KPD: Mother knows best

A teenage auto-theft suspect who led police on both a car chase and a foot chase ended up cooling his heels in the Hudson County Youth House last week, KPD Chief John Dowie reported.

The adventure began at 4:20 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16, when the KPD issued a BOLO that a 1998 beige Lexus had just been stolen from the area of Kearny and Quincy Aves. Moments later, Officer Daniel Esteves spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop it at Belgrove Drive and Woodland Ave., but it fled south on Belgrove, police said.

Esteves pursued it along Belgrove to Sheridan Ave. to Johnston Ave., where the driver attempted to turn west and struck a parked car. At that point, police said, the thief abandoned the Lexus and began fleeing on foot east on Johnston, down Grant Ave., across Belgrove, along Clark St. and then on a “serpentine route” through the Gen. Kearny apartment complex. Esteves, also on foot, was after him the entire way.

Backup Officer Luis Moran, who had arrived on Belgrove, saw the youth attempting to hide in some bushes on the apartment grounds.

The suspect then feigned compliance with the officers, but had to be forcibly cuffed by both, police said. At headquarters, he allegedly lied about his identity, but it was confirmed that he was a 16-year-old from Kearny.

Dowie said the youth’s mother was contacted but she told police she would not come to HQ to take custody of him and that they should “put him in jail.”

“Her sentiments were relayed to Hudson County Juvenile Intake,” the chief said, “and he was remanded to the Youth House.”

The teen has been charged with auto theft, eluding police, resisting arrest and hindering apprehension by lying.

• • •

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

Nov. 14 

Officer Patrick Becker responded to ShopRite at 4 p.m. to take into custody Jose Rodriguez, 52, of Newark, who had allegedly attempted to shoplift: a canned ham, two cans of coffee, two haircutting kits, some Irish Spring soap and a loaf of bread. In a search incident to arrest, police said, he was found to be in possession of six Xanax pills and a hypodermic needle – and to be wanted on two $5,000 Newark warrants. He was charged on all the offenses.

• • •

At 4:30 p.m., Officer Esteves was on patrol when he saw two cars stopped on Passaic Ave. near Ross Lane. One driver, Kevin Flores, 25, of East Orange, reportedly admitted that his BMW had rear-ended the other vehicle, a Honda operated by a Belleville woman, as he was trying to retrieve something he had dropped in his car. Police said a check of his credentials showed that his license was suspended and that he had three warrants – from Lyndhurst, Fairfield and Totowa — all for driving while suspended. He now has a fourth such charge, along with a summons for following too closely.

Nov. 15 

At 6 p.m., Esteves stopped a GMC SUV with no rear lights at Davis Ave. and Tappan St. He reportedly detected the odor of marijuana and, in plain view on the center console, saw a smoking pipe and a clear container of suspected pot.

Jorge Rojas, 37, of Kearny, was charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia, and driving while suspended, and received a summons for the lights violation.

• • •

At 8 p.m., a 45-year-old Lyndhurst woman was putting items into her car in in the Kmart lot when she was punched in the back by a man wearing a black ski mask who then grabbed her purse and ran to a maroon-colored getaway vehicle.

Police said the victim was not hurt. Officer Moran took the initial report, and Det. Scott Traynor is conducting the follow-up investigation.

Nov. 16 

At 3 a.m., after the KPD had closed the Belleville Pike due to a vehicle fire, Officer Ben Wuelfing was guiding a firetruck through the blockade when he saw that it was being followed closely by a Nissan Maxima, whose driver was talking on a cell phone. After repeated signals, police said, he finally got the car to stop and, when questioned, the driver reportedly replied that she “didn’t see a firetruck.”

After FSTs and an Alcotest at HQ , Angelica Cruz, 26, of Jersey City, was charged with DWI, reckless driving, driving on a closed roadway and use of a hand-held phone while driving.

Nov. 17 

Officer Jordenson Jean, patrolling at Midland Ave. and Forest St. at 1 a.m., saw 30-year-old Kearny resident Alexander Harkes reportedly peering into parked cars. Police said a field inquiry revealed he was wanted on a drug-related Newark warrant. He was taken into custody, and the Newark PD was notified.

• • •

Investigating a 7:30 p.m. accident at Kearny and Bergen Aves., Officer Jay Ward found that a Dodge pickup, operated by James Ryan, 46, of East Newark, had struck a Honda that was stopped in traffic. Ryan, given FSTs and an Alcotest, was charged with DWI, reckless driving and following too closely. His truck was impounded.

• • •

At 11 p.m., Officers Ward, Steven Hroncich and Chris Medina responded to a report that, on the 40 block of Kearny Ave., a woman had been threatened by an acquaintance who allegedly had a gun. After speaking with the woman, they went to another Kearny Ave. address supplied by her to interview 33-year-old Luis Torres of Kearny. When confronted, he reportedly gave a fictitious name but was subsequently identified by Det. Ray Lopez. No weapon was found, but Torres was charged with obstructing the administration of law, hindering apprehension and on an outstanding East Newark warrant.

Nov. 18 

Officers Brian Wisely, Kevin Arnesman, Chris Levchak and Frank West went to Kearny and Stewart Aves. at 2:10 p.m. on a report of a heated “lovers’ quarrel” taking place in the intersection outside Roosevelt School. According to police, a 34-year-old Newark woman, who works in the area, said she had been confronted by Jason Smith, 34, of New York City, who pushed her to the ground and then fled. He was apprehended as he attempted to board a bus

In a search incident to arrest on an assault charge, Smith was reportedly found to have two bags of suspected cocaine and was also charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia. In addition, police said, he was wanted on a Jersey City warrant.

Nov. 19 

At 10:30 p.m., Officer Michael Santucci responded to a Belleville Pike warehouse, where the owner and manager reported that two employees who had been unloading a trailer attempted to steal 20 dress shirts, priced at $50 each — and that one had even put on a shirt under his work clothes.

Arrested on charges of theft and conspiracy were Diomedes Gomera, 46, of Union City, and Marcio Miranda, 46, of North Bergen. In addition to the shirts, police said, four bottles of “Sexy Lover” perfume were found secreted in the trailer.

 – Karen Zautyk 

Learn more about the writer ...