Accused burglar & robbery suspect nabbed

The separate arrests of two township men, one on a North Arlington burglary charge, the other on a hefty outstanding warrant, top the Kearny police blotter news this week.

At 7 p.m., March 16, Dets. Ray Lopez and Michael Farinola responded to a call about a suspicious person on the 600 block of Devon St. While they were checking the rear of a building there, they saw a man running away, Chief John Dowie said.

Following a short foot pursuit, during which the suspect reportedly discarded a cell phone under a parked car, they caught and detained Joseph Ferguson, 23, of Kearny.

Advised by a concerned citizen that Ferguson had possibly entered Devon St. from North Arlington, the detectives contacted police in that borough and were advised of a recent burglary there, Dowie said.

NAPD officers came to Devon St. and reportedly identified the cell phone and other items in the suspect’s possession as being among the stolen property.

According to North Arlington Police Chief Louis Ghione, the break-in occurred at a residence on Abbott Place and an Xbox, camera and assorted jewelry were also taken.

Ferguson was taken into custody by the NAPD.

• • •

On March 15, at 7:30 p.m., Det. Michael Gonzalez was on patrol when he saw Christopher Ochoa, 18, of Kearny, walking in the area of Kearny Ave. and Afton St. Dowie said the detective was aware of Ochoa’s having an outstanding warrant, confirmed same and arrested him.

KPD PHOTO AT TOP: Joseph Ferguson ABOVE: Christopher Ochoa
PHOTO AT TOP: Joseph Ferguson
ABOVE: Christopher Ochoa


That warrant, the chief said, was a $95,000 one out of Newark in connection with a “vicious” robbery on Garside St. in that city.

Ochoa was processed at headquarters and turned over to the Newark PD Robbery Unit.

• • •

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

March 13 

Officer Peter Jahera, responding to a possible hit-and-run on Passaic Ave, at the Belleville Pike at 8:15 p.m., learned that the driver whose car was struck had followed the fleeing vehicle, a pick-up truck, into Lyndhurst. where it had been stopped by North Arlington police on Riverside Ave. Following questioning by Jahera, and field sobriety tests, the truck’s driver, Marek Grotkowski, 51, of Wallington, was charged with DWI, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Police reported that the victim said he had been stopped in traffic in front of Stewart’s when his car was rear-ended.

March 16 

Shortly after midnight, Officer Derek Hemphill got an alert on his mobile data computer that a 2008 Subaru he saw parked in the VFW lot off Belgrove Drive had a suspended registration. Approaching the car, he reportedly detected the odor of marijuana and observed inside: cigar shavings, a plastic grinder, a baggy containing suspected pot, a beer mug and an open bottle of rum.

Occupant Ana Sarmiento, 21, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia and was issued MV summonses for possession of CDS in an MV, having an open container of alcohol in same, and the registration violation.

The Subaru was impounded.

• • •

At 3:15 p.m., just as school was letting out, Officer Jay Ward received a report of a man walking past Franklin School on Davis Ave. consuming an alcoholic beverage. Ward saw and detained Robert Glasser, 51, of Harrison, at Davis and Wilson Aves., issued him a town ordinance summons for drinking (from a bottle of filtered vodka) in public — and arrested him on two warrants: one for an ordinance violation in Harrison and a $2,500 one out of Newark for allegedly “wandering in a drug area.” Harrison and Newark were both notified.

• • •

At 4:20 p.m., Officer John Fabula observed two individuals going door-to-door on the 100 block of Wilson Ave. Although they had credentials displayed, Fabula found they did not have Kearny-issued solicitation permits. Police said he also found they both had warrants — one each out of Clifton. Arrested were Khalid Gaston, 26, of Jersey City, and Amirian Gadzhiev, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

In Kearny, they claimed to have been selling “energy,” said Chief Dowie, who also warned residents that sometimes solicitors go door-to-door “just to get your information.”

March 19

Officer Jordenson Jean responded to a 3 p.m. report of a suspicious individual possibly involved in attempted burglary of apartments on the 800 block of Kearny Ave., near Seeley Ave. Jean, armed with the suspect’s description, searched the area and detained Frank Fletcher, 47, of Kearny. Fletcher was subsequently charged with criminal attempted burglary and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $50,000 bail. Police said he also had a $500 drug-related warrant from Belleville.

• • •

Officer Kevin Arnesman responded to a two-car accident at 3:45 p.m. on the 100 block of Oakwood Ave. Police said one driver had fled the scene but later contacted them. Steven McGirr, 24, of Kearny — who was located on the 400 block of Elm St. — was reportedly found to have a suspended license and was charged with that offense.

– Karen Zautyk 

Learn more about the writer ...