KPD: One driver was alert, one wasn’t

A concerned motorist and a drug expert from Bergen County figured in the arrest last week of man thought to have been involved in a hit-run crash in Newark, Kearny police reported.

At around noon last Wednesday, Feb. 3, a motorist called 911 to report that he was on Rt. 1/9 in South Kearny, following a 2010 white Dodge pick-up that had struck at least two parked vehicles in Newark and was heading toward Jersey City. Sgt. David Rakowski responded, spotted the truck exiting Kearny and stopped it on Communipaw Ave.

Back-up Officer Malinda Esposito began questioning the driver, Rimon Nahas, 55, of Fair Lawn, who reportedly was unsteady on his feet and was fumbling for his credentials. Police said the pick-up had extensive damage, but Nahas appeared to be unaware of this. Field sobriety tests reportedly indicated he was “under the influence of something,” but there was no alcohol odor. Police said it was determined that he had a suspended license, and in a search incident to arrest, he was found to be in possession of 14 Xanax pills.

Nahas was brought to headquarters and the KPD contacted surrounding jurisdictions to obtain the services of an accredited drug-recognition expert. Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer Jason Gretkowski responded and conducted drug tests on the suspect, who was charged with: driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; possession of a CDS; possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

The Newark PD was notified regarding the accidents in that city.

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

Jan. 31 (a very busy day) Shortly after midnight, Officer Mina Ekladious stopped a 2003 Honda that was traveling with its headlights off near Woodland and Highland Aves. The driver, a 26-yearold man from Sewaren, was issued summonses for that violation and for having tinted windows, but his passenger, Nabill Hayyen, 49, of Kearny, was in bigger trouble. Police said the officer detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the passenger side of the car and Hayyen was found to be in possession of a small bag of the drug. He was charged with that offense and on a $280 contempt-of-court warrant from Harrison.

• • •

At 1 a.m., Officers Michael Alvarez, Dean Gasser and Derek Hemphill responded to the report of a disorderly person on the 300 block of Kearny Ave. and arrived to find a reportedly “enraged, highly intoxicated, highly belligerent” Rade Mc- Cullough, 20, of Kearny.

Police said that although he was bleeding from multiple abrasions of the face and arms, McCullough declined both medical assistance and a ride home. When he also declined to cease and desist his screaming, police said, he was arrested for disorderly conduct.

At HQ, police offered to call someone to come pick him up, but he reportedly refused that, too, and so “was put in a cell to sleep it off.”

• • •

Officers Chris Manolis and Jose Perez-Fonseca went to a Midland Ave. business at noon after the proprietor reported that it had been entered and vandalized sometime overnight. Items had been broken and a fire extinguisher had been sprayed around the premises.

Det. Michael Gonzalez conducted the follow-up crime-scene investigation and developed as a suspect 46-year-old Paul McGinnis of Kearny, who was subsequently arrested on charges of burglary and criminal mischief. He was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $2,500 bail.

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Officer Jon Dowie was conducting random license plate checks on Harrison Ave. at 6:30 p.m. when his mobile computer alerted him that the owner of a passing 2015 Dodge had a suspended license and a $350 Bloomfield warrant.

Owner/driver Nicholas Limbal, 33, of East Orange, was arrested and later posted bail.

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At the same time in the same area, Officer Dominic Dominguez was en route to back up Dowie when his path of travel was impeded by a 2016 Toyota, with Massachusetts plates, that failed to yield to his emergency vehicle, police said.

Dominguez stopped it on Harrison Ave. and reportedly detected the odor of alcohol coming from the car, slurred speech coming from the driver, and a bottle of tequila in the vehicle.

With Officers Jordenson Jean, Sean Wilson and Sean Kelly as back-up, FSTs were conducted and driver Jarmel Bennett, 39, of the Bronx, was arrested. He was charged with DWI, driving with a suspended license, refusal to take an Alcotest, having an open container of alcohol in a MV, and failure to yield.

Police said he also had three warrants: a $500 ordinance violation from Woodbridge; a $440 warrant from East Rutherford for resisting arrest, and a no-bail forgery warrant from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. He was remanded to the Hudson County Jail and Camden was notified.

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Shortly before midnight, HQ received a report of a parked 2001 Mitsubishi being burglarized near Forest St. and Bergen Ave. Sgt. Glenn Reed and Officers Ekladious, Luis Moran and Mike Santucci were advised by witnesses that a male who was rummaging through the car had fled on foot. Shortly thereafter, police said, Ekladious spotted an individual fitting the suspect’s description riding a bicycle at Hoyt St. and Kearny Ave.

Police said the 17-year-old Newark resident was unable to explain why he was in the area and, during questioning, tried to discard a plastic bag containing marijuana. He was charged with burglary, possession of pot and paraphernalia, and operating a bike without a helmet and was released to his mother’s custody at HQ.

Feb. 1 

At noon, at Belgrove Drive and Woodland Ave., Vice detectives stopped a 2002 Honda driven by Louis Araujo, 29, of Newark, whom they knew to have a suspended license and a $5,000 Newark assault warrant, police said. In the car, they reportedly found: an open bottle of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur; an open bottle of New Amsterdam red-berry flavored vodka, and a machete. [Editor’s note: We tried to find out what sort of cocktail one makes with chocolate liqueur and red-berry vodka — to no avail. Not that we’d ever touch such a concoction. Even if it were stirred with a machete.]

Araujo was charged on the warrant and license violation and also with having open containers of alcohol in a MV, unlawful possession of a weapon and — because of his reported prior criminal history — possession of a weapon by “certain persons not to have weapons.”

To the $5,000 Newark bail, Kearny Municipal Court Judge Thomas D. McKeon added $2,500. However, since these had 10% options, and Araujo reportedly had almost $2,000 in cash on him, he posted on both and was released.

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Feb. 2 

Sgt. Michael Gonzalez, Lt. Paul Bershefski and Det. Bryant Obie were at Liberty and Devon Sts. at 4 p.m. when they saw the driver of a double-parked 1999 BMW exit the vehicle and approach a vacant house on Chestnut St. When he returned, the officers conducted field interviews with him and his two passengers, one of whom, a 17-year-old Kearny male, appeared to be concealing something in a backpack. A search of the pack, police said, produced a switchblade, a plastic bag containing marijuana, and a Sprite bottle converted into a pipe.

The second passenger, Julio Castenada, 21, of Kearny, was allegedly in possession of: two “very large” Ziplock bags of pot containing 18 smaller bags; a digital scale; five suspected Xanax pills, and $162 in cash, thought to be the proceeds from drug sales.

The teenager, charged with weapons and drug possession and being under the influence of a CDS, was sent to the Youth House. Castenada was charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute in a school zone, and on an outstanding $1,500 Newark warrant.

McKeon set an additional bail of $25,000, and Castenada went to the Hudson County Jail.

The driver got a summons for double-parking.

– Karen Zautyk  

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