On Aug. 28 at 10:04 p.m., Officer Jean-Paul Duran responded to a citizen’s call that a man had knocked on the door of his Argyle Place home and asked for money to get himself home. At the scene, Officer Duran spoke with several other neighbors who had come outside saying the man had also knocked on their doors.
A few minutes later, Det. Neil Nelson located that door knocker at Belgrove Drive and Locust Avenue. Officer Duran offered the man, Alexander M. Hassan, 19, a ride to his home in Newark, which Hassan accepted. However, as Hassan was moving to the police car, Officer Duran noticed a cylindrical bulge near the ankle of his tapered sweatpants.
Officer Duran frisked Hassan and found a hard, clear container near his ankle which contained 13 wax folds of heroin stamped “Joker Wild.” Hasan was then arrested and charged via summons with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with the town ordinance violation of begging for alms.
On Aug. 31 at 12:46 p.m., Det. Mike Andrews noticed Christopher Salerno, 44, of Jersey City, standing at the Belleville Turnpike and Schuyler Avenue. Being familiar with Salerno, the detective knew that there was a Kearny warrant out for his arrest for an assault charge. The warrant carried a $600 bail.
Det. Andrews placed Salerno under arrest. In the process, he found four wax folds of heroin stamped “Wutang” in the change pocket of Salerno’s jeans. Salerno was charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail, South Kearny.
On Aug. 31 at 2 p.m., Det. Jordenson Jean was near the intersection of Kearny and Bergen avenues when his attention was drawn to a 15-year-old Kearny boy, who has already made himself well acquainted with the police department. The department also received recent complaints that the boy had been selling drugs on Kearny Avenue.
The boy was on a cellular phone and appeared to be looking around trying to find someone. Det. Jean took up a surveillance position and he watched as the 15-year-old was soon joined by a 14-year-old Kearny boy. The two moved into the gated alley next to a business and engaged in a hand-to-hand drug transaction.
Det. Jean moved in along with Sgt. Jay Ward and Officer John Fearon and they took the boys into custody, recovering marijuana and weapons.
The 15-year-old boy was charged on juvenile-delinquency complaints with defiant trespass, possession of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a weapon (brass knuckles).
The 14-year-old alleged drug buyer was charged with defiant trespass, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a weapon (knife).
Both boys were ordered by a court juvenile intake officer to be held in a county juvenile detention facility.
Also on Aug. 31, detectives arrested Marc T. Zarnowski, 29, and his mother, Tracy A. Ring, 51, at their Woodland Avenue home. The arrests were connected to a July 18 home invasion-style robbery at a Pine Street home.
According to court complaints, during the course of that investigation, Det. John Fabula discovered evidence that Zarnowski instructed Ring to delete a text message conversation between Zarnowski and co-defendant Mathias Torres, remotely delete the entire contents of Zarnowski’s cellular phone which contained evidence, get a message to Torres to “get gone and stay gone” and to double-bag a box containing bullets and/or shell casings and get rid of it.
Det. Fabula also alleged in criminal complaints that Ring agreed to remotely delete the contents of a cellular phone that was being held in police evidence and warned co-defendant Mathias Torres to “get rid of guns used in the robbery and to hide because the police [were] looking for him.”
Zarnowski was charged on a warrant with four counts of hindering apprehension. He was held at the county jail in South Kearny. Ring was charged on a summons with two counts of hindering apprehension and later released.
At 10:11 p.m. on Aug. 31, Officers Josh Lopez and Anthony Oliveira and Sgt. Jay Ward responded to an identified citizen’s call that a male was pacing on Magnolia Avenue while saying that he was going to beat someone up. The officers located the described male who turned out to be a 17-year-old Harrison boy.
The boy was described in a police report as being “enraged,” so much so that police spoke to him and he let the officers know it with an expression of foul language.
The officers told the boy to stay put for a few moments because they were investigating a report of a threat of violence. The boy allegedly told the cops, with a sprinkling of vulgarities, that he knew his rights. When the boy tried to walk away, he was taken into custody for obstructing the administration of law.
A search incident to arrest showed the boy was armed with a set of brass knuckles. He also possessed a small container of marijuana, a bong, vape pens and cigarillo wrapping papers.
This earned the boy delinquency charges of obstructing the administration of law, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and weapons offenses.
He was processed and released into the custody of a parent.
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Capt. Timothy Wagner | Kearny Police Department
Capt. Timothy Wagner is the Kearny Police Department's public-information officer and the commander of the department's Internal Affairs Unit. He contributes the KPD Blotter weekly and writes it completely.