On Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m., Officer Michael Ore and Sgt. Tim Castle were dispatched to ShopRite to assist Det. Jordenson Jean who had detained an alleged shoplifter. A store manager had informed Det. Jean he observed Nelsa Portillo, 70, of Newark, conceal Axe body sprays, fish and vitamins in her bag and then pass the cash registers without paying the $138.88 sale price for the merchandise.
When Det. Jean confronted Portillo, she allegedly defecated herself.
Since officers were able to positively identify Portillo on the scene, they issued her a summons for shoplifting and an order to appear later at KPD HQ for fingerprinting when she became unsoiled
(Captain’s Disclaimer: Even in this time of bail reform, bowel movements are not an automatic “get-out-of-jail-free” card. Future potential shoplifters should not read this poop as precedential. Each arrest is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
On Aug. 23 at 9:12 p.m., Officers Paul Duran, Ruben Rivera and Lawrence Latka responded to a domestic dispute at a private home. Upon arrival, the officers heard a commotion in a side alley and followed it to find a 54-year-old wife screaming at her 58-year-old husband. The wife earlier allegedly spied her husband having a drink at a bar with another woman and then returned home and lied in wait.
When the husband returned home and denied the allegation, the two began to argue. The husband took refuge in the bathroom, but the wife allegedly opened the bathroom door and scratched his chest, abdomen and arm. In the process, the wife also sustained a small cut on the inside of her lip.
Officers arrested the wife on a charge of simple assault. She was later released with a summons.
On Aug. 27 at 9:27 p.m., Officer Lawrence Latka performed a security check at the closed Bridgeview Diner at 1 Hackensack Ave., where he was responding to a bulletin that advised him to be on the lookout for a person who had trespassed at the diner recently.
Officer Latka looked through a window to see Marino Cruz-Ramirez, 51, homeless, but formerly of Sayreville, asleep at a diner booth. Upon becoming aware of the officer’s presence Cruz-Ramirez allegedly fled into the basement of the diner and Officer Latka could not pursue him since the diner’s doors were locked (It is unclear how Cruz-Ramirez got inside the diner).
The owner of the diner came to the scene and unlocked the door, allowing Officers Latka, Kevin Matos, Angel Martinez and Sgt. Ben Wuelfing to search for the trespasser. Cruz-Ramirez was allegedly found hiding in a closet in the basement and arrested without incident.
A search uncovered Cruz-Ramirez possessed four credit cards embossed to four other people and a crack pipe. He was also wanted by Perth Amboy Municipal Court on a warrant charging loitering to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance, with a bail $2,500 bail.
Cruz-Ramirez was remanded to the county jail on charges of criminal trespass, credit card theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Aug. 28 at 4:21 p.m., Det. Jordenson Jean observed Edwin Ward, 56, of Nutley, enter ShopRite holding a shipping box. Det. Jean had previously been given a photo of Ward and had been advised Ward was the suspect in a prior store theft in which he allegedly entered the store with a box, filled the box with merchandise and then carried the box out without paying for the merchandise.
On the current date, Det. Jean watched Ward allegedly place $47.47 worth of hygiene products into his box, pass all registers without paying and then exit the store through the adjoining liquor store. Det. Jean stopped Ward in the parking lot, arrested him and recovered the plunder and a crack pipe Ward had concealed on his person.
Ward was charged with shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was later lodged in the Hudson County Jail.
On Aug. 28 at 10:43 p.m., Officer Angel Martinez and several back-up officers responded to a private home on a report of a domestic violence restraining order violation. The married residents reported they heard someone turning their home’s door handle and saw their 34-year-old son outside the house. A judge had previously issued a restraining order barring the son from that residence.
Officers quickly found the son lying on a back yard bench. They arrested him on a charge of contempt of court and later transferred him to the county jail.
On Aug. 29 at 4:28 a.m., Officers Angel Martinez and Mariana Figueiredo were dispatched to a private home, where a 19-year-old woman allegedly left her wallet in the mailbox and a suicide note on the floor in front of a bedroom, before leaving in an SUV.
At just after 5 a.m., Officer Kevin Matos found the allegedly suicidal woman sitting in her car in the CVS parking lot at 220 Schuyler Ave. When he positioned his car behind the woman’s vehicle and approached her window, she allegedly abruptly reversed and then sped forward out of the parking lot, in the dark, without turning on her car’s lights.
Officers Cort Montanino and Sgt. Ben Wuelfing again found the woman driving without lights on Sanford Avenue. When they neared her, she allegedly sped past them in the opposite direction, side-swiping Sgt. Wuelfing’s patrol vehicle in the process. The woman continued northbound through the dead-end of Sanford Avenue, off the roadway, over the railroad tracks and struck a commercial building.
Officers Montanino and Ryan Wilson removed the woman from her SUV and found she had reportedly become unresponsive with constricted pupils. Officers administered Nasal Narcan as a precaution. The woman was then arrested and transported by EMS to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment.
The woman was issued summonses for eluding, DWI, reckless driving and other traffic offenses.
She was turned over to hospital staff and has since been released from the hospital.
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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.