KPD: Erratic driver nabbed, charged with drunken driving

On March 4 at 4:10 p.m., police dispatch broadcast details of a call they received concerning an erratic, possibly drunken driver northbound on Schuyler Avenue passing Pine Street. Sgt. Jay Ward and Officers Sean Kelly and Janitza Aquino pulled over a Ford pick-up at Schuyler and East Midland avenues that matched the radioed description.

Officer Kelly detected signs of impairment in driver Johnny B. Filipe, 42, of North Arlington. He arrested Filipe when the driver poorly performed a battery of field sobriety tests. Following an Alcotest administered at the police station, Filipe was charged with DWI and failure to exhibit an insurance card.

He was later released to a responsible person.

On March 4 at 11:50 p.m., Officer Bryan San Martin was dispatched to “The Soprano’s parking lot” at 101 Kearny Ave. on a report a man struck a fence while parking his Dodge Charger and then fled on foot. The lot provides rental parking spaces to local residents and, to add insult to injury, it was alleged that the driver parked in another’s rented space.

Officer San Martin found the Charger as described. Tailing the fleeing driver’s direction of flight, he found a man matching the driver’s description at Maple and Patterson streets who was allegedly “stumbling heavily.”

That man was later identified as Victor A. Agreda, 53, of Kearny.

After further investigation, Officer San Martin, assisted by Officer David Vazquez, developed probable cause Agreda was the fleeing driver of the Dodge Charger and he was impaired. The officers attempted to administer field-sobriety tests, but discontinued them after it appeared likely in Officer San Martin’s opinion, that Agreda could fall.

Officers arrested Agreda for DWI, but he reportedly refused a breath test at the police station. Agreda was charged with DWI, refusal to submit to breath testing, reckless driving and parking without required permit. He was later released to a responsible person.

On March 6 at 10 past midnight, Officer Jose Perez-Fonseca was patrolling Schuyler Avenue behind a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The Tacoma allegedly weaved across the double yellow lines several times and then came close to striking parked vehicles. Officer Perez-Fonseca pulled over the pickup on Bergen Avenue off Schuyler and met its driver, Joao Tomaz, 49, of Roselle Park.

Officer Jose Castillo administered a series of field-sobriety tests after officers detected indicators of impairment. After Tomaz failed to adequately negotiate the tests, officers arrested him.Following breath testing at the police station, Tomaz was charged with DWI and reckless driving.

He was later released to a responsible person.

On March 8 at 3:31 p.m., Officers Ryan Brady and Mat Lopez were dispatched to a private home, on what the police department historically terms a “keep the peace,” which is when police stand by at a home while a departing resident retrieves personal belongings so as to head off any potential violence.

When the departing party finished retrieving her personal effects, she complained to the officers her 30-year-old boyfriend had earlier assaulted her leaving a scratch on her neck. The officers arrested the boyfriend on a charge of simple assault.

He was later released from the police station with a summons.

On March 10 at 5:00 p.m., Officer John Donovan and Sgt. Jay Ward responded to the Kearny High School Crew House off the Passaic River on a report that a crew coach saw a deceased human body downriver. The coach took the officers to the location by boat and they confirmed the sighting was in fact a deceased, partially-submerged person. Kearny firefighters later removed the body to a dock where it was pronounced dead by RWJ Barnabas paramedics.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit came to the scene and took over the investigation, which is standard for suspicious deaths. The identity of the victim and cause and manner of death are pending, an investigation by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

On March 11 at 6:50 a.m., Officers Brady, Harold Azurdia and Sgt. Joe Vulcano were dispatched to a private apartment for a domestic dispute. The officers learned a 33-year-old woman was living there with her 38-year-old ex-boyfriend.

The ex, whose name was purportedly the only one on the lease, allegedly became upset after learning his ex-girlfriend/roommate was seeking companionship elsewhere. The man wanted her evicted. In turn, the woman showed officers pictures of herself with a swollen lip which she attributed to the ex-boyfriend hitting her on March 4.

Officers arrested the ex-boyfriend on a charge of simple assault. He was later released from the police station with a summons and referred to landlord-tenant court.

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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.