KPD: Carted off in cuffs

Standard operating procedure for most shoplifters fleeing the scene of their crime appears to be to jump into a waiting auto and speed off to, they hope, parts unknown. Some do try to escape on foot, as happened last week at the Kearny Walmart, but this particular suspect took a shopping cart along with him.

Needless to say, he did not get far.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Officer Michael Alvarez responded to the report of the man heading west on Harrison Ave., pushing a Walmart cart full of stolen merchandise. Cart and suspect were spotted at Harrison and Sanford Aves., just a couple of blocks from the store. When Alvarez ordered him to stop, police said he abandoned the cart and began to run. A foot pursuit ensued and ended with the man reportedly seeking refuge underneath a parked car. (Note to the flight-prone: This is not an intelligent move.)

By then, backup had arrived, and Brian Blozen, 41, of Bloomfield, was taken into custody on charges of shoplifting and resisting arrest.

Police said the cart contained $728 worth of assorted stolen goods. The cart itself was also listed as a purloined item. (Note to otherwise law-abiding shoppers: If you take a cart off store property, you are technically a shoplifter.) 


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

Sept. 16

Officer Jordenson Jean was on radar enforcement detail on Harrison Ave. at the N.J. Turnpike at 4 p.m. when the driver of a 2011 Jaguar stopped — reportedly in the middle of the right lane, thereby blocking traffic — to ask him for directions to Newark Airport. Police said Jean “quickly realized that the man was already flying” and during questioning he admitted to having had a few vodkas prior to driving up from Washington, D.C. Following field sobriety tests, and an Alcotest at headquarters, Paul Freed, 71, of Fort Lee, was charged with DUI, careless driving and delaying traffic.

Sept. 17

At 5 a.m., Officers Dominic Dominguez and Dave Bush responded to a male-female dispute in the area of Town Hall Park. While they were attempting to gain information from the disputants, the male party — Julian Quiroz, 24, of Elizabeth — reportedly became uncooperative and tried to walk away. At that point, police said, Jonathan Fair, 39, of New Providence, confronted Quiroz and accused him of having assaulted the female. A fistfight ensued.

The officers ordered the men to cease and desist, and when these commands were ignored, tried to separate the combatants. Ultimately, police said, OC spray had to be used to subdue the duo, both of whom were charged with simple assault and resisting arrest.


Shortly after 10 a.m., Officer John Donovan responded to a report from a concerned citizen who had just witnessed the theft of a package from a residence on the 200 block of Forest St. The culprits fled in a silver Toyota, which was soon spotted and stopped by Officer Alan Stickno at Forest and Quincy Ave. Police said the witness identified the occupants, who admitted to taking the package after seeing it being dropped off by a FedEx truck. “The truck had no sooner pulled away than the theft occurred,” a police spokesman noted.

Both the wheelman, Dominic Yorke, 24, of Newark, and his companion, James Bradford, 24, of Newark, were charged with conspiracy and receiving stolen property. Bradford, who reportedly was the one who actually grabbed the package, was also charged with theft. And what was the prized merchandise? 



Officer Derek Hemphill responded to an 8:30 p.m. alert from Kmart that a man had attempted to steal condoms from the store and, when confronted, fled on foot. Police said that, while Kmart did not have an off-duty KPD officer working security, both nearby ShopRite and B.J.’s did, and those officers —  P.O. Esteban Gonzalez at B.J.’s, and Sgt. Michael Gonzalez at ShopRite — heard Hemphill’s BOLO and the suspect was nabbed in the B.J.’s lot following a foot pursuit.

Police said the man identified himself as Tjon White, but a search incident to arrest produced some paperwork from the Irvington PD indicating that might not be his real name. Hemphill contacted Irvington and a photo of the suspect proved he was actually Troy Johnson, 48, of Newark, police said. A records check showed he also had a $250 warrant for a prior shoplifting arrest in Kearny.

Johnson ended up in the Hudson County Jail on a new charge of shoplifting ($123 worth of condoms), resisting arrest and hindering apprehension. Kearny Municipal Court Judge Thomas D. McKeon added another $5,000 to the $250 bail.

Sept. 19

Officer Hemphill was on patrol  at 5 p.m. when his computer alerted him that the owner of a 1993 Toyota on the 500 block of Forest St. had a suspended license and three motor vehicle warrants — two from Newark, $350 each; one from Florence, N.J., $380.  Jesus Battista, 20, of Newark, was charged on those and with the license offense, misuse of license plates and operating an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. The other jurisdictions were notified.


Shortly after 10 p.m., Officer Esteban Gonzalez pulled over an Illinois-registered Toyota for disregarding a red light at Kearny and Midland Aves. Driver Evgeny Maximkin, 30, of Kearny, received a summons for that offense and was also arrested — on a $448 MV warrant out of Rutherford, which was notified that he was in custody.

Sept. 20

Officers Rich Poplaski and Tom Floyd executed an arrest warrant at 4:30 p.m. at a residence on the 100 block of Hoyt St., where they reportedly found the suspect — an alleged bail-jumper wanted by the Middlesex  County Court — hiding in a closet. Police said Clark Yanez, 27, of Kearny, was also found to have no-bail robbery warrant from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and was sent to the Hudson County Jail.

Sept. 21

Officers Michael Gontarczuk and Sean Podolski, on patrol in South Kearny at 9 p.m., stopped a 1999 Audi with heavily tinted windows and a “decrepit” temporary plate — its expiration date obscured — travelling east on the Belleville Pike.  Police said driver Lordwins Barthelemy, 29, of West Orange, had a suspended license and, in plain view in the car, the officers saw a partially smoked marijuana cigar. A search incident to arrest reportedly produced a plastic bag of suspected pot, and a warrant check revealed two: $750, Union Township, driving while suspended; $500, Belleville, traffic violation.

Barthelemy was charged in Kearny with: possession of pot and paraphernalia; driving while in possession of a CDS; having fictitious registration, and operating an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, along with the suspended-license and tinted-windows violations.  McKeon added $2,500 to his bail. 

Sept. 22

Officer Hemphill was investigating a 1 a.m. noise complaint on the 100 block of Forest St. when he saw Kevin Demauro, 23, of Kearny, park a 2014 Ford and then stumble out of the vehicle. When the officer asked him if he was okay (he could have had pneumonia, right?),  Demauro had trouble talking and was observed clenching a small bag that appeared to contain pills, police said. Following FSTs, he was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, possession of Xanax and drug paraphernalia and possession of a CDS in a MV.


At 12:30 p.m., a Vice detective, reportedly aware that its driver — Glenn Yakabofski, 44, of Kearny — was in possession of a CDS, stopped a 2002 Toyota at Devon St and Garfield Ave. When Yakabofski got out, he allegedly attempted to discard a glass vial of suspected cocaine under the car. Advised that he was under arrest, he shoved the detective, refused to be cuffed and had to be taken to the ground, at which point he tried to discard a second vial, police said.

Patrol units arrived as backup, and Yakabofski was arrested for possession of coke and paraphernalia, possession of a CDS in a MV, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. Kearny EMS was summoned to HQ to attend to cuts and scrapes the suspect sustained in the struggle.

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