KPD takes a bite out of crime

Suggestion to The Observer from Kearny Police Chief John Dowie regarding the regular round-up of crime news: “This week, instead of a blotter, you might want to publish a menu.”

Prompting the comment were two cases of conspicuous consumption, the first occurring at 10 p.m. Nov. 1 near Kearny Ave. and the Belleville Turnpike. There, the Vice Unit had under surveillance a vehicle in which the passenger appeared to be using a controlled substance.

As the officers approached the car, he reportedly stuffed five — yes, five — bags of marijuana into his mouth and “began to chew rapidly.”

“The detectives curtailed his chewing,” Dowie said, and recovered all five. A sixth bag was found on the floor of the vehicle, along with a cigar, commonly used to ingest the drug, police said.

Taken into custody and charged with possession of pot and of drug paraphernalia was a 16-year-old Kearny youth. Following processing at headquarters, he was turned over to a grandparent.

On Nov. 5, at 1 p.m., police received a report of three individuals attempting to pass counterfeit cash at the Kearny ShopRite on Passaic Ave. The trio fled in a car with Georgia plates, which was located and stopped on Passaic by Det. Michael Gonzalez.

As Gonzalez and backup Officer Jack Grimm approached the vehicle, the front-seat passenger was said to be “frantically stuffing” currency — $100 bills — into his mouth. The officers removed him from the car and managed to “coax some of the remnants from his mouth,” Dowie said.

Asked what he was doing, the man reportedly answered, “I’m eating the money.”

Arrested for allegedly uttering counterfeit bills were: Peter Clarke, 19, of Newark; Adantae Blake, 19, of Newark, and Saturn Michel, 19, of Orange.

Clarke, the one reportedly with the appetite, also was charged with tampering with evidence.

Gonzalez is conducting the follow-up investigation along with the U.S. Secret Service, which is said to be “very” interested in the three suspects.

Other entries (entrees?) on the KPD blotter included the following:

Nov. 1

At 9:30 a.m., Officer Brian Wisely, responding to calls about a disorderly person on Chestnut St. near Dukes St., encountered Arthur Smith, 49, drinking a can of Natty Daddy beer, which he discarded on the ground, police said. Initially cautioned, Smith – who has no known address — was seen a few minutes later emerging from a store with another Natty Daddy and began arguing with Wisely. Smith was arrested for disorderly conduct and issued summonses for drinking in public, littering and refusal to obey a police officer.

Officer Adriano Marques, driving on Harrison Ave. at 10:30 a.m., was flagged down by a man who said he had just found a gun in a damaged storage trailer he was cleaning out. Marques recovered the weapon, a 9 mm. automatic. The investigation is continuing.

Pursuant to an investigation begun in October, Det. Gonzalez arrested 22-year-old Claudio Rodrigues of Kearny on one count of identity theft. Rodrigues, an employee of a local restaurant, allegedly had stolen the identity of a coworker and used the information to apply for a car loan at a Jersey City dealership.

Nov. 2

At 2:30 p.m., Officer John Fabula, responding to a report of burglaries into several vehicles, found that at least four — two on Beech St. and one each on Magnolia Ave. and Stewart Ave. — had been entered. Reviewing security videos, Fabula identified as a suspect Daniel Schrier, 40, of Kearny, and within the hour located and arrested him. Police said Schrier agreed to cooperate and consented to a search of his home, where two stolen GPS units and a cell phone were recovered. He was charged with burglary, attempted theft and theft.

Nov. 3

Officer Derek Hemphill, at 1 a.m. on the 500 block of Devon St., spotted three individuals huddled around a tree. As he approached, a large ziplock bag, empty but said to be reeking of marijuana, fell on the ground. When Hemphill asked for IDs, one of the trio had to retrieve his from a nearby car, in which the officer reportedly saw another plastic bag holding several smaller ones containing suspected pot. Gabriel Perez, 21, of North Arlington was charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia. His companions were released at the scene after a warrant check proved negative.

At 8 p.m., Officer Jose Resua responded to a report of a man, said to be a limo driver, harassing people on the 300 block of Elm St. Resua located a man fitting the witnesses’ description entering a vehicle and asked for his driver’s license. Chris Curi, 28, of Kearny, was arrested after he was found to have a suspended license and outstanding warrants from Harrison and Newark, police said.

Nov. 6

Patrick Burns, 56, of Kearny, was arrested at 11 a.m. at Kearny and Johnston Aves. by Sgt. Paul Bershefski on an outstanding Kearny warrant for disorderly conduct.

Officer Michael Santucci responded to a report of three individuals apparently attempting to enter parked cars on Dukes St. at 10:15 p.m. Santucci found that no cars had been entered, but about 10 had been smeared with Vaseline in an apparent mischief attack. Witnesses provided a description of three juveniles, but they were not located.

Nov. 7

At 5:15 p.m., Officers Frank West and Barry Green responded to reports from several Passaic Ave. merchants of a suspected shoplifter. The officers got a description and located the suspect, who reportedly was someone known to them from past encounters.

In the area where he was detained, police said, was a small bag containing sneakers and socks apparently taken from Modell’s.

Modell’s was contacted but declined to press charges, police said.

Gregory Dickey, 44, of Newark, was, however, taken into custody anyway — on outstanding warrants from Paramus, Totowa and Newark, police reported.

Vice detectives were on the 100 block of Kearny Ave. at 5:20 p.m. when they stopped a motorist for careless driving and detected the odor of marijuana, police said. The driver, Anthony Chaparro, 25, of Jersey City, reportedly turned over two bags of suspected pot and was charged with possession and the MV offense.

– Karen Zautyk

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