KPD: The right to bare legs?

At 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 14, Officer Michael Alvarez was on patrol at Kearny Ave. and Rose St. when he noticed a man – later identified as Jamil Oliver, 25, of Newark – apparently peering into parked vehicles. Since this part of town has recorded several recent car burglaries, Alvarez deemed it prudent to conduct a field inquiry.

Police said Oliver explained that he had just left a bar in Harrison and was walking home to Newark. Since Newark was in the opposite direction, Alvarez deemed it prudent to conduct a warrant check and found that Oliver was wanted by Rochelle Park for hindering apprehension ($500/full), police said. A search incident to arrest on said warrant reportedly revealed a bag of suspected marijuana in his pants pocket. 

Alvarez, with Officer Victor Girdwood as backup, brought Oliver to headquarters, where the arrestee reportedly became profane and offensive and “declined to cooperate to any degree” with the booking process. When his defiance increased, police said, he was put in a holding cell, and the officers had to forcibly remove the standard accoutrements (belt, shoelaces, jewelry, etc.) of which cell-bound suspects are relieved.

Later, when Det. Frank West and Officer Alan Stickno went to the cellblock to get Oliver and complete the booking, they found he had removed all his clothing and was wrapped in a blanket, his bare legs sticking out, police said. Ordered to get dressed, Oliver reportedly responded that he was aware of his rights under the Second Amendment.

Eventually, he was formally charged – on the warrant and with possession of pot and drug paraphernalia – and at noon was shipped to the Hudson County Jail.

(Editor’s note: Yes, we know you might like to see the mugshot, but because of the booking difficulties, Oliver’s photo apparently could not be taken until he was at the jail, so we don’t have it.) 


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

Oct. 13

Officers Luis Moran and Richard Poplaski responded to a 4 p.m. report of someone smoking a CDS in a Trinity Place backyard and reportedly found Jason Lilly, 19, of Newark, puffing away on a patio. He was arrested for possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Oct. 14

At 3:15 a.m. near QuickChek, Officers Mina Ekladious and Jose Castillo observed a man discard a small plastic bag on the ground, recovered same and arrested Earl McLeod, 27, of Willingboro, on charges of possession of pot/paraphernalia.

Oct. 15

At 4 a.m., police said, Officers Jason Rodrigues and Rich Pawlowski observed a 2017 Toyota – its lights on, its engine running, its gear in “drive” and its driver asleep behind the wheel – in the Seabra lot on Schuyler Ave. When they and backup Officer Sean Podolski were unable to rouse the driver, they tried to open the doors so they could turn off the ignition. At that point, police said, Andres Quiroz-Tejada, 22, of Kearny, woke up long enough to try to drive away, but the car travelled only a few feet before hitting a curb and coming to a halt. At which point, the driver fell asleep again.

With the aid of Sgt. Mike O’Neill, the cops got the doors open, rendered the vehicle safe and removed the motorist, who allegedly was so intoxicated that he was “in no condition” to be given field sobriety tests. Quiroz-Tejada was brought to HQ and charged with DWI and refusing to take an Alcotest.


Officers Stickno, Jordenson Jean and Kyle Plaugic were called to the mall area at 200 Passaic Ave. at 3 p.m. on a report that two teenage boys on bicycles had discarded a backpack under a parked vehicle. At the sight of the patrol cars, the youths abandoned their bikes and fled on foot – one running toward BJ’s; the other, toward LA Fitness. Stickno and Jean caught the latter. Plaugic and off-duty Officer Jose Castillo, working in BJ’s, found the other in that store. 

Police said the backpack, found beneath a Dodge van, had apparently been stolen from Kmart, as had its contents: four pairs of NBA socks, two T-shirts, one pair of black slippers and a handbag/fanny pack. A window on the van had been smashed with a large rock, and the vehicle’s owner reported that its interior was in disarray and that some change was missing, police said.

The two 15-year-old suspects from Newark were charged with burglary, conspiracy, obstructing the administration of law and two counts each of receiving stolen property, and were released to the custody of parents/guardians.  


At 8 p.m., Officers Chris Medina and Michael Gontarczuk were dispatched to the Verizon store in the Walmart mall on the report of an unruly customer, identified as Carl Rutherford, 34, of Newark. According to management, he  removed a phone from a display case, setting off an alarm, became confrontational and refused to leave the premises. Police said Rutherford was found to be wanted on a $3,000 traffic warrant out of East Orange, was arrested and processed at HQ and turned over to the East Orange PD. 

 Oct. 16

At 3:10 p.m., an individual approached an East Orange couple sitting in a car in the Walmart lot and asked the man, who was in the passenger seat, for $1. When the request was refused, the panhandler reached through the window and attempted to snatch a chain from the man’s neck. The female driver put the car in gear, but the would-be thief, despite now being dragged, did not release his grip. Until the victim bit him on the hand. He then fell to the pavement and was last seen running into the meadow area behind the Walmart building.

Officer Chris Levchak took the incident report, obtained a description of the suspect and contacted Walmart for security videos of the area. As of this writing, the perp had not yet been identified.

Oct. 18

Shortly after midnight, Officers Alvarez and Darwin Paulino stopped a 2007 Pontiac that had run a red light on the Newark Turnpike and saw passenger Ali Jenkins, 19, of Newark, discard a tissue apparently containing loose marijuana, police said. The tissue was recovered and Jenkins was arrested for possession of pot/paraphernalia. The driver, a 21-year-old Jersey City woman, got a summons for the signal violation. 

Oct. 19

At 10 a.m., Vice officers observed a 2015 Hyundai driven by David Conway, 46, of Lyndhurst, enter Kearny from Belleville. As he passed the unmarked police car, he became bogged down in traffic and was reportedly seen inspecting several wax folds. When the officers stopped him at the Pike and Passaic Ave., police said, they saw him stuff something into his mouth and begin to swallow, and he allegedly admitted he had ingested two folds of heroin. 

Conway was arrested and brought to HQ, where Kearny EMS assessed his condition and took him to Clara Maass Medical Center for observation. He has been charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia and with tampering with evidence.


Officer Gontarczuk, on patrol near Belgrove Drive and Bergen Ave. at 8:10 p.m., detected the odor of burning marijuana apparently emanating from Veterans Field, where a group of young adults had congregated. When the smoke cleared, three were under arrest. Jomar Diaz, 23, of Newark, and Kristiana Schmidt, 19, of Kearny, were each charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia. Police said Marllon Marques, 22, of Kearny, was taken into custody on two warrants: Newark, DWI, $500, and Kearny, failure to appear, $100.

Oct. 20

During a 3 a.m. traffic stop at Kearny Ave. and Liberty St., Officer Jonathan Dowie reportedly detected the familiar odor and found in the center console of a 2009 Saturn a small case containing wax dabs of marijuana and a scraper used to apply these to a vaporizer. Driver Keith Henderson, 24, of Newark, was charged with possession of pot/paraphernalia, possession of a CDS in an MV, and a brake-light violation. 

– Karen Zautyk

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