KPD: Defining ‘public nuisance’

If you were near the main branch of the Kearny Public Library on the morning of Saturday, April 9, police say you may have witnessed a middle-aged man shouting and cursing at passersby, including children. If you were at Kearny and Wilson Aves. last Wednesday afternoon, police say you may have seen the same man throwing things into traffic. You probably will not see him in the near future, we think, since he subsequently landed in the Hudson County Jail.

Police identified the man as Phillip Frank, 48, of Kearny, who caught their attention at about 9:40 a.m., April 9, with his reputed antics on the front steps of the library. Not only was he causing a disturbance, but his pants had dropped to the point where his genitals were exposed, police said.

Officer Sean Kelly approached and pointed this out, but Frank reportedly continued his belligerence and so was arrested for lewdness and harassment. He was later released on summonses.

Shortly after 2 p.m., April 13, Lt. Paul Bershefski and Capt. Tim Wagner observed Frank throwing food items into the northbound traffic lane on Kearny Ave., police said. When the plainclothes officers identified themselves as cops, Frank’s reported response was, “Why don’t you go *%#* yourselves?”

Sgt. Michael Gonzalez arrived on scene, also ordered Frank to cease and desist, and was threatened with bodily harm, police said. Frank was then arrested for: disorderly conduct, littering, making terroristic threats and aggravated assault (for allegedly spitting on the officers). At headquarters, police said, he continued to be uncooperative and was additionally charged with refusing to submit to identification procedures (fingerprinting).

He was remanded to the county jail on $10,000 bail, with a 10% option.

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

April 5

At 11 p.m., Vice officers stopped a 2009 Acura entering the Turnpike at the Harrison Ave. interchange after they confirmed that driver Ramiro Hernandez, 33, of Lodi, had a suspended license, police said. While arresting him, they reportedly saw, in plain view at the feet of passenger Juan Villa-Castellanos, 30, of Kearny, a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana. Villa-Castellanos was charged with possession of pot and drug paraphernalia. In addition to the suspended-license offense, Hernandez reportedly was wanted by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for willful failure to pay child support. He was held at headquarters for pick-up by the HCSO.

April 7

Officer Jordenson Jean, at Passaic and Johnston Aves. at 12:30 p.m., arrested Jamal Coote, 29, of Kearny, after confirming that he had two drug-related warrants, one from Harrison and one from the Hudson County Sheriff, police said. Coote was booked at HQ and held for the HCSO.

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Officers Chris Manolis, Dave Bush and Jon Dowie responded to a residence on the 100 block of Devon St. at 7 p.m. after being advised that a wanted individual might be there. They reportedly found the suspect, Jonathan Gonzalez, 28, of Kearny, hiding in a closet. He was arrested on an Essex County drug warrant and held at HQ for pick-up by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

April 9

Officer Michael Alvarez, on patrol at Kearny and Bergen Aves. at 3:20 a.m., reportedly observed the driver of a passing 1998 Honda talking on a cell phone. When he stopped the car to issue a summons for that offense, police said he detected the odor of burning marijuana and saw driver Adolfo Zuloaga, 21, of Kearny trying to stuff something between the seat and the door. It allegedly turned out to be a folded dollar bill containing pot. Zuloaga was arrested for possession of the drug and paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS.

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Officer Tim Castle was driving east on the Belleville Pike at 9:45 p.m. when a 2010 Hyundai reportedly passed his marked police car at a high rate of speed and cut off another vehicle. When Castle stopped the speeder at the Wittpenn Bridge, police said, he found that driver Kenneth Young, 46, of Newark, had an expired and suspended license and four traffic-related warrants: two from Newark at $100 each; one from Linden, $250, and one from Bedminster, $500. Young was charged with careless driving and the license offenses and was held at HQ for pick-up by any of the aforementioned jurisdictions.

April 11

After confirming two Kearny warrants — $100 for assault; $150 for criminal mischief — Officer Jean arrested Anthony Cain, 43, of Kearny, at 8:30 a.m. at the Pike and Beech St. Cain was later released on bail.

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Shortly after 4 p.m., Jean’s mobile computer alerted him that the registered owner of a 2003 Honda near Argyle Place and Midland Ave. had a $165 Lyndhurst motor-vehicle warrant. Victor Barbosa, 30, of Kearny, was arrested and later posted bail.

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At 5 p.m., Sgt. Dave Rakowski and Officer John Donovan reportedly observed Marc Zarnowski, 25, of Kearny, “making a mess” on Woodland Ave. while working on a Dodge pickup truck. Police said there as a large puddle of transmission fluid in the street and the Fire Department had to clean it up. While issuing a town-ordinance violation, the officers ran a warrant check. Zarnowski was arrested on a $250 Kearny MV warrant and later released on bail.

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A computer alert also prompted Officer Dowie to pull over a 2008 Pontiac at Harrison and Bergen Aves. at 9 p.m. Driver Shykela Moore, 25, of West Orange was arrested on a $250 Newark warrant, processed at HQ and released on bail.

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Officer Manolis stopped a 2002 Honda at Kearny and Elizabeth Aves. at 9:15 p.m. after a computer alert that its registered owner had a suspended license. While questioning driver Jarrett Baker, 22, of Paterson, Manolis reportedly smelled burning marijuana and saw in the car: two grinders, a partially smoked pot cigar and an electronic cigarette found to contain residue of the drug. Baker was charged with driving while suspended, failure to surrender a suspended license, possession of pot and paraphernalia and operating a MV while in possession of a CDS.

April 13

At 2:15 a.m., Officer Dowie pulled over the driver of a 2001 Buick on Harrison Ave. for failure to display a license plate. Police said Shariff Smith, 27, of Newark was found to be wanted on a $100 Newark traffic warrant, was arrested, booked and released on bail.

— Karen Zautyk

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