Post-Valentine’s Day frenzy over 12 hours

Kearny Police Chief John Dowie surmised it might have to do with “a post- Valentine’s Day sugar rush,” but whatever the cause, from noon until midnight Feb. 15, the KPD was called to respond to an inordinate number of incidents: 55 in that 12-hour period.

“It just didn’t stop,” the chief said. “It was like a starter’s pistol went off at noon.”

We cannot list all 55, but here is a sampling.

At 3:15 p.m., police were called to Tappan St. and Davis Ave. on the report of a possible burglar person lurking near the window of a house. Sgt. Anthony Limite and Officers Sean Kelly, Jack Corbett and Giovanni Rodriguez set up a containment perimeter while additional units searched the area. Corbett spotted a man exiting from the rear of the house and also saw a broken window. Arrested on charges of burglary and an outstanding drug-related warrant from Newark was 28-year-old Rocco Cartem, who had no known address.

At 6 p.m., Sgt. Charles Smith and Officer Frank West set up surveillance at Belgrove Drive and New Lawn Ave. after getting a tip that a man wanted by North Arlington police might be in the area. They soon took into custody James Hamilton, 22, of Kearny, who was sought in connection with an incident involving threats and a handgun. He was turned over to North Arlington.

Vice squad officers, at Highland Ave. and Rose St. at 8:30p.m., spotted a man they knew to have warrants from Kearny, Newark and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

A search of the suspect reportedly revealed five glassine folds of heroin. Daniel Chipelo, 32, of Kearny, was charged with possession of heroin and paraphernalia.

At 9:30 p.m., P.O. Frank West was dispatched to Seabra’s on Schuyler Ave. on the report of a shoplifter. The 18-year-old suspect, who reportedly had stolen liquor and was already wanted on a Kearny warrant, appeared already intoxicated and was very combative, police said. At headquarters, he reportedly kicked West and punched P.O. Chris Medina. Thus, in addition to charges of shoplifting and underage possession of alcohol, Denis Caballero of Kearny was charged with aggravted assault on two police officers.

To end the eventful night, at midnight Applebee’s called to report a drunk and disorderly patron who had apparently brought his own bottle to the restaurant. P.O. Jay Balogh asked the man to cease and desist, which “produced negative results,” said Dowie. Arrested and escorted out by P.O. Mike Santucci, he had to be forcibly placed in the patrol car, police said. Keith Cunningham, 21, of Newark was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and he reportedly had an outstanding criminal-mischief warrant from the Essex County Sheriff ’s Office.

Other recent reports from the Kearny Police blotter include:

Feb. 16

P.O. Ben Wuelfing, on patrol near Kearny Ave. and Hoyt St. at 11 p.m., was advised by people in the area that two intoxicated and combative individuals had been trying to pick fights. Finding two individuals fitting the description in a car, and reportedly detecting an odor of alcohol on the driver, the officer asked for credentials and was handed a Valley National Bank check card.

The driver eventually found his license and was asked to step from the vehicle. At that point, the proprietor of a local restaurant approached and told Wuelfing that the two had just run out on a $168 tab. Dowie said the passenger overheard this and put himself in the “cuff position” and “the officer obliged.”

At HQ , however, that passenger, Miguel Paz, 42, of Kearny, reportedly became disruptive and attempted to hurt himself in his cell and required medical attention.

Paz and the driver, Vito Alfieri, 41, of Kearny, were both charged with theft of services. Additionally Alfieri was charged with DWI and refusal to take an Alcotest.

Feb. 17

Officers Melinda Esposito and Rene Crawford responded to a report of a possible drunk driver at 7 a.m. on Wilson Ave. near Kearny Ave. They found an unoccupied black Mitsubishi, “with heavy front-end damage,” sitting on the sidewalk. Soon after, the driver returned to the area and pleaded with the cops to allow him to move the car, Dowie said. This, they did not permit.

The driver, Kevin Padilla, 21, of Kearny, was arrested on charges of DWI, DWI with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, careless driving, and parking on a sidewalk.

Feb. 18

At 5 p.m. at the ShopRite on Passaic Ave., P.O. John Fabula saw a motorist whom he knew to have an outstanding parole-violation warrant from New York State.

After confirming this, he stopped the car on Belgrove Drive and arrested 52-yearold James Williams of Kearny as a fugitive from justice. Williams was sent to the Hudson County Jail to await pickup by New York authorities.

Feb. 20

At 4 p.m., P.O. John Travelino was dispatched to the Street Smart store on Passaic Ave. on the report of a theft.

He broadcast a description of the suspect, who had just fled, and Sgts. Charles Smith and Peter Gleason saw a man fitting that description running along Passaic. The suspect was reportedly found to be in possession of two bottles of perfume from Street Smart and a green handbag from Payless. He was also found to be wanted on a Newark warrant, police said. Alesis Santana, 30, of Newark, was arrested for theft and on the warrant and was taken to the county jail.

— Karen Zautyk

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