Man sought in Kearny deli robbery try

Kearny Police are looking for a man suspected in the attempted robbery of Tony’s Deli on Kearny Ave. The man entered through the back of the store from Maple St. wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask. During a confrontation with the man, the proprietor of the store was able to partially pull off the mask; however, the actor was able to break free and exited the store through the rear of the building.

Officer Phil Finch responded to a panic alarm and took the initial report. Det. Ray Lopez was assigned to the follow up investigation and through his research, was able to draw up a warrant for 42-year-old Kearny resident Angel Matos and police are actively seeking him for robbery.

On Friday, April 6 at 3:30 a.m., Officers Chris Levchak and Dean Gasser responded to a burglary in progress in a 400 block of Devon St. where an individual broke into the home. At some point, the male resident was awakened and confronted the burglar, who ran away. A description was given to police and broadcasted. Officers Tom Sumowski and Tom Floyd, en route to the scene, spotted an individual run from the area to Halstead before heading onto Kearny Ave. The man, Alexander Rodriguez, 36, was chased into a hallway on Kearny Ave. and was placed under arrest. The man, 36-year-old Alexander Rodriguez was charged with burglary and theft.

The next morning, Officer Cesar Negron, who was made aware of the previous nights burglary, was patrolling the same area when he came upon a vehicle parked in the area that didn’t belong to anyone in the area. While investigating the vehicle, Negron was able to see inside the vehicle, finding a lot of Army equipment within the vehicle. Negron made contact with several residents in the area and was able to find the neighbor of the burglary the previous night who identified the gear as his. A check of the temporary registration found that Rodriguez had obtained the car illegally. The information was then relayed to Det. John Plaugic who then charged Rodriguez with an additional burglary charge and a charge of receiving stolen property.

Later on April 6, Officer Jay Ward was patrolling Gunnel Oval around 8 p.m. when he came upon an intoxicated male teen. Ward confronted the teen and asked questions that he was unable to answer. The teen had a strong odor of alcohol and was taken to headquarters, where he admitted drinking vodka. The mother was contacted and she responded to HQ to take custody of the 16-year-old.

On Saturday, April 7, Officer Dean Gasser observed a vehicle went through a traffic light at Bergen and Kearny Aves. at around 1:30 a.m. Gasser then caught up to the vehicle and stopped him by Halstead St. During the course of giving the man a red light summons, he found that the man, 25-yearold Kevin Ortega from Newark, was driving with a suspended license and had four warrants from Newark and another from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. Ortega was arrested and taken to Hudson County Jail and charged with disregarding a traffic signal and driving while on the suspended list. He was booked on the four warrants and was taken to Hudson County Jail waiting for pickup from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Later that same night, Officers Mike Andrews and Tom Sumowski were on patrol on Passaic Ave. near Laurel Ave when they were almost struck head on by a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed. The officers took evasive action and went after the vehicle, which they were able to stop in the area of North Midland Ave. When they approached the vehicle, the man was unable to open his window, and opened the door, eventually needing help from Sumowski to be unbuckled.

The man was unable to stand without assistance and was placed under arrest. He was taken to headquarters where he admitted he had been drinking in North Arlington. The man, 31-year-old Cesar Flores, was administered a series of breath tests and issued summons for reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.

On Sunday, April 8, Officers Tom Pontrella and Tom Sumowski were alerted to a strong-arm robbery in the Burger King parking lot. Upon arrival, they located two were Kearny juveniles, who stated that they had been surrounded by a group of kids who beat and robhed them, then headed south on Passaic Ave. Officers John Trevelino and Mike Santucci found four members of the group on Passiac Ave and three more were found by Officers Dean Gasser and Chris Medina. In all, seven individuals ranging from ages 15 to 17 were taken to the Hudson County Youth House and charged with criminal intent, conspiracy, and robbery.

-Anthony J. Machcinski

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