KPD: With 1-year-old baby nearby, trio fights with knife over a Cash App card

On Nov. 2 at 4:57 p.m., Officer Andre Fernandes responded with other officers to 425 Elm St. on a report of a knife fight. They located Francis Mejia and Brianna Kagan-Gonzalez, both 20, and of Kearny, and William Kearney, 28, of Manchester. The Kearny pair said they came to the location to retrieve a Cash App card from Kearney (the man, not the town and thus the spelling difference,) but did not get it.

It was alleged that this led to Kagan-Gonzalez taking Kearney’s cellular phone when she did not get the Cash App card. It was also alleged that a fight erupted in which Kearney swung both a wooden post and a metal bed frame at Mejia, and then dropped the bed frame and pointed a handsaw at Mejia. It was also alleged Mejia produced a knife from his back pocket and swiped at Kearney with it.

Meanwhile, all this occurred in the presence of a 1-year-old boy.

Officers arrested all three combatants. Search incident to the arrests located a container of Percocet and a half-cut straw (commonly used to snort crushed pills) in Kagan-Gonzalez’s pocket. She was also wanted on a Kearny traffic warrant carrying $1,000 bail.

Kearney and Mejia were both charged with aggravated assault and weapon possession offenses and released with summonses. Kagan-Gonzalez was charged by summons with theft (of the cellular phone), possession of a prescription drug not lawfully prescribed, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was held at the county jail due to her outstanding traffic warrant.

On Nov. 2 at 10:21 p.m., Officer Anthony Oliveira was clearing from a call on Chestnut Street and saw a Hyundai Veloster parked illegally with a Georgia temporary registration duct taped to its rear and a New Jersey inspection sticker on its windshield. Officer Oliveira approached to find the car’s driver asleep. Next to him on the passenger seat was a large bag of marijuana and on the center console was a smaller bag of marijuana.

Officer Oliveira awakened driver James H. Lopez-Hernandez, 21, of Kearny, who told him that he borrowed the car from his friend Dario. The officer found the Georgia temporary tag was registered to one person and the car’s VIN showed it was registered in New Jersey to a different person. Officer Oliveira also recognized Lopez-Hernandez from previously pulling him over in a Jeep Cherokee with a Georgia temporary registration Lopez-Hernandez allegedly said did not belong to him either.

A record check of Lopez-Hernandez showed he was wanted by the Hudson County Sheriff for assault. A further search of the vehicle uncovered a knotted sock under the front passenger seat containing a large quantity of Ziploc “dime” bags.

Officer Oliveira arrested Lopez-Hernandez on charges of intent to distribute marijuana over one ounce but less than five pounds; intent to distribute drug paraphernalia; and parking within 25 feet of a crosswalk. The defendant was later turned over to the Hudson County Jail.

On Nov. 4 at 8:44 a.m., Officer Anthony Oliveira and Lt. Jack Corbett Jr., arrested Dario H. Sanjinez-Espiche, 25, of North Arlington, in the lobby of police headquarters. They allege Sanjinez-Espiche appeared at the police Record Bureau seeking to have the impounded Hyundai Veloster from the above case released to him. He presented Lt. Corbett with a suspicious-looking vehicle insurance card purported to have been issued by State Farm.

Due to irregularities on the card, Lt. Corbett telephoned a State Farm representative who confirmed the insurance card was fraudulent, the owner of the car did not have a policy with State Farm and the policy number on the card was fictitious.

Sanjinez-Espiche was charged with uttering a fraudulent motor-vehicle insurance card and later released with a summons. The owner of the impounded car, Carlos A. Alivzuri-Moron, 55, of North Arlington, was mailed a summons for having no liability insurance on his car.

On Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., Sgt. Ben Wuelfing and Officers Ruben Rivera and Paul Duran arrested two defendants who were being held at the Jersey City Municipal Court. The arrests stemmed from a previously reported Oct. 7 aggravated assault near 12 Kearny Ave. that left one man with an orbital bone fracture and another man stabbed.

Officers arrested Michael Laroche, 28, and Rita Laroche, 33, both of Jersey City. Michael is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and two counts of endangering an injured victim. Rita is charged with the same offenses plus one count of criminal attempt (murder). Michael was also held on two outstanding warrants from Lakewood (traffic, $1,500 bail) and Woodbridge (traffic, $250 bail).

Both defendants were lodged in the Hudson County jail.

On Nov. 4 at 7:41 p.m., Det. Michael Andrews, who was working a security detail at ShopRite, requested officers to assist with apprehending three shoplifters inside the store. Sgt. Tim Castle and Officer Ryan Wilson responded to the call.

A store manager reported three people were observed on security cameras eating cake and cookies that were offered for sale and then discarding the packaging. He also accused a woman in the group of concealing merchandise on her person and trying to leave the store without paying.

The officers later found $50.65 of stolen merchandise on the woman.

The officers arrested Nailah S. Johnson, 19, Majid R. Stevenson. 20, and Jamira Warren, 18 – all of Newark. All three were charged with shoplifting. The men were released on summonses. Ms. Warren was held at the county jail in South Kearny due to her public safety assessment score.

On Nov 4 at 11:05 p.m., Officer Kevin Matos and backup officers were dispatched to Belleville Turnpike and Elm Street on a report that a shirtless male was chasing another male with a large knife. Follow up reports said the victim had taken shelter in the office of a nearby gas station and the assailant was trying to break in. Officers Angel Martinez and Ryan Wilson detained a shirtless 15-year-old Kearny boy at Elm and the Pike. Officer Mariana Figueiredo found a knife on the sidewalk nearby.

Officer Matos located the victim, a 16-year-old Cranbury boy with a hand laceration. The boy was uncooperative about explaining the incident. He was transported by EMS to Clara Maass Medical Center where he was released to his mother.

After further investigation, the officers took the 15-year-old assailant into custody. He was charged as a juvenile delinquent with aggravated assault, weapon possession offenses and burglary. He was later ordered released on intensive home supervision.

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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.