Kearny Police Blotter

On Friday, March 16, Det. Mike Gonzalez was in Newark around 2:45 p.m. in an unrelated investigation and sees a carload of people known to him as longtime drug offenders in Kearny. During this time, he saw what appeared to be a drug transaction and saw the car travel back to Kearny. Once in Kearny, he attempted to stop the vehicle on Highland Ave. near Woodland Ave. Before the vehicle came to a stop, Gonzalez observed a lot of commotion coming from the vehicle with packages being thrown out the window of the vehicle. The car stopped on Rose St. between Highland and Alexander Ave. Gonzalez advised headquarters of what was going on and receives backup in the form of Sgt. Charles Smith and Officers Mike Andrews and Neil Nelson. The group begins to canvas the area on food and came up with three wax folds of suspected heroine labeled, “Dreke” and three hypodermic needles. The occupants of the vehicle were placed under arrest. A further search of the individuals found Xanex pills in the front pocket of one of the males and eight hypodermic needles in the handbag of one of the females. Two males and two females were arrested and taken to Headquarters.

While in the cell, officers observed one of the individuals discard something into the toilet of the cell. Gonzalez and Officer Paul Bershefski went into the cellblock and found a black plastic bag containing two more wax folds of heroine.

John Bradley, a 42-year-old Kearny resident, was charged with Possession of CDS, Possession of paraphernalia, and attempted destruction of evidence. His younger brother Stewart, a 33-year-old Kearny resident, and one of the females Christine Ketz, 41, from North Arlington, were charged with possession of CDS, possession of paraphernalia and trying to discard evidence. Mary Ackerson, a 27-year-old Kearny resident was charged with possession of paraphernalia and trying to discard evidence. Given his history, John Bradley was held for $10,000 bail.

Later that day around 6:30 p.m., Officer Neil Nelson was on patrol and observed a vehicle parked on Halstead St. in the area of Kearny Ave. and observed the occupant of the vehicle engage in what appeared to be a hand to hand transaction. Nelson saw the occupant reach into a bottle and pull out what he believes are packaged narcotics and then attempted to leave the area in the car. Nelson followed the vehicle from Halsted St. to Chestnut St. and stopped at Chestnut St. and Garfield Ave. Nelson detects a very powerful odor of marijuana and saw the plastic bottle that Nelson had seen during the transaction. Nelson took the operator from the vehicle and conducted a plain view search, which turned up 14 plastic bags of marijuana packaged for sale. Brian Restrepo, a 25-year-old Clifton resident was charged for possession of marijuana over 50 grams, manufacturing or distributing CDS, distributing near a school zone, possession of paraphernalia, and operating a motor vehicle in possession of a controlled substance.

Later that night, Officers Steve Hroncich and Paul Bershefski were on patrol when they observed a vehicle on the Bergen Ave. extension traveling at a high rate of speed westbound. The officers caught up to the vehicle and pulled it over at Schuyler and Bergen Aves. The driver exited the car in a very irate matter, ranging at the officers saying that he was doing nothing wrong. The man had a powerful smell of alcohol and appeared to be off balance. He was asked to perform balance tests, which he was unable to complete, at which point the man, 35-year-old Sergey Gaston, told the officers, “Lock me up, I’m drunk.” Gaston was then placed under arrest. A search of the vehicle found two small red cap vials of suspected cocaine and a bottle of Bacardi Limon. Gaston was charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of CDS, possession of paraphernalia, careless driving, driving while suspended, driving while in possession of CDS, and failing to surrender a suspended Driver’s License.

Early on the morning of March 17, Officers Derek Hemphill and Ben Wuelfing responded to Beech St. between Kearny and Oakwood Aves. on calls of obnoxious juveniles causing a disturbance. They responded to the scene and checked the area. In the hallway of a basement, they came upon several juveniles in the doorway of the building and can smell both marijuana and alcohol. The officers contain everyone in the area and inquire as to what is going on in the area. The officers then take three males into custody, two 17-year-old males and a 16-year-old male, all from Kearny. The juveniles were charged with underage possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia and turned over to their parents.

On March 19 around 9 a.m., Kearny Police were advised by Garfield School of a written bomb threat within the school. Officers Cesar Negron confirmed that in fact there was a threatening note found at the scene and advised to respond help in a sweep of the area for suspicious packages. Sgt. Robert Maguire, Sgt. Rick Poplaski, and Cpt. Edward Rygiel responded to the school, which was evacuated as a precaution. A bomb dog was requested and Jersey City Officer Patterson responded with his K9 Rommel. Rommel swept the area with officers. Once it was confirmed with administration, the building was safe to return. The note left was recovered as evidence and the feeling was that it may have been written by a student. The Juvenile division under Maguire is following up the investigation.

On March 20 around 2:30 a.m., Officers Hemphill and Wuelfing were patrolling the north section of Kearny and came around someone crawled up in a ball laying on the ground. They approached the individual and wake him up, realizing he is in possession of a GPS that he cannot account for. The 21-year-old Belleville male was arrested and turned over to North Arlington after the GPS came back to a North Arlington resident.

In the afternoon of the same day, Officer Mike Andrews was on patrol in the area of Kearny and Pavonia Aves. when he saw a group leave the Kearny Federal Bank Lot and proceed through the fence down the railroad embankment. Knowing that narcotics violators often go there, Andrews advised Officer Nelson who joined him. When they came across the group, they detected an odor of marijuana and make a field inquiry as to what they are doing and what they have in their possession. One individual turns over a marijuana cigar and is placed under arrest. The other individuals submitted to  search, but were found not to possess anything. The 16-year-old male was taken to headquarters and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia and turned over to a parent.

On March 22nd before midnight, Officers Tim Castle and John Trevelino came upon an intoxicated individual at Kearny and Quincy Aves. who is quite agitated and animated. The officers attempt to calm him down and the man replies that the Kearny Police don’t do anything and that, “they allow people to act up on Kearny Ave.”

The officers note his characterization of them and ask him to cease and desist his behavior. He begins to throw up his hands and walk away. The officers offered him a ride home, to which the male responded with an explitive-laden response. Feeling that the man would not cease and desist, he was placed under arrest and taken to headquarters. The man, 23-year-old Pawel Zajac, continued to carry on while at headquarters, screaming at any officer that past by.

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