KPD: ‘Maced’ by mugger

Kearny police are hunting an assailant who used an aerosol irritant in an attempt to disable his victim and take the man’s cell phone.

Police said the incident occurred at 6:30 a.m. on July 13 on the 300 block of Kearny Ave. The victim, a 49-year-old Kearny man, told responding Officer T.J. Hernandez that he had been standing outside a laundromat when he was approached from behind and sprayed in the face with a “Mace-like” substance.

The attacker demanded the cell phone, but the victim grappled with the robber, who fled on foot, empty-handed, down Halstead St.

The victim, who also suffered a hand injury, was treated at the scene, where, police said, they recovered an aerosol spray container and a knife.

Det. Ray Lopez is investigating – interviewing witnesses and checking security videos from the area.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

July 11 

Officer Sean Kelly was at Walmart at 3 p.m., speaking with store security about loss prevention, when he noticed a man moving rapidly through the aisles and pushing people aside. Police said he was clutching a package of razors, but had four more packs in his pocket. When questioned by the officer, the man reportedly identified himself first as Mark Bails and then as Curtis Bails. A fingerprint check revealed he was actually Derrick Bails, 52, of Jersey City, who was wanted by that city and the Hudson County Sheriff ’s Office, police said. He was arrested on those warrants and also charged with shoplifting and hindering apprehension. Police Chief John Dowie said Bails has a record of 17 prior arrests and nine felony convictions.

July 13 

Shortly after midnight, a head-on collision between a pick-up truck and a taxi was reported on Passaic Ave. near S. Midland Ave. After conducting field sobriety tests, Officer Dean Gasser arrested the truck operator, Luis Lopez, 46, of Westminster, Md., for DWI and careless driving. Lopez was subsequently also charged with refusing to take an Alcotest. Police said Lopez was uninjured, but the cab driver and his passenger were taken to University Hospital in Newark.

Officer Jay Ward, responding to the report of a dispute at 1:30 a.m. at a Belgrove Drive residence, encountered Anthony Joana, 40, of Kearny, who tried to block the officer and then pushed past him, police said.

After interviewing the female complainant, who said Joana had struck her, Ward alerted other units, and the suspect was apprehended about a block away by Officers Pat Becker and Glenn Reed. Police said he had to be forcibly cuffed.

Joana was charged with simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia (a marijuana grinder), resisting arrest and “throwing bodily fluids at a law enforcement officer” (for reportedly spitting on Becker).

Officers Luis Moran and Daniel Esteves, on patrol in South Kearny at 3:30 p.m., stopped a truck for an equipment violation and found that the driver, Jason Patrick, 38, of Bayonne, had an outstanding warrant from Jersey City. Patrick was arrested on that and received summonses for the MV violation and for failure to provide proof of insurance.

July 14 

At 11:30 a.m., units responded to an assault at Walmart, where a 23-yearold Jersey City woman said she had been kicked and punched by a man she knew. Officer Jose Canela located the suspect a short time later in the area of the parking lot. Tyrone Wilson, 24, of Jersey City, was charged with simple assault and was also found to have two Jersey City warrants, police reported.

 July 15 

The KPD was back at Walmart shortly after midnight on the report of an unruly shoplifter. Officers Chris Medina and Derek Hemphill arrested Charlie Jones, 25, of Newark, who allegedly had tried to leave the store with three TVs, with a total value of $4,300. He was charged with shoplifting and on a warrant from Newark.

Officer Chris Levchak, called to a male-female dispute on the 500 block of Chestnut St. around noon, arrested the male half — Christopher Beltran, 24, of Kearny — after a warrant inquiry indicated he was wanted by Kearny, police said.

July 16 

Officer John Fabula, on patrol at Bergen Ave. and Forest St. at 7 a.m., stopped a Mazda pick-up truck for an illegal turn and found that the driver, Ernest Dieudonne, 59, of East Orange, had a suspended license and outstanding warrants from Bayonne, Union and Elizabeth. Police said he also found that the plates on the truck belonged on another vehicle. Dieudonne was charged on those violations and with careless driving. The pick-up was impounded.

July 17 

At 1:30 a.m., Officer Tim Castle, responding to a  motor vehicle accident at Passaic and Johnston Aves., found a Honda van resting against the bridge abutment and the “confused” driver still behind the wheel, allegedly holding a marijuana cigarette. Police said Castle removed the joint from the man’s grasp and removed him from the van, but he was unable to stand and could not account for the crash. Jose Melendez, 36, of Belleville, was charged with DUI, possession of pot, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs in motor vehicle and refusal to take an Alcotest.

At 1:34 a.m., Officer Ben Wuelfing saw Danny Morales, 36, of Newark, panhandling in the lot at Quick Chek at Bergen and Kearny Aves. After Morales was found to have a Bloomfield warrant, he was arrested on that and Bloomfield authorities were notified, police said. Morales was also issued a summons for violating the Kearny ordinance against “begging for alms.”

– Karen Zautyk 

Learn more about the writer ...