KPD: Suspect nabbed in pipe attack


On Jan. 13, Kearny police responded to a report of an assault in progress on the 100 block of Forest St. There, they encountered a 24-year-old Piscataway man, who disavowed any knowledge of an assault. At the time, KPD Chief John Dowie said, the officers were unable to locate a victim in the vicinity.

A half-hour later, however, they found him, also on Forest St. The 24-year-old Kearny man, who apparently had fled the scene, had severe head injuries and told the officers he had been beaten with a pipe. An ambulance was summoned, and he was taken to University Hospital in Newark for treatment.

On Jan. 28, Det. Sgt. John View and Det. John Telle travelled to Piscataway and arrested Troy Sweatnam on a Kearny warrant charging him with severe aggravated assault.

The next day, via video link from his cell in the Hudson County Jail, Sweatnam was arraigned in the Central Judicial Processing Court. His bail was set at $50,000.

Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

Jan. 25

At 5 a.m., a cab driver notified police that a passenger, after refusing to pay his fare, had exited the taxi on Wilson Ave. and fled on foot toward Schuyler Ave. Officer Ben Wuelfing located the reputed deadbeat, Jonathan Montoya, 28, of Kearny, who reportedly refused the officer’s orders to halt, struggled with him and had to be forced to the ground.

Police said Montoya continued to resist, even after being cuffed, and threw himself on the hood of a parked car, damaging the vehicle. Wuelfing and Officer Michael Santucci managed to wrestle the suspect into a radio car for the farefree ride to headquarters. He was charged with theft of services, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief.

Jan. 26

At 9:30 p.m., Officer Chris Levchak was on Harrison Ave. when he noticed a Volvo truck, occupied by two men, parked in a private truckyard, which was closed for business at the time. Questioned by the patrolman and Dets. Ray Lopez and Scott Traynor, the men gave conflicting accounts as to what they were doing on the property and, in plain view in the Volvo, the officers saw hoses typically used to siphon fuel, police said.

The truckyard owner, called to the scene, had proof that one of his tractor trailers had been recently refueled, and now one of its tanks was completely dry, and the other nearly empty, police said.

Juan Guzman, 26, of Lodi, and Michael Martinez, 27, of Wallington, were both charged with theft, conspiracy to commit theft, criminal trespass and possession of burglar tools.

Jan. 28

At 11 a.m., during a search for the Chase Bank robber (story on p. 1), Sgt. John Taylor and Officer Tom Bannon observed a vehicle near Woodland and Highland Aves. occupied by Oscar Rivera, 27, of Kearny, who they confirmed was the subject of a warrant out of Little Falls, police said. Rivera was arrested on the warrant and also charged with failure to surrender a suspended license.

Officer Brian Wisely, travelling near Belgrove Drive and Woodland Ave. at 5 p.m., came upon what appeared to be the scene of an accident: debris in the street and a parked SUV with a man standing behind it. The man, Ivan Rodriguez, 30, of Harrison, stated that his girlfriend had been driving and had fled the scene, police said. According to a witness, however, no one had fled and it was Rodriguez who had exited the SUV after it hit a Nissan.

Police said Rodriguez had slurred speech and difficulty standing and that three vials of suspected cocaine were in his vehicle.

He was charged with driving under the influence of a CDS, possession of a CDS and paraphernalia, operating a motor vehicle in possession of a CDS, hindering apprehension, DWI, driving with a suspended license, and careless driving.

Police said he was also found to be wanted on a $100,000 Harrison warrant.

At 9:30 p.m., the Vice Squad observed what appeared to be a drug transaction in a known drug location. The officers stopped the three suspects’ car at Passaic and Laurel Aves. and reportedly saw inside a glassine fold of suspected heroin and a partially smoked cigar of suspected marijuana. Kearny residents Christian Garcia, 24, George Eager, 25, and John Gross, 21, were all charged with possession of heroin and pot and paraphernalia. The driver, Eager, was also charged with possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle.

–Karen Zautyk

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