On Jan. 2 at 10:15 a.m., Officers Christian Medina, Ellese Ogando, Andre Fernandes, Sgt. Jay Ward, and Capt. Paul Bershefski were dispatched to a stabbing at a private home that sees more visits from the police than a Dunkin’ Donuts. Outside the home, they found a 28-year-old Kearny man with a large deep laceration to his right arm with exposed fatty tissue.
The man reported he had an altercation with a man he has been living with for five months. He alleged the man was on a bad acid trip, stuck him in the head with a living room table, and then cut his arm with a black folding knife. Officers found and seized the knife.
While EMS readied the victim for transport to a local hospital, officers located the alleged assailant, a 33-year-old Kearny man, inside the home. After further investigation, officers arrested him on charges of aggravated assault and weapon possession offenses. He was later held at the Hudson County Jail.
On Jan. 1 at 11:41 p.m., Officers Cort Montanino and Jonathan Lima were dispatched to a report of a fighting male near the intersection of Kearny Avenue and Dukes Street. After hearing the sound of glass breaking on Dukes Street, Officer Montanino’s attention was drawn to Shawn J. Laroche, 30, of Kearny, who had allegedly knocked over a recycling can and then began kicking a parked car.
Officer Montanino confronted Laroche, who initially scoffed at his orders to stop walking away. Officers later learned Laroche had just finished arguing with a nearby resident who confronted him about his reportedly disorderly behavior on the street, after which officers arrived to find him kicking the car.
Officer Lima took Laroche under arrest despite his reported resistance to being handcuffed. Placed inside the back of a police SUV, Laroche kicked the inside of that vehicle as well. He was charged by summons with criminal mischief, obstructing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, and then released to an area hospital.
On Jan. 2 at 1:02 a.m., Officer Lawrence Latka was dispatched to Quick Chek on a report of a man screaming he had just robbed the store. The man fled before police arrived and Officer Latka found that the store had not been robbed. Officers eventually caught up to the man on the Kearny-East Newark border. He was later identified as Erly Abrigo-Arrendondo, 32, of Newark.
While Abrigo-Arrendondo told officers an odd tale he had been followed by a woman with big eyes, the department received a report Abrigo-Arrendondo had just previously smashed the front window of Walgreens at 248 Kearny Ave.
Sgt. Tim Castle viewed surveillance video recordings allegedly showing Abrigo-Arrendondo smash the Walgreens window with a green thermos. The officers then arrested Abrigo-Arrendondo and recovered a green Stanley thermos while searching him incident to arrest.
Abrigo-Arrendondo was charged by summons with criminal mischief and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was then released to a local hospital.
On Dec. 24 at 9:17 a.m., Officer Ellesse Ogando was dispatched to a report of car theft on Johnston Avenue. There, Bryan Ulloa, 20, of Kearny, told Officer Ogando he was hit from behind in the head and face and lost consciousness briefly. When he awoke, Ulloa reportedly found his Honda Civic, cellular phone and wallet had been robbed.
When brought to the police station for a formal statement, Ulloa allegedly told officers his initial story was untrue. He now told officers an ex-girlfriend confronted him while he was parking at his new girlfriend’s house, beat him about the face and produced a knife with which she threatened to slash his tires.
Afterward, he parked his car, leaving his car keys, wallet and cellular phone inside his car, and went into a friend’s home. Upon later returning to his car, Ulloa reportedly found it missing.
Piecing together video surveillance from several sources, Det. Anthony Nunez found Ulloa also lacked candor in telling his second story. The detective found Ulloa was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run crash with a parked vehicle, after which he abandoned his Honda in a supermarket parking lot and then filed false reports to the police and his auto insurance carrier.
Det. Nunez charged Ulloa with false reports to law enforcement and insurance fraud.
He was later lodged in the Hudson County Jail.
On Jan. 6 at 10:31 a.m., Officer Esteban Gonzalez and Sgt. Jay Ward were dispatched to BJ’s Wholesale Club on a report of employee theft. A store loss prevention investigator turned over evidence and alleged that employee Najmah Y. Williams, 25, of Irvington, had engaged in a scheme where she stole a total of $13,443 from a secure location where cash register drawers were stored.
Williams also allegedly used some of that money to fraudulently upgrade customer accounts to a higher membership level which satisfied a sales perk which added $5 per customer upgrade to her pay. This alleged upgrade scam netted Williams a total of $1,499 in bonus money.
Williams was charged by summons with theft and later released.
On Jan. 7, Officers Bryan San Martin and Thomas Collins arrested Nathan Braswell, 18, of Newark, at the Somerset County Jail where Braswell was an outgoing inmate. Braswell was the subject of a Kearny warrant charging theft and conspiracy, which was issued Jan. 5.
The charges were related to a March 9, 2022, theft of a Dodge Charger from Kearny and New Lawn avenues. Det. Jonathan Dowie collected and analyzed an abundance of digital evidence allegedly linking Braswell to the car theft.
Braswell was booked at KPD and then transferred to another county jail, this one in South Kearny.
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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.