On Oct. 4 at 8:55 a.m., Officers Sean Podolski and Nicole Cain were dispatched to a report of a man arguing with patrons inside a bakery near 244 Kearny Ave. The officers failed to find the man inside the bakery. But upon leaving, he approached them on the street wearing gloves and carrying a can of Monster energy drink in his jacket pocket. The man, later identified as Clifton J. Rhines, 30, of Newark, told the officers he had been too loud inside the bakery so he left. Rhines then asked for a ride to Harrison. With the weather being poor, Officer Podolski tried to oblige him.
On the way to Harrison, Officer Cain radioed she had just been alerted by the management of the adjacent Walgreens that Rhines allegedly shoplifted a Monster energy drink and copper fit gloves (which he was wearing in the police car). What’s more, management had previously put Rhines on notice he was never allowed back in the store. Officer Podolski interrupted the ride and arrested Rhines – but not before he could chug Walgreens’ energy drink.
Rhines was charged with shoplifting and defiant trespass. He was later held at the county jail.
On Sept. 30 at 10:08 a.m., Officers Esteban Gonzalez and Andre Fernandes were sent to ShopRite where the manager had detained an alleged shoplifter. The store manager accused Walter M. Valderrama, 72, of Harrison, of concealing $33.98 of Duracell batteries under cases of cases of water and attempting to carry them out of the store without paying.
The officers arrested Valderrama who was later released with a summons charging shoplifting.
On Sept. 30 at 3:47 p.m., Officers Christian Medina, J.T. Fearon and Sgt. Jay Ward were dispatched to Walmart, whose loss prevention associate reported three men were actively shoplifting. The associate accused the three men of working in concert whereby one male filled duffel bags full of $1,110 of WiFi and security camera hardware while the other two men acted as lookouts.
Officers arrested the three men, later identified as Jazmir N. Carter, 24, of Newark, and East Orange residents Faheem A. Magwood, 23, and Alqadir F. Ward, 27. Carter was also the subject of three arrest warrants from Newark Municipal Court (two for drug possession and one for a local ordinance violation). All three were sent to the Hudson County Jail, South Kearny, on charges of shoplifting and conspiracy.
On Oct. 1 at 12:40 p.m., Officers John Donovan, J.T. Fearon and Sgt. Jay Ward responded to a domestic dispute at a private residence. Upon the officers’ arrival, a 34-year-old town man requested they escort his 25-year-old girlfriend from the premises, telling the cops he had a temporary restraining order against her. The officers learned that a TRO had indeed been filed against the girlfriend, but not served, and so it was not yet enforceable.
While being served with her restraining order, the girlfriend complained her boyfriend hurt her a half-hour earlier by pulling her hair while they were at Midland Dairy. The gal pressed a charge for simple assault.
So, the officers presented the boyfriend with his updated and fully-served restraining order and then arrested him for simple assault. The state’s bail reform matrices decided the boyfriend should stay in jail, so he was transferred to the Hudson County Jail.
On Oct. 2 at 26 past midnight, Officer Anthony Oliveira checked on a report the driver of a silver Mazda was playing loud music and urinating next to his car on Lincoln Avenue. Officer Oliveira found the Mazda idling with a man asleep in its driver’s seat.
He shook the man awake and, assisted by Officers Danny Maganinho and Jose Castillo, pieced together all the quality-of-life infractions. The officers found driver Franklin A. Guanomaroto, 39, of Kearny, surrounded by empty Corona and Modelo beer bottles, with a partially-consumed bottle in the center console. Guanomaroto allegedly showed signs of impairment and a puddle next to his door reportedly smelled of urine. Officers arrested the driver after he failed a series of field-sobriety tests.
Following alcohol breath testing at the police station, Guanomaroto was charged with DWI, operating with an open container of alcohol and public urination. He was later released with summonses.
On Oct. 4 at 10:21 p.m., Officer Cort Montanino was backing up another officer on a car stop at Passaic and Webster avenues and saw a blue Ford Explorer drive by without its headlights on. No longer needed at his first assignment, the officer pulled over the Ford as it crossed into North Arlington.
Driver Saladeen McGriff, 31, of Newark, not only didn’t have headlights, he also didn’t have a driver’s license. A dispatcher found McGriff’s license had been suspended. Officer Montanino took McGriff in on charges of driving with a suspended license and failure to use lighted lamps when required. McGriff was later released with his tickets.
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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.