KPD: From warrant to weapons charges

Photos courtesy KPD Police say Kearny man was carrying Magnum Derringer and ammo (l). while second weapon was found in his home.
Photos courtesy KPD
Police say Kearny man was carrying Magnum Derringer and ammo (l). while second weapon was found in his home.


A routine outstanding-warrant arrest turned into something more for Kearny police when the suspect they apprehended was found to be in possession of two guns, at least one of them stolen, Chief John Dowie reported.

On Nov. 14, at 9:15 p.m., after confirming he had an active drug-related warrant out of West New York, the Vice Squad arrested Mathias Torres, 20, of Kearny on the 100 block of Highland Ave.

Torres reportedly had a loaded .22-caliber Magnum revolver and a box of .22 ammunition in his jacket pocket. During questioning at headquarters, he admitted to having another weapon at his home, where detectives recovered a 9 mm. automatic handgun, police said.

The Magnum was reportedly stolen from Allentown, Pa. The other gun has been entered into a state database to determine if it, too, was stolen.

Both have been sent for ballistics testing to see if they are linked to any crimes.

Along with the warrant, Torres was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes, and receiving stolen property. His bail was set at $5,000, plus $750 for the warrant.

Other reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Nov. 15

At 4:30 a.m., at the dead end of Rizzolo Road, off the Belleville Pike, Officers Chris Levchak and Jay Balogh found a car with its motor running, its left front wheel missing, and a man sleeping in the driver’s seat. When the officers managed to rouse him, and he saw the uniforms, he reportedly clambered over the center console into the passenger seat and said, “I wasn’t driving, Officer. Can I help you?” Police said there was a strong odor of alcohol in the vehicle.

Arrested after failing field sobriety tests, police said he, became profane and threatened to assault the cops and was taken to HQ for an Alcotest.

Awakened in his cell at 6 a.m. to be released to the custody of another individual, he again became disorderly, violently resisted being escorted back to the cellblock and had to be subdued by Levchak, Officer Leroy Bibbs and Sgt. Paul Bershefski, police said.

In addition to DWI, Edward Curry, 31, of Belleville now faces charges of resisting arrest and three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.

Vice detectives, conducting an ongoing heroin-distribution investigation, spotted their target at 3:30 p.m. on Locust Ave. apparently ingesting the drug through a cut straw. As they followed him onto Lafayette Place, he tried to run into a backyard, was confronted by and began to swing at an officer, police said. He was tackled, reportedly continued to resist, but finally was taken into custody. A search of the suspect, John Gross, 20, of Kearny, produced more than 30 glassine folds of suspected heroin bearing the street name “Crazy Samurai,” police said.

Gross was charged with possession of heroin, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer.

Nov. 16

At 2:40 a.m., Officer Ben Wuelfing, responding to the report of a suspicious vehicle on the 600 block of Schuyler Ave., approached the car in question and saw its occupant apparently attempting to conceal something. Police said there was the scent of marijuana in the vehicle and what appeared to be pot residue on the man’s lap. After reportedly turning over two marijuana cigars, Barry Jiminez-Murillo, 25, of Kearny was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Officer Brian Wisely was dispatched to Walmart at 7:45 p.m. on what can best be described as a case of extreme juvenile stupidity. Two Harrison youths, aged 16 and 17, had allegedly removed aerosol cans of bug spray and sunscreen from the store shelves, sprayed “decorative” pentagrams on the floor of the lawn and garden department, and lit them on fire.

Fortunately, damage was minimal. The pair were charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and shoplifting and were released to the custody of their parents.

At 8:30 p.m., police received reports of an injured woman, who was believed to have been thrown from a car — a white Nissan with New York plates – near Passaic Ave. and Belgrove Drive. Sgt. Michael Ryan, and Officers Frank West and Jay Ward searched the area, and Ryan found the Nissan on John St., occupied by Charles Wilson, 49, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

Police said Wilson admitted to throwing his “girlfriend” from the vehicle and was arrested for aggravated assault and also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (two glass pipes commonly used to smoke crack), and having an open container of alcohol (a half-full, 40 oz. can of Colt 45) in a motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Pete Gleason and Det. Ray Lopez had located the victim on John St. She was taken to University Hospital, Newark, by Kearny EMS.

Nov. 17

Officer Derek Hemphill was on patrol on Johnston Ave. at 3:40 a.m. when he witnessed a “swerving” westbound white Infiniti nearly hit two parked cars, police said. Hemphill stopped the vehicle at Johnston and Passaic Ave., asked the driver for his license and was instead handed a birth certificate. After field sobriety tests and an Alcotest, the motorist, Jose Soto of Belleville, who apparently had proof he was 20, was charged with careless driving, DWI and DWI under age 21.

Johnston Ave. was the scene of another incident at 8:30 p.m. when police received a report of a landlord-tenant dispute over drug use in a residence. Officers Wisely and Malinda Esposito responded, detected the odor of marijuana in the hallway, and when tenant Erick Merino, 37, answered a knock on his door, an even stronger odor wafted out, police reported. Merino, who also allegedly tried to walk away carrying a bag of the suspected drug, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Nov. 18

At 1 a.m., on Rt. 7 in the meadows, Officers Kevin Canaley and Michael Santucci found a 2007 Toyota Camry that had run off the road and into a tree. Following an Alcotest, the driver, Thamdarth Sampath, 52, of Jersey City was issued summonses for DWI and reckless driving.

At 4:30 p.m., Vice detectives detained a bicyclist, Janusz Chytla, 23, of Kearny on Davis Ave. near Tappan St. after confirming he had an outstanding warrant out of Newark, police said. During a search incident to arrest, Chytla was allegedly found to be in possession of 20 bags of suspected heroin, stamped “Checkmate.” He was charged on the warrant and with possession of the drug and paraphernalia.

Nov. 19

Officer Sean Kelly, on patrol at Bergen Ave. and Windsor St. at 4 p.m., took into custody an apparently “very intoxicated” young male, who reportedly had been shouting profanities at the cop (primarily involving the F-word), despite numerous pedestrians, including many children, being on the street.

Denis Caballero, 19, was charged with possession of alcohol underage and during a search was reportedly found to be in possession of a Garmin GPS. Since, police said, Caballero has neither a car nor a driver’s license, suspicions were raised.

Police said the GPS was traced to a Cranford resident who reported his car had been burglarized while in Kearny. Caballero was also charged with disorderly conduct and receiving stolen property.

–Karen Zautyk

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