Nutley police: Suspended driver tried to mow down another driver after crash

April 19

At 3:57 p.m., police responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident at Washington and Hancox Aves. Police said one of the people involved in the mishap told them that the driver tried to run them down while fleeing the scene. Police said they caught up with the driver, Michael Cochran, 40, of Belleville, at a “secondary accident” and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, criminal mischief and simple assault. He was also ticketed for alleged violations of drunken driving, driving after license suspended, leaving scene of an accident and failure to report accident. He was released after posting bail pending a court date.

At 9:37 a.m., the owner of a vehicle parked in the lot at DeMuro Park called police to report that someone had flattened all four of the vehicle’s tires.

At 11:23 p.m., police said they tried to pull over a vehicle with no headlights traveling on Franklin Ave. Police said the driver of the auto, reported stolen out of Irvington, allegedly refused to stop until being blocked by officers after trying to turn around on a dead end street. Police said the driver, a juvenile, was charged with possession of stolen property and was issued summonses for driving without license, no headlamps and no seat belt. A passenger, Shante Brown, 18, of Irvington, was charged with possession of stolen property. Both were released pending mandatory court appearances.

April 21

At 2:01 a.m., a motor vehicle stop on Washington Ave. resulted in the arrest of Klein Morales, 27, of Garfield, for an outstanding warrant from Passaic, police said. Morales was also ticketed for safety glass requirement and failure to change address. He was released after posting bail.

April 22
At 6:39 a.m., a Park Ave. resident called police to report someone had taken all four wheel rims, valued at $4,000, and tires, priced at $2,000, from their Cadillac Escalade during the night. The vehicle was left to rest on two cinder blocks placed below the chassis, police said. No entry was made into the vehicle, police said.

April 23

At 5:06 a.m., police were called to a multi-family building on Centre St. on a report of a male urinating in the hallway. After getting a description, police said they found someone matching that description, David O’Connor, no age or address given, and arrested him for an outstanding warrant from Nutley. Police said O’Connor was advised that if he returned to the building, he’d face arrest for defiant trespass.

At 5:36 p.m., a St. Mary’s Place resident reported the theft of her Schwinn mountain bike from their back yard at around 5 p.m. The resident told police the thief apparently also pried open a door to the boiler room, which is attached to the house and used for storage, but didn’t take anything from there. The resident said the intruder let the dog out of the yard and walked out the bike because it had two flat tires. The bike is black with brown markings, police said.

April 24

At 1:03 a.m., police arrested Samuel Cantarinhas, 26, of Kearny, after he allegedly drove through a red light on River Road. Police said Cantarinhas also was wanted for a warrant from Kearny. He was also ticketed for failing to obey a traffic control device and failing to wear seatbelt. He was turned over to Kearny PD on the warrant.

At 7:50 a.m., a report of a burglary brought police to a Franklin Ave. business. Police said the intruder is believed to have walked through a rear alley way of the building, walked down a stairwell to a basement door, broke the lock and Plexiglas window of the door to gain entry where he rummaged through several drawers before entering the business where items were found scattered around the room. Police said cash was reported missing. Detectives are investigating.

April 25

At 9:16 a.m., a Cedar St. resident reported a burglary to their auto while it was parked in their driveway. The resident told police someone entered the unlocked vehicle and removed a brown leather wallet with two credit cards and various personal items from the middle console. Police said the vehicle wasn’t damaged.

At 1:29 p.m., a custodian at Holy Family Church on Brookline Ave. reported some metal table stands had been taken from the property. Police said a red pickup truck was seen pulling away from the area at the time of the theft. Police said they searched the area with no results.

— Ron Leir


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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.