Drug busts, brawls dominate Kearny criminal activities in past week

Photo courtesy Kearny P.D.
Robert Allen


Photo courtesy Kearny P.D.
Steven Rutzler


Two accused local drug distributors were locked up during the past week by Kearny P.D.

On Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. the vice squad executed a search warrant for a Forest Street residence where suspected narcotics activity had been under surveillance during the past month, police said.

Inside the residence of Ryan Olsen, 28, police said they found a large plastic bag of suspected cocaine labeled “Molly,” a number of smaller bags suspected of being used to package the drug, a digital scale, more than $600 in cash and a locked safe of which Olsen disclaimed knowledge.

After opening the safe at headquarters, police said they found inside $2,500 in cash, along with 30 steroid pills and 30 methandienone pills. Police arrested Olsen on charges of possession and distribution of cocaine and possession and distribution of steroids within 1,000 feet of a school and within 500 feet of a park and possession of a paging device while engaged in illegal drug activity.

In the other drug-related incident, on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., having developed surveillance of suspected narcotics transaction in and around a Schuyler Avenue location occupied by Freddy Thomas, 27, police obtained a warrant to search the premises.

Inside, police said they found a container of suspected marijuana, 500 plastic bags believed to be used for packaging the marijuana and a digital scale.

Thomas was booked on charges of possession and distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and within 500 feet of a park.

Public disturbances brought Kearny police to various places, beginning the night of Sept. 14, after the high school football game between Kearny and Bayonne, when police got a report of a disturbance on Devon Street. When Officer John Fabula arrived at 9 p.m. and exited his patrol car, police said he was confronted by a group of rowdy juveniles, one of whom had a baseball bat. Police said Fabula tried to get the group to disperse, only to hear one of the juveniles yell, “If a cop touches you, I’m here for you!” Police said Fabula ordered that juvenile to leave several times and, after he refused, the officer placed him under arrest as the rest of the crowd began swarming him. After calling for backup, Fabula managed to get the youth, a 16-year-old Kearny High School student, into the patrol car. The teen was charged with aggravated assault, obstructing and resisting arrest and turned over to his parents’ custody pending a juvenile court hearing.

On Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. Police Chief John Dowie arrested Charles Willie, 32, of Kearny, on Elm St. after witnesses told police that Willie had entered an apartment, assaulted the resident and ran away. When he was confronted by Dowie, police said Willie was shirtless and bleeding, possibly from his previous encounter with the resident. Police said Willie was reported to be involved in two previous disturbances earlier in the day. He was charged with defiant trespass.

On Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m., police arrested Jose Romero, 23, of Newark, on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in the aftermath of a dispute in a second floor apartment of a Devon Street building. Neighbors told police that Romero was out of control after having consumed a lot of alcohol. Police said Romero held onto a railing while struggling with Officers Tom Sumowski and Derek Hemphill before he was wrestled to the floor and carried outside where he then pushed away EMTs before, finally, being strapped down in an ambulance which took him to St. Michael’s Hospital, Newark, for treatment.

On Sept. 16 at 1 a.m. police responded to a street fight at Bergen and Kearny Aves. where one of the combatants, Jason McLaren, 32, of Succasunna, was seen staggering into an SUV and driving away. Police said pursuing officers stopped him at Afton Street where he was arrested on a DWI charge.

In an unrelated incident, the attendant at the Exxon station mini-mart at King Street and Oakwood Avenue was held up and robbed by a man with a knife Sept. 14 at 12:30 a.m. Police said a man wearing sunglasses walked in and asked to purchase a lighter. When the attendant opened the register, police said the man snapped open a folding knife and told him, “Give me all the money and don’t do anything funny.” Police said the man took the lighter and cash and fled west on Oakwood. Searching the area, police said they found some money, a pair of sunglasses and articles of clothing on Beech Street which were apparently discarded by the suspect as he fled. In viewing the store’s surveillance videotape, police said Det. Mike Andrews believed he recognized the individual with the knife from previous encounters. A warrant was then drawn for the man, Steven Rutzler, 38, of Kearny, who was traced to his last known address on Washington Avenue where, late Friday evening, police arrested him on charges of armed robbery and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. Police said they recovered currency and the knife they believe was used in the robbery in the Washington Avenue residence. Rutzler was held at the Hudson County Jail, Kearny, on $100,000 bail, with no 10% cash option, pending a court appearance.

During the robbery investigation, police were alerted to a suspected burglary of a vehicle and attached garages in progress on Brighton Avenue between Wilson and Bergen Avenues. Arriving at the scene, police said they discovered a man in a driveway who, when they pointed flashlights at him, saw him throw a glove to the ground. A search of the man’s pockets disclosed a screwdriver, two wrenches and a glass pipe typically used to smoke drugs, police said. Additionally, police said they found that the passenger door lock to a vehicle in a nearby garage had been pried out. Inside a car parked nearby – which police learned the man had driven to the location and which had been reported stolen from Maple Street — officers found tools previously stolen from a Brighton Avenue garage, police said.

The man in the driveway – identified as Robert P. Allen, 45, of North Arlington – was arrested on charges of attempted burglary, possession of burglar tools, theft of tools, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia. Allen was also wanted on a warrant from New Brunswick.

– Ron Leir

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