KPD: Parking lot vigilante sought coffee, got trip to the County instead

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On Feb. 16 at 6:41 a.m., Officer Nicole Cain responded to a report of two men fighting inside the Passaic Avenue Dunkin’ store. The officer found a 37-year-old Kearny man bleeding from the head. She learned while waiting in line, the victim was approached by another customer who had words with him about parking his car illegally.

When the victim brushed off the comment, the parking enforcer allegedly threatened to shoot the victim and then produced a revolver and pistol whipped the victim in the head. The alleged parking vigilante was reported to have returned to his vehicle and driven off before police arrived.

Det. Jonathan Dowie took over the investigation and quickly identified the alleged pistol-whipper as Jacob S. Safer, 32, of Belleville. Kearny and Belleville detectives surveilled Safer’s home and took him into custody without incident when he exited his home at approximately 10 a.m.

Det. Dowie charged Safer with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and weapon possession offenses. He was later held at the county jail in South Kearny.

On Feb. 12 at 12:27 p.m., Officer Nick Funk and several backup officers were dispatched to a fight involving weapons on Devon Street. The officers learned a 23-year-old Newark man had arranged to meet his ex-girlfriend, a 22-year-old Kearny woman, to exchange personal belongings. A fight broke out during the exchange which led to the ex-girlfriend allegedly pepper spraying the man and slashing him with a knife, and then attempting to run him down with her car.

The ex-boyfriend sustained a minor laceration to his hand, reportedly from a knife slash. Officers arrested the ex-girlfriend on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and weapon possession offenses. She was later released with summonses.

On Feb. 16 at 8 p.m., Officers Cort Montanino and Pete Jahera and Sgt. Tim Castle were dispatched to a dispute in a private home. The homeowner informed the officers that he wanted two guests out of his house. While sorting out the circumstances of the incident, officers learned that the two guests had warrants out for their arrest.

The officers arrested Steven A. McGirr, 32, and Megan J. McGirr, 31, both of Kearny. Megan was the defendant in a shoplifting warrant and a traffic warrant – both issued by the Secaucus Municipal Court. Steven was wanted by Hudson County Superior Court for a larceny charge. Megan was turned over to Secaucus police, while Steven was transferred to the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.

On Feb. 19 at 5:35 p.m., Det. Jordenson Jean was assigned to a security detail at ShopRite. The detective took note of a woman who pushed a shopping cart of merchandise past the self-checkout registers without stopping to pay. Det. Jean detained the woman outside the store’s exit and found that she had allegedly absconded with $30.73 of store merchandise.

Assisted by Officer Ellesse Ogando, Det. Jean arrested Lakiesha Stevens, 40, homeless, on a charge of shoplifting. Stevens was later released with a summons.

On Feb. 19 at 5:51 p.m., Officers David Vazquez and Jose Perez-Fonseca responded to Marshalls store on a shoplifting complaint. There, a store associate detained Samantha M. Rodriguez, 19, of Newark, whom he alleged passed all points of sale with $87.97 worth of baby clothes, lingerie and makeup that were not paid for.

The officers arrested Rodriguez but later released her with a summons for shoplifting.

On Feb. 19 at 8:03 p.m., Officers Josh Lopez and Matthew Knighton investigated a report that someone was attempting to set ablaze the warming center at 53 S. Hackensack Ave. Upon Officer Lopez’s arrival he saw Jenell Bowens, 44, of Jersey City, allegedly using a lighter to set a black garbage bag on fire adjacent to a large puddle of vehicle antifreeze.

Officer Lopez extinguished the small fire and detained Bowens for further investigation. The officers learned immediately prior to setting the fire, Bowens allegedly had a dispute with warming center staff whom he believed were withholding his cigarettes. There were approximately 130 people inside the warming center at the time of the fire.

The officers arrested Bowens for aggravated arson and for violating a local littering ordinance. After processing, Bowens was remanded next door to the Hudson County Jail.

On Feb. 19 at 10:55 p.m., Officer Tom Collins was patrolling Midland Avenue near Devon Street when he came upon a group of people arguing. The officer was told during the course of the argument a 41-year-old Jersey City man and his 39-year-old Newark girlfriend exchanged blows to the face. Reportedly, the man had no signs of injury but the woman had a bloody, swollen cheek.

New Jersey domestic violence laws make this a mandatory arrest due to the visible injuries and Officer Collins took the boyfriend into custody on his own complaint. The defendant was charged with simple assault and later released with a summons.

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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.