Kearny Police Blotter

On Friday, Feb. 3, Officer John Fabula was on patrol in the area of Afton and Maple Sts., a place where Fabula has had past experience dealing with people who engage in the use of controlled substances. In the area, he saw two juveniles sitting on a porch and felt that they didn’t belong there. Officer Frank West arrived as back up, and the two began to interview people as to their presence and reasoning for being in the area. While questioning the juveniles, A 17-year-old Newark male took out his identification and in the process, the officers observed a hand-rolled “blunt” generally used to ingest marijuana. The officers seized the cigar and confirmed that it did contain marijuana. The juvenile was placed under arrest and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

At 7 p.m. that same day, Officers Mike Andrews and Sean Kelly responded to the Wal-Mart on a report that an individual might be armed with a knife. Andrews encountered the individual in the pharmacy area of the store that fit the description and began to conduct an inquiry. During the course of the interview, the officer found the individual in possession of four cell phones and a used razor knife, similar to those found on a box cutter, that the individual used to cut the phones open. Once cell phones were uncovered, the officers were able to safely assume that he was in the store to steal items and placed him under arrest. A further search of his person uncovered a small metal container with 14 pills of alprazolam, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety, and five wax folds stamped Miami Heat. The stolen cell phones totaled $950. The man, 28-year-old Newark resident Ray Rivera, was charged with shoplifting, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia.

In what was a busy day for Kearny’s Finest, Officer Neil Nelson was on patrol in the area of Kearny and New Lawn Aves.  around 9 p.m. when he observed a vehicle with no rear license plate. Nelson called in back up, in the form of Sgt. Charles Smith, and initiated a motor vehicle stop at Oakwood Ave. and Beech St. While stopped, Nelson noticed the passenger of the vehicle pushing an item between the seat, but the passenger was not quick enough to remove the hypodermic needle from his lap. Upon seeing the needle, Nelson went to the area where the individual was stuffing items between the seat and uncovered an unzipped black pouch found to contain 13 wax folds with “Vercase” stamped on them containing heroine. The passenger was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters. The driver was not found to be involved and was issued a summons for a license place violation. The passenger, 34-year-old Jacinto Robles, of Kearny, was placed under arrest and charged with possession of heroine and possession of paraphernalia.

A half hour later in the same location, Patrol Officers Paul Bershefski and Dave Rakowski saw a 21-year-old individual known to them for previous police encounters yelling loudly and attempting to get other individuals into arguments. The officers sat in the vehicle until the individual got closer and observed him in possession of a 24 oz. can of Milwaukee’s Best, which he tried to conceal. The man apologized for being so loud, but told the officers “he has a right to freedom of speech, which is one of the Ten Commandments.” The 21-year-old was given a summons for drinking in public.

On Feb. 5, Officers Angelo Palagano and Mike Santucci responded to the Quick Chek on the corner of Kearny and Bergen Aves. where they arrived to find a large amount of people who were very eager and willing to tell them about an individual who trashed the inside of the store. After obtaining a description, the officers canvassed the area and found an individual fitting the description walking north on Kearny Ave. by the Dunkin Donuts. The officers attempted to stop the man and conduct a field inquiry, but the man would not stop and when Officer Palagano attempted to block off his path, the man said, “Don’t touch me” and pushed Palagano in the chest. At that point, Palagano and Santucci placed the subject on the ground and placed him under arrest. He was transported back to the Quick Chek, where the man was positively identified. Wayne Curtis, a 21-year-old Kearny resident, was taken to Headquarters and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and shoplifting.

The following night, Officers Sean Kelly and Jason Ward were on patrol on Tappan St. and observed a vehicle in front of them pull over and double park. The driver got out of his vehicle and got between his car and another car, attempting to urinate in public. The officers stopped him before he was able to relieve himself, and questioned him. He admitted that he was consuming alcoholic beverages. The man showed signs of drinking, and after administering tests, the officers were able to confirm their suspicions and placed the man under arrest. Alberto Vaca, a 51-year-old Kearny resident, was charged with driving while intoxicated.

In another DWI case following Super Bowl XLVI, Sgt. John Becker observed a vehicle traveling on Devon Terrace around 1:55 a.m. at a fast rate of speed with no brake lights. The vehicle drove north on Schuyler Ave. before Becker pulled it over near King St. While the vehicle was pulling over, the vehicle jumped up on the curb. Upon approach, the officers smelt a strong odor of alcohol and conducted a roadside sobriety test, which the driver was unsuccessful in completing. Emilio Monroig, a 22-year-old resident of Kearny, was taken to Headquarters and charged with driving while intoxicated, careless driving, and failing to maintain his vehicle lamps.

Police responded to the corner of Duke and Devon St. on a report of a man exposing himself to schoolchildren while urinating. Officer Sean Kelly, who was one of the responding officers, saw the man who had moved to a different spot, but had been repeating the same act. Kelly had had several experiences with the man prior to this incident and observed two alcohol containers, a “Natty Buddy” beer and a small bottle of vodka. The individual appeared visibly intoxicated and was detained for questioning and a warrant check. The man, 47-year-old Kearny resident Arthur Smith, was arrested after a warrant had been found on him out of Newark. He was also charged with urinating in public and drinking in public.

Finally, Officer Nelson was on patrol on Feb. 9 at 11:30 a.m. in the area of Highland Ave. and Rose St. when he saw two suspicious individuals. The area had been plagued by burglaries and Nelson conducted a street inquiry of the individuals. When Nelson approached them, the male individual became extremely nervous, and was very hesitant about questioning, at one point even attempting to put the female between him and Nelson. Nelson moved around the female as the male had been fidgeting with something in his pocket. Before the man could drop what was in his hand, Nelson took control of six wax folds containing heroine stamped “Income Tax. The individual, Edward Pancaro from West Virginia, was taken under arrest and charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. A warrant check of Pancaro revealed five warrants, two from Belleville, two from Howell Township, and one from Nutley.

– Anthony J. Machcinski

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