Locked out & locked up


Shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, March 11, Police Officer John Fabula, on patrol on Passaic Ave., noticed an oddly-dressed man standing next to a car in a parking lot near Bergen Ave.

Despite the relatively balmy weather, the individual was bundled up in a hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap, and had a scarf wrapped around his head and face. Reportedly, only his eyes were visible.

Approached by the officer, the man, described as appearing nervous, told Fabula, “It’s my car. It’s rented. I’m locked out.” Before agreeing to help him gain access to the vehicle, Fabula requested identification and was handed a Florida driver’s license, police said.

He then did a warrant check. Lo and behold, the man had six outstanding warrants, including several from Newark, one for a DWI, Kearny Police Chief John Dowie reported. He also allegedly had two licenses, one from New Jersey as well as the Sunshine State. “This,” the chief noted, “is not legal.”

Taken into custody by Fabula and Sgt. Charles Smith on the warrants was Dalmy Malquichagua Rodriguez, 46, of Kissimmee, Fla. Rhetorical question posed by another law enforcement officer: “You know you’re wanted and you ask a cop for help?”

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

March 8

At 1:45 a.m., P.O. Ben Wuelfing was alerted to a motor vehicle accident at Kearny Ave. and Halstead St., where witnesses reported that a car had just hit a parked auto and was still in the area. Wuelfing spotted the vehicle they described a short distance away on Kearny Ave. and detained the driver and passenger who had alighted from it.

The car had heavy front end damage, and the driver, Clarissa DeJesus, 19, of Union City, had breath smelling heavily of alcohol, police said. After reportedly failing field sobriety tests, she was taken into custody by Wuelfing and P.O. Dean Gasser, and the car was impounded.

DeJesus was charged with: DWI; underage DWI; reckless driving; DWI in a school zone; leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to exhibit a driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. No charges were filed against the male passenger.

• At 7:45 p.m., also at Kearny and Halstead, Vice Squad detectives observed a man they described as “a known drug offender” holding what appeared to be a cigar and something in a paper towel. Approaching the individual, they reportedly detected a strong odor of marijuana and found that the towel contained suspected pot. Arrested on a drug and paraphernalia possession charges was Xavier Cantillo, 21, of Kearny.


P.O. Derek Hemphill was on patrol at 3 a.m. when he saw a car traveling at “a high rate of speed” north on Belgrove Drive near Patterson St. When the officer stopped the vehicle near New Lawn Ave., he found it had all its windows open, which, however, had done little to lessen the odor of marijuana emanating from its interior, police said. Reportedly in plain view inside were several beer cans and an open bottle of vodka. The officer also reportedly found a sugar container of raw marijuana. The car was impounded, as was the driver, 24-yearold Kearny resident George Eager, charged with careless driving, possession of pot and drug paraphernalia, having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.

• At 4:44 a.m., a conscientious citizen alerted Kearny police to a westbound vehicle travelling erratically on the Belleville Pike. P.O. Tom Sumowski set up surveillance at Elm St. and the Pike and he soon observed a car “swerving all over the road,” Chief Dowie said. The concerned motorist who had called in the alert was still behind the car in question and flashed his high beams to signal the officer that this was the vehicle he had reported.

With backup from P.O. Brian Wisely, Sumowski stopped the car at Rutherford Place, and the officers reportedly found an open beer can in the center console and several unopened cans on the passenger floorboard.

Following field sobriety tests, 31-year-old Michael Vargas of Kearny was arrested on charges of: DWI; refusal to submit to an Alcotest; driving while suspended; careless driving; having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, and failure to surrender a suspended license.

March 11

File this under If Only They Had Parked Legally: At midnight, P.O. Ben Wuelfing spotted an occupied vehicle blocking a fire hydrant on Kearny Ave. at Pavonia Ave. As he approached on foot, the cop saw that the passenger appeared to be holding a cigar on his lap. Wuelfing rapped on the window, the window was opened, and he reportedly detected a strong odor of marijuana.

The passenger’s cigar had mysteriously disappeared, but “he forgot about the pot residue on the front of his sweatshirt,” Dowie said.

The cigar was later discovered near the passenger seat, and the driver was also found to have a marijuana cigar, police said. In addition, Wuelfing and his backup, P.O. Chris Medina, reportedly found a pipe in the center console and an open bottle of rum.

The driver, Hector Anapan- Lavalle, 21, of Nutley, was issued a ticket for blocking a hydrant, his car was towed and he arrested on charges of: driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; DUI in a school zone; having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle; possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle, and theft of mislaid property (someone’s else’s ID).

The passenger, Michael Merced, 23, of Kearny, was charged with possession of a CDS and paraphernalia.

• P.O. Pat Becker, on patrol on Highland Ave. near Rose St. at 7:30 p.m., saw an individual apparently going from door-to-door. When questioned, the man said he was selling newspapers, but he had no canvassing permit, police said. Becker did a warrant inquiry and reportedly found that the man was wanted by Edison authorities.

Arrested on that warrant, and issued a town ordinance solicitation summons, was Roberto Moreno- Duque, 23, of Linden.

March 12

Two outstanding-warrant arrests were made. The first was at 3:45 p.m. on the 300 block of Chestnut St., where Det. Mike Gonzalez and Lt. Tim Wagner took into custody 23-year-old Jose Acevedo-Herrera of Kearny, who was wanted by Fort Lee.

At 6 p.m., on the 200 block of Forest St., vice detectives arrested John Teixeira, 41, of Kearny, on a warrant from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

March 13

An early-bird shoplifter was reported at Wal-Mart at 5:44 a.m., where security said a man with a knife was cutting open merchandise. Police Officers Renee Crawford and Steve Hroncich and Sgt. Paul Bershefski fanned out within the store and located the suspect, who allegedly was in possession of a silver knife. He is thought to have used it cut cables securing items in the camera department. Arrested was George Nomikos, 23, of Newark, who police said was also wanted on a warrant out of Belvidere, N.J. His bail was set at $4,000.

— Karen Zautyk

Learn more about the writer ...