If there were a competition for how many charges you could rack up after a single MV stop, this week’s prize would go to a 19-yearold Kearny resident, who now has 10 hanging over his head. (Thirteen, if you count the outstanding warrants.)
On Dec. 14, at 4:40 a.m., Officer Ben Wuelfing was on patrol when he spotted a Chevy van speeding, and swerving, near Davis and Quincy Aves., police said. Wuelfing stopped it at Hickory and King Sts., reportedly detected the odor of both alcohol and burnt marijuana, and asked the driver to step from the vehicle for field sobriety tests. The driver, said Police Chief John Dowie, “literally fell from the vehicle.”
In a search pursuant to his arrest, Denis Caballero allegedly was found to have a glass pipe in his pocket, and, in plain view in the vehicle, reportedly, was a marijuana grinder.
A more extensive search at KPD headquarters, police said, revealed a sock full of coins in Caballero’s jacket and more change in his pants pocket — each stash containing “a lot” of foreign coins, including Euros. He was also allegedly in possession of a key ring bearing an ID card apparently belonging to someone else, plus two Social Security cards, each bearing a female name.
Dowie said Caballero was Mirandized and, under questioning, admitted he had stolen the van in the area of the Belleville Pike and, while driving it through Kearny, had stopped and burglarized several vehicles.
Caballero was charged criminally with theft, receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was issued MV summonses for DWI, underage DWI, DWI in a school zone, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
A follow-up investigation by Det. John Plaugic reportedly linked Caballero to thefts from two parked cars on the 700 block of Chestnut St. That added two more receivingstolen- property counts to his resume.
Which, police said, already included three active Kearny arrest warrants.
Other recent (and shorter) reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
At 9:50 a.m., Officer Cesar Negron responded to a report of two men fighting on Grand Place. It turned out to be a dispute between snow shovelers. Negron separated the combatants, one of whom, James Noack, 45, of Kearny, turned out to have an outstanding warrant from Newark, police said. He was arrested and the Newark PD was notified.
At 11 p.m., Officers Wuelfing and Joe Martin and Sgt. Charles Smith went to a Beech St. address where a woman was reportedly “breaking up” an apartment and the male tenant was being assaulted. Police said the man had suffered injuries and the woman, a Fairview resident, had done “an extensive amount of damage” to his home.
Melissa Vazquez, 19, was charged with burglary (she allegedly had broken in), criminal mischief, aggravated assault and weapons possession (a broomstick with which she had allegedly hit the man) and a hammer (used to attack the walls).
An East Newark youth, who had been dropped off at Bergen Ave. and Elm St. for an appointment, was reportedly confronted by a Kearny male — a stranger to him — who told him “Get off my block,” and then punched him in the face. Officer Frank West responded to the 3 p.m. incident, details of which were corroborated by witnesses, who also said the assailant had brandished a knife. West broadcast a description, and the suspect, Daniel Tammaro, 18, was arrested at Bergen and Chestnut St. by Sgt. Mike Ryan and Officer Pat Becker on weapons charges and for alleged aggravated assault. Police said the victim, 17, suffered facial injuries.
At 8:45 a.m., Officer Tom Sumowski responded to ShopRite where an employee reportedly had attempted to steal $200 worth of shrimp by concealing it in a backpack. William Diaz, 41, of Newark, was charged with shoplifting — and possession of three hypodermic needles.
Officer Richard Carbone, on foot patrol at Kearny Ave. and Afton St. at 8 p.m., approached a double-parked taxi and asked to see the credentials of the driver, who, in addition to blocking traffic, had been excessively honking the horn. Carlos Alarcon, 30, of Harrison, was issued a summons for that — and was also charged with driving while his license was suspended and failure to have a taxi license.
At 3:15 a.m., Officer Mike Santucci responded to the report of an “unwanted, intoxicated male” in an apartment on the 400 block of Kearny Ave. There, he found a reportedly loud and profane Angel Perez, 28, of Kearny, who, when Santucci attempted to calm him, proceeded to kick all the wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree and break the decorations, police said. The alleged Grinch was charged with criminal mischief.
– Karen Zautyk