Warning: Stop trashing Kearny

By Karen Zautyk

 Observer Correspondent 


Notice to anyone who views Kearny as their personal trash heap: It’s not. Stay away. You have been warned.

Kearny police have dealt with two cases of illegal dumping in the past two weeks. One is under investigation and the other has been solved, thanks to some nifty detective work.

The more recent incident was reported to KPD Officer Brian Wisely at 10 a.m., Nov. 17, by a township Department of Public Works employee who had discovered “a large amount of construction debris” behind the now-vacant Skinner Brothers automotive shop on Passaic Ave., Police Chief John Dowie said.

Det. Michael Gonzalez responded to the scene along with William Pettigrew of the Kearny Health Department, and both rummaged through the leavings. In the debris, Dowie said, they found cabinet packaging, which was traced to a retailer.

This narrowed the focus of the investigation, and Gonzalez identified a specific contractor who had done business with that company. When confronted, police said, the 33-year-old Garfield resident admitted having discarded the material, which came from a project he had been working on in Jersey City.

He was issued a Board of Health summons and ordered to return to Skinner Brothers and clean up the mess.

The previous week, police were called to Gunnell Oval by a concerned citizen who had seen two men unloading debris from a silver pickup truck and dumping it into the brush in the northeast corner of the recreation complex.

Officer Rich Carbone took the initial report at 4 p.m., Nov. 10, and found that portions of wooden fencing and buckets of concrete had been discarded.

The Kearnyite who had called the cops said the men had jumped back into the truck and fled when they noticed him watching them — but not before he was able to take a photo of the vehicle with his cell phone.

A BOLO was issued, and security videos from the area are being collected.

The investigation, by Gonzalez, the Health Department and the DPW, is ongoing.

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