schuyler Ave. He was taken by ambulance to Clara Maass hospital and treated for minor back and hip injuries. The 60-year-old motorist from Hope Lawn was issued a summons for careless driving.

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