Kearny PD says it helped Harrison PD catch shooter

On Sept. 3 at 1:56 p.m., Officers Jason Rodrigues, Sean Kelly, Chris Manolis, Sgts. Jay Ward and Phil Finch, and Capt. Paul Bershefski responded to the area of Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. and Angelo Cifelli Drive in Harrison to assist Harrison police, who reported that while investigating a firearm incident, officers stopped a group of people traveling in a black Toyota.

A male alighted from that Toyota and allegedly shot at Harrison officers before fleeing on foot.

Harrison officers recovered the fired gun on the ground.

The aforementioned Kearny officers joined Harrison and other mutual-aid officers in searching residential yards on Essex Street after having received a report the suspect may have fled there. The officers located the suspect hiding in an Essex Street yard, but he jumped over a fence and ran toward Railroad Avenue.

Officers gave chase and captured the suspect near the Bank of America at 500 Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard.

The man, identified as Jeremiah Bowzer, 24, of Newark, was booked by Harrison police.

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On Sept. 5, 2021, at 8:05 p.m., officers arrested a 47-year-old town man for allegedly slapping his girlfriend in the face, causing pain and redness to her skin. The assailant was charged with simple assault and held at the county jail, South Kearny.

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On Sept. 5 at 10:37 p.m., Sgt. Tom Pontrella was patrolling the Belleville Turnpike near Devon Street when the car in front of him pulled to the side of the road and its driver began pointing to the BMW in front of him. Sgt. Pontrella began following the BMW, noting it was being driven erratically: changing speeds suddenly, weaving and then coming to an abrupt stop at a traffic light.

Sgt. Pontrella pulled over the BMW to learn that its driver, Fausto A. Pardo-Rubio, 34, of Belleville, had a suspended driver’s license and was wanted by three municipal courts for traffic-related charges. The sergeant arrested Pardo-Rubio issuing him traffic summonses for careless driving and driving with a suspended license. It is unclear why Pardo-Rubio was driving erratically.

Dover ($750 bail for Improper Turn), Lincoln Park ($500 bail for suspended driving) and Bloomfield ($750 bail for suspended driving) authorities all ordered Pardo-Rubio released on his own recognizance with new court dates. Pardo-Rubio was then released from police custody.

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On Sept. 6 at 11:23 a.m., Officers Kevin Carvalho and Andre Fernandes were dispatched to the U.S. Gas station at 356 Belleville Tpk. on a report of an assault. There, officers were told that a 41-year-old male gas station attendant approached a man who was filling a gas can in the back of a pickup truck and asked him to place the can on the ground in accordance with safety procedures to prevent static electricity from igniting the gas vapors.

A dispute erupted with the gas attendant allegedly grabbing the truck’s door handle which caused it to break and the customer allegedly picking up a window squeegee and swinging it at the gas attendant’s head. Luckily, he missed his target. However, the customer reportedly then retrieved an aluminum stick from the bed of his truck and hit the attendant with it, causing a laceration to the attendant’s right forearm.

Officers arrested Joseph Stecz, 76, of Wood Ridge. He was charged with aggravated assault and weapons offenses before being released with a summons.

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On Sept. 6 at 3:55 p.m., Officers Ryan Brady, Carvalho and Sean Podolski went to the Vermella Apartments on Passaic Avenue at the request of Bloomfield police, who asked officers to search for Latrice Jones-Bingham, 33, of Kearny, who was the subject of a Bloomfield warrant charging domestic violence harassment and the subject of an unserved restraining order.

The officers located Jones-Bingham and took her under arrest without incident. She was later transferred into the custody of the Bloomfield Police Department.

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On September 6 at 8:19 p.m., Officer Rodrigues received a “hit” to an in-car computer random license plate search showing that the vehicle being driven in front of him was owned by a person whose driver’s license was suspended. Officer Rodrigues pulled over the car at Harrison and Bergen avenues and found registered owner Amanda S. Andrews, 41, of Woodbridge, was behind the wheel in violation of the law.

Officer Rodrigues arrested Andrews on charges of driving with a suspended license and failure to surrender a suspended license. Andrews was later released with her summonses.

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On Sept. 6 at 11 p.m., Officers Nicole Williams, Ruben Rivera, Michael Ore and Capt. David Feldhan took a report from a 22-year-old woman who said she had been sexually assaulted two days earlier by an acquaintance at his apartment in Kearny.

Det. Jordenson Jean conducted a follow-up investigation into the allegation and as a result of his findings, a warrant issued Sept. 7 charging a 25-year-old Kearny man (name withheld to protect the privacy of the victim) with sexual assault, criminal restraint and simple assault.

On Sept. 9, the defendant turned himself in at police headquarters. He was booked on the aforesaid charges by Officer Rich Poplaski Jr., and then held at the Hudson County Jail.

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On Sept. 9 at 1 a.m., Officers Jose Perez-Fonseca and Matthew Knighton were summoned to the Essex County Jail in Newark, where Anthony Robinson, 42, of Newark, was being held on a Kearny arrest warrant carrying $600 bail.

This was Robinson’s third arrest stemming from an April 19, 2019, shoplifting charge at the old Kmart in Kearny. Robinson was originally arrested by Kearny officers on that date, but later released. Then, on June 26, 2019, Kearny officers were summoned to the Market Street Precinct in Newark, where Newark police had arrested Robinson for a bench warrant related to the original April 2019 charge.

For the present incident, Robinson was again booked and sent to the Hudson County Jail to await a court date.

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Capt. Timothy Wagner | Kearny Police Department
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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.