KPD: Here’s a door — to the county jail


At 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, after KPD headquarters received a report of two individuals apparently trying to gain entry into parked cars in the area of Midland Ave. and Beech Sts., Officer Derek Hemphill spotted a duo– wearing black hoodies and mechanics’ gloves — walking north in (as opposed to on the sidewalk) Chestnut St. near Midland.

When Kamal Lawson, 25, of Teaneck, and Algernon Collins, 29, of East Orange, were stopped for a field inquiry, Collins was found to be in possession of a crowbar, a screwdriver and a wire-cutting tool, police said. His explanation as to why he was in a residential area with this equipment at 11:30 at night reportedly was that he was “going to fix a door.”

While Hemphill was detaining the pair, the witness who had phoned in the original report was located by Capt. David Feldhan and provided a positive I.D. in a drive-by identification, police said.

Lawson and Collins were both remanded to the Hudson County Jail on charges of conspiracy, possession of burglar tools, and criminal attempted burglary.

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

Dec. 10

At 11 p.m., at Midland Ave. and Forest St., Officer Jonathan Dowie, with Hemphill as back-up, stopped a 2001 Honda for a headlight violation and reportedly observed a pack of cigars, empty baggies, and tobacco scattered on the passenger-side floor. Police said that passenger, Pedro Arriola, 25, of Newark, was found to have a hand-rolled marijuana cigar in his pocket and was arrested on charges of possession of pot and drug paraphernalia. The driver, a 23-year-old Kearny male, was sent on his way with a summons for the headlight violation. It is not known if the two are still friends.

Dec. 12

Units responded to a 2:40 a.m. report that two males had pushed open the door of a multi-family building at Devon St. and Devon Terrace and then run north toward Wilson Ave.  On the 200 block of Devon St., Officer Sean Podolski spotted a duo fitting the suspects’ description and, with back-up Officers Rich Pawlowski and Chris Manolis, conducted a field inquiry/warrant check.

Police said Crosby Salas-Perez, 26, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot/paraphernalia and on a $100 criminal-trespass warrant out of Harrison. He was sent to the county jail. Because there was no sign of forcible entry to the building and no evidence of stolen property, Salas-Perez’ companion, a 26-year-old from Harrison, was sent on his way with no charges. It is not known if the two are still friends.

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At 5:40 p.m., Officer Sean Kelly was called to a hit-run at Davis and Wilson Aves., where a 2006 Nissan had reportedly struck a parked 2017 Toyota. Kelly found the Nissan at Bergen Ave. and Belgrove Drive and, police said, also found that the driver — Karla Fiorentini, 31, of Kearny — had a suspended license and three non-suspended traffic warrants: Glen Ridge, $750; North Arlington, $250; Newark, $200. She was charged on all of the aforementioned, along with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

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After Officer Mina Ekladious stopped a 2003 Chevy with Pennsylvania plates and a broken windshield on Harrison Ave. at 9:10 p.m., a warrant inquiry reportedly revealed that driver Richard Canning, 48, of Newark, was wanted by Union Township ($250, traffic violation) and Belleville ($200, MV offense). He was arrested on those, given a summons for the windshield, and turned over to the Belleville PD.

Dec. 13

Officers Malinda Esposito and Kelly went to Walmart at 4:15 p.m. to meet with a customer who reported she had caught another shopper taking her wallet from the open purse in her cart. (Note to shoppers: Do not put your purse, open or closed, in your cart.) The potential victim had confronted the would-be thief and retrieved her property.

Kelly detained suspect Lynette Smith, of Newark, who was unable to produce any identification but did provide a birthdate and Social Security number. Since suspects are not always trustworthy, Kelly checked the Essex County Corrections website and, police said, found that Smith was 52 — not 54, as she had stated — and had a different Social Security number.

Her pedigree having been ascertained, it was determined that she was the subject of a no-bail theft warrant out of Livingston. And a search reportedly revealed two wax folds of suspected heroin and an alprazolam tablet hidden in her hat. She was charged with possession of the drugs/paraphernalia, on the warrant, and with hindering apprehension.

Dec. 14

Officer Michael Gontarczuk, on patrol at 10 p.m., pulled over a northbound 2004 BMW for running a red light at Quincy and Davis Aves., observed within a glass pipe and a wad of Brillo and subsequently found two empty wax folds, police said. Driver Nelson DaSilva, 36, of Kearny, was charged on the traffic violation, possession of drug paraphernalia — and with forgery.

According to police, a search incident to arrest produced eight $20 bills, which Gontarczuk noticed all bore the same serial number. The Secret Service, which deals with counterfeiting, has been contacted.

– Karen Zautyk


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