In Kearny, the 2016 blotter ended with yet another shoplifting, this one at ShopRite, and this one escalating into robbery.
At 8 p.m. on Dec. 29, Sgt. Michael Gonzalez was on off-duty security detail at ShopRite when he was advised by a staffer that a man attempting to leave the store with $94.90 worth of stolen merchandise had scuffled with employees and fled on foot. Gonzalez pursued the suspect, who reportedly had run south on Clark St. and then cut through an apartment complex, heading for Belgrove Drive.
There, the man — identified as Anthony McBryde, 52, of Flanders — was confronted by and assaulted a store employee who tried to stop him, police said.
When Gonzalez arrived, the two were still grappling. The sergeant grabbed McBryde, who continued to resist and ignored orders to cease and desist, police said. He was eventually subdued, hauled off to KPD headquarters by patrol officers, and charged with robbery and resisting arrest.
Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
Shortly before midnight, Officers Jonathan Dowie and David Bush stopped a 2010 Honda travelling on Rts.1/9 with just one headlight, detected the odor of marijuana and saw a baggie apparently containing the drug at the driver’s feet, police said. In a search incident to arrest, a pill bottle containing pot was also allegedly found in his jacket. Samuel Raymond, 24, of Union, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia, possession of a CDS in a MV, driving while suspended, and on a $1,000 DWI warrant out of Berkeley Heights.
And the award for being the very first Kearny arrestee of 2017 goes to … Douglas Welfl, 31, who was taken into custody at 10:45 a.m. by Officer Jose Resua for allegedly making terroristic threats against a Forest St. resident. Police said Welfl, who is homeless, often sleeps on porches around town and was discovered so snoozing by a homeowner, who advised him to leave.
Welfl reportedly responded by attacking the door and threatening to kill the complainant. After being booked at HQ, he was given a warm place to sleep, at the Hudson County Jail.
At 8 p.m., Officer Bush, with Officer Dowie as back-up, stopped a 1998 Infiniti for a lighting violation at Schuyler and Stewart Aves. and reportedly found a plastic bag of marijuana in the center console. Driver Daniel Ruiz, 24, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot/paraphernalia and operating a MV in possession of a CDS.
Officer Michael Gontarczuk, on patrol at Kearny and Johnston Aves. at 8:20 p.m., was alerted by his computer that the owner of a passing Honda Accord had a suspended license. Stopping the auto, he confirmed that the driver, Sadan Gonzalez, 24, of Passaic, was the owner and he reportedly spotted a Pepsi can with what appeared to be marijuana residue in the center console. While Gontarczuk was questioning Gonzalez, a male passenger — described only as being about 6-feet tall and in his mid- to late-20s — bolted from the car and ran south on Kearny Ave. The officer radioed HQ and took off in foot pursuit, west on Johnston and south on Maple St., where he lost sight of the runner, who had cut through the backyards.
Gontarczuk returned to the Honda, where Gonzalez had kindly remained but unkindly refused to identify the absent passenger, police said. However, KPD detectives have consulted with Passaic detectives concerning the driver’s known associates. Additionally, Officers Rich Pawlowski and Jason Rodrigues, canvassing the passenger’s flight route, recovered a cell phone, which is being held for evidence.
Gonzalez was charged with driving while suspended, possession of pot/paraphernalia and having a CDS in a MV.
Officer Daniel Esteves, patrolling the perimeter of Walmart at 3 p.m., saw two men loading what apparently were store pallets into a rental truck and alerted security. Police said Walmart did not want to pursue a complaint, but did want to know who the men were so they could be barred from store property. Esteves provided the information but also arrested one of the individuals — Najee Leesang, 25 of Newark — on a $5,000 drug warrant. The other, having neither warrants nor a Walmart complaint, was free to go his merry way.
At 4:45 p.m., in the area of Davis Ave. and Pierce Place, Officer Jordenson Jean recognized pedestrian Bruno Mendes, 38, of Kearny, and confirmed that he had three warrants — Kearny, $500; Fair Lawn, $500; Bloomfield, $150 — all for driving while revoked (which may be why he was walking). Mendes was arrested and booked at HQ and the other jurisdictions were notified.
Officer Gontarczuk, at Kearny and Wilson Aves. at 10:45 p.m., arrested Jose Ortiz, 34, of Kearny, on a Hudson County Sheriff’s warrant for receiving stolen property. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a search produced a Brillo-packed glass pipe, police said. And he got a town ordinance summons for drinking (a 25-oz. can of Bud Ice beer), which is what had attracted the officer’s attention to him in the first place.
– Karen Zautyk