If the guy in the photo looks familiar, that’s because his mugshot adorned the Kearny police blotter in our Dec. 9 issue. He had been arrested Nov. 19 after allegedly attempting to shoplift computer equipment from Walmart. Kearny cops caught him fleeing shirtless from the store, the shirt having been lost when he reportedly scuffled with a female security guard.
Well, he’s back. This time, police said, he was caught trying to steal $32 worth of makeup from ShopRite. Axel Rodriguez, 43, of Kearny, was taken into custody shortly after 1 p.m. on Dec. 21, by Officer Peter Jahera after being apprehended by store security – and after allegedly trying to push a security officer down the stairs. Rodriguez was charged with robbery and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $50,000 bail. Full. [Editor’s note: This was the same amount set after the November arrest. We can only presume that the court, in its wisdom, reduced it. Either that, or he’s flush.]
• • •
Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
At 11 p.m., Officers Dean Gasser, Chris Medina and Joe Martin responded to the report of a dispute involving an assault at Kearny Ave. and Duke St. While they were attempting to take the alleged assailant — a 23-year-old Jersey City woman — into custody, Roberto Nieves, 32, of Kearny, tried to intercede, police said.
Nieves reportedly: blocked the door of the patrol car; grabbed Medina’s arm; resisted being cuffed; slammed himself against the vehicle, damaging the door; elbowed Martin in the chest; continued to struggle with Martin, who fell and injured an arm; and, when he eventually was overpowered, spit at the officers.
Nieves was charged with: two counts of aggravated assault on an officer; resisting arrest; two counts of criminal mischief; obstructing the administration of law, and disorderly conduct. The woman was charged with simple assault.
Officers Vic Girdwood and Steve Hroncich responded to a 3:30 a.m. accident involving a 1997 BMW and another vehicle at the intersection of Hackensack Ave. and Rts. 1/9. Police said the Beemer’s driver, Erving Contreras, 34, of Bayonne, complained of neck and back injuries, was treated at the scene by Kearny EMS and was then taken to University Hospital, Newark. Because police reportedly detected the odor of alcohol and saw an open bottle of Bacardi in his car, the cops also went to the hospital — to have his blood drawn for analysis. He was charged with DWI and careless driving.
Shortly after midnight, Officer Derek Hemphill, with Gasser as backup, responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on the 100 block of Highland Ave., and there found a parked 2004 Mitsubishi occupied by passenger Shayne McDonnell, 20, of Kearny, and driver Albin Niedzielski, 20, of Brick. The officers reportedly detected the odor of marijuana, saw what appeared to be a marijuana cigar and also saw McDonnell apparently trying to conceal something. That, police said, turned out to be a plastic box containing three wax folds of suspected heroin. McDonnell was charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia; Niedzielski, with possession of pot and paraphernalia and possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle.
• • •
Officer Jordenson Jean, on patrol at 6 p.m., spotted Nicholas Dow, 26, of Kearny, walking on the 200 block of Midland Ave. and confirmed that he had two warrants: a $1,000 one from Holmdel and a $150 one from Harrison. Dow was arrested, taken to headquarters and later released on bail.
At 4:30 p.m., Officer Jean apprehended another wanted individual, Joseph Lopez, 24, of Harrison, whom he saw at Devon St. and Woodland Ave. Police said Lopez had a $20,000 theft-related Kearny warrant and a $200 drug-offense warrant out of Harrison. In a search incident to arrest, Lopez was reportedly found to be in possession of a hypodermic needle and six “near-empty” wax folds, stamped “Verizon,” First Aid” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” He was charged with possession of the needle and drug paraphernalia and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail, with $2,500 added to the previous bail tally.
At 2 a.m., Officer Medina conducted a motor vehicle stop on a 1999 Mercury that he reported making a hazardous u-turn at Bergen Ave. and Forest St. Police said the driver, Michael Petro, 35, of Kearny, was found to have a suspended license, suspended registration and three warrants: $200 out of Secaucus; $200 from Jersey City, and $250 from Bloomfield. He was also issued summonses for the license violation, careless driving, making an improper turn and for a lighting violation. The car was impounded.
Officer Jonathan Dowie and Det. Ray Lopez responded to a 10:45 p.m. report of an intoxicated individual on the 200 block of Sanford Ave. and arrived to find a 2006 Toyota, its engine running, sitting in the middle of the street, with a “drowsy” driver behind the wheel, police said. When knocks on the window failed to rouse the man, the officers opened the door, turned off the motor and shook him awake.
Police said there was a heavy odor of alcohol and that driver Julio Sarango, 48, of East Newark, had trouble standing and was unable to perform field sobriety tests. He also reportedly was unable to complete an Alcotest at HQ. Sarango was charged with DWI and driving without a license.
Officer Dowie, with Officer Chris Levchak as backup, answered an 8:30 p.m. call about an individual sleeping in a car on the 500 block of Kearny Ave., where he reportedly found Erick Merino, 38, of Kearny, snoozing in a 2010 Honda.
This time, the person in question was catching some Zs in the passenger seat and the car was parked, but its radio was blaring, police said. Merino was arrested after he was found to have a $1,000 Kearny warrant stemming from a DWI charge and was remanded to the county jail.
• • •
At 11:30 p.m., Officer Esteban Gonzalez answered a call regarding a hit-and-run accident on the 500 block of Belgrove Drive, where a parked 2007 Acura had been struck and pushed onto the sidewalk. A few blocks away, on Trinity Place, Officers Medina and Chris Manolis came upon a heavily damaged 2010 Mazda.
Interviewing the people who were walking away from that vehicle, police determined that the driver was an apparently intoxicated Weronika Urban, 18, of Kearny. She was arrested and charged with DWI, DWI while underage, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, consumption of alcohol while underage, and having an open container of alcohol [beer] in a motor vehicle.
Shortly before 1 a.m., Officer Mina Ekladious conducted an MV stop on a 2015 Kia after seeing it run a red light at Elm St. and Seeley Ave. Police said driver Aaron Cornielle, 20, of Kearny, was found to have a suspended license and was also given summonses for driving with suspended registration and no insurance as well as the red-light violation.
• • •
Officer Manolis, on DWI enforcement assignment at 2 a.m., stopped a New York-registered car with a “very loud muffler” at the Belleville Pike and Schuyler Ave. and found that driver Nicholas Scocci, 27, of Middle Village, Queens, had a suspended license and an $80 warrant out of Wildwood Crest.
Scocci was arrested, taken to HQ and later released on bail — taking with him summonses for the muffler violation, the license offense and for failure to surrender a suspended license.
– Karen Zautyk