KPD: I’m arrested? Oh fudge!

Richard Bryant
Richard Bryant

A 51-year-old Newark man with an apparent taste for fudge cookies and Life Savers Gummies ended up in the Hudson County Jail after he allegedly pulled a knife on ShopRite security and fled the store with the goodies last week.  

Police said the suspect was nabbed shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 26 by an off-duty Bergen County Sheriff’s officer who had been driving past the store when he noticed security chasing the suspect through the parking lot. He found and detained the man on Passaic Ave. in East Newark, and KPD Officer Steven Hroncich took the alleged perp, Richard Bryant, into custody.

Police said Bryant was carrying a backpack filled with stolen items, including soaps, powder, lotions, baby oil — and the cookies and candy.

Bryant was booked on robbery and weapons charges and was transported to the jail. His bail: $100,000 (no 10%).


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

Sept. 23

Sgt. Glenn Reed and Officers Esteban Gonzalez and Mina Ekladious responded to a two-car crash on Passaic Ave. near the Belleville Pike at 7:10 p.m. and subsequently charged one of the drivers, Kevin Carlen, 23, of Belleville, with DWI, careless driving and improper passing. Police said Carlen, who was given an Alcotest, admitted to having consumed “some Long Island iced teas.” (You can look up the recipe.)

Sept. 26

Officer Ekladious, on patrol at Bergen Ave. and Chestnut St. at 1 a.m., saw a man peering into parked cars, approached him for a field interview and observed a plastic bag protruding from his jeans pocket, police said. The bag reportedly was found to contain marijuana, and Johnny Rivera, 19, of Kearny, was charged with possession of the drug and drug paraphernalia.


At 6:30 p.m., Officers Jason Ward and Dean Gasser responded to a dispute on the 400 block of Devon St., where Alexander Matusiefsky, 20, allegedly had punched or kicked a hole in the wall of the complainant’s home. While Gasser was examining the damage, Ward attempted to detain Matusiefsky at Quincy Ave. and Beech St., but he reportedly ran across Kearny Ave. and into the Walgreens. Inside the store, the suspect entered and then exited the men’s room and tried to run past Ward, but “suddenly became compliant” when the officer produced his OC spray, police said. Matusiefsky was charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest and on a DWI warrant out of Seaside Heights.

Sept. 27

At 5 a.m., when Officers Dave Bush and Jonathan Dowie stopped a 2002 Honda with an expired registration sticker in the Walmart lot, they reportedly observed a passenger — Evette Simpson, 47, of Philadelphia — trying to conceal what appeared to be a crack pipe. Police said the pipe and several pieces of crack cocaine were found where she had been sitting. 

The driver, Sakina Hutchins, 46, of Newark, was allegedly found to also be in possession of a pipe and cocaine, along with 15 Oxycontin pills, eight Percocet, two Suboxone and one wax fold of heroin, stamped “Lemonade.”

Hutchins was charged with possession of the drugs and paraphernalia, driving while suspended, and on three warrants: two from Millburn for shoplifting and a drug-related one out of East Orange.  Police said Simpson, charged with possession of coke and paraphernalia, had a no-bail assault warrant from the Essex County Sheriff. Both women were remanded to the Hudson County Jail.


Miguel Agurto
Miguel Agurto

Vice officers, at Bergen and Kearny Aves. at 9:10 p.m., attempted to stop a passing 2000 Chrysler Sebring after confirming that the driver — Andrew Chadwick, 26, of Kearny — had a suspended license, but the car continued down Kearny until it got caught in traffic at Woodland Ave., police said. The detectives pulled in front, blocking the Sebring’s way, and reportedly observed one passenger Miguel Agurto, 29, of North Bergen, reach into his waistband and discard something on the floor. 

Illuminating the car’s interior, they saw a black handgun, which turned out to be a .380 Hi-Point — fully loaded and with its serial number defaced, police said. 

When backup arrived, all three vehicle occupants were arrested: Chadwick, for driving while suspended; front-seat passenger Marysalma Gonzalez, 22, of Newark, on three traffic warrants — from Madison, $500; East Orange, $150; Newark, $300.

Agurto ended up in the county jail on $5,000 bail and charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and possession of a prohibited (i.e. defaced) weapon. 

Sept. 28

Officers Michael Gontarczuk and Sean Podolski, on 1 a.m. radar detail in South Kearny, pulled over a 2011 Infiniti that was doing 66 in a 35 mph zone on the Newark Turnpike and reportedly smelled of pot. Police said the driver identified himself as Victor Zelaya and admitted to having the drug. A glass jar half-full of the stuff was allegedly found in the car, along with $436 in cash.

While Zelaya was being booked at HQ for possession, speeding and having a CDS in a MV, police said they learned that he actually was Victor Sagastume, 25, of Harrison, who was wanted on two traffic-related warrants: $250 out of Kearny; $100, Jersey City.  He was then hit with the additional charge of hindering apprehension.

Sept. 29

At 1:40 p.m., Officers Sean Kelly and Daniel Lopez spotted Axel Rodriguez, 43, of Kearny, on the off-limits railroad bridge near North Midland Ave. and as they approached observed him toss a bag on the ground, later found to contain two hypodermic needles, police said.  Rodriguez, who had been arrested on the same bridge a month before, was charged with possession of the hypos and, once again, with defiant trespass.

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