On April 27 at 7:35 p.m., a concerned citizen called KPD reporting that a man was drinking alcohol (it turned out to be iced tea) and acting disorderly on a public bench near 148 Kearny Ave. Officer Chris Montes initiated contact with the man, later identified as Shawn J. Laroche, 30, of Kearny. When Sgt. Tim Castle recognized that Laroche was likely a wanted person, Laroche ran down Hoyt Street to Chestnut Street.
Officers Montes, Lawrence Latka and Sgt. Castle caught up to the dasher on Chestnut Street. A warrant had indeed been issued for Laroche’s arrest. When officers tried to handcuff Laroche, he reportedly tensed his arms to resist handcuffing.
After transport to the police station, officers took off Laroche’s handcuffs in response to his complaint they were too tight. In a show of ingratitude, Laroche reportedly rolled up his sleeves, took up a fighting stance and made trite remarks about the officers’ badges and guns. Officers had to re-cuff Laroche at which time he allegedly kicked Sgt. Castle near the groin.
Officers charged Laroche with obstructing, resisting arrest, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and failure to submit to fingerprinting. The outstanding warrant that triggered Laroche’s arrest stemmed from an April 20 incident at King and Elm streets in which officers twice responded to reports of Laroche kicking a postal service mailbox and playing loud music. Each time officers arrived, Laroche allegedly retreated into his apartment, played loud music and refused to answer the door.
On his second flight from the police, Sgt. Sean Kelly gave chase but could not catch up with Laroche before he reached “sanctuary.” Laroche allegedly yelled at officers to felate him. Instead, an officer wrote him a ticket for violating the town’s noise ordinance and he filed a criminal charge for obstructing the administration of law and resisting arrest.
Laroche was held at the Hudson County jail.
On April 21 at 2:07 p.m., Officer Jordan Miranda was at Walmart on another matter when a loss prevention associate reported to him that “customer” Angel J. Melendez, 25, of Belleville, had passed all points of sale with a shopping cart loaded with $323.30 worth of unpaid-for clothes and groceries.
Officer Miranda arrested Melendez. Search incident to arrest disclosed Melendez allegedly possessed credit cards and identification belonging to a different man, and a debit card embossed to a third man. A record check showed Melendez was wanted by the Essex County Sheriff, New Jersey State Police – Bridgeton, Newark Municipal Court and Sea Brook.
Officer Miranda charged Melendez with shoplifting and theft of property lost or mislaid. Melendez was held at the Hudson County Jail.
On April 21 at 2:58 p.m., Officer Damian Kolodziej was dispatched to the Target store on a shoplifting complaint. A loss prevention associate accused Nancy Y. Oliveras, 51, of Jersey City, of stealing $161.62 worth of merchandise by using a self-checkout register and – instead of scanning the bar codes on the merchandise – scanning a bar code she held in her hand. Purportedly, this ruse made it appear Oliveras was properly scanning merchandise when, in fact, the prices of the items were not registering in the cash register.
Officer Kolodziej arrested Oliveras on a charge of shoplifting by under-ringing. She was later released with a summons.
On April 21 at 3:46 p.m., Officer Ryan Stickno was sent to Marshalls store where a loss prevention associate had accused Maria C. Cerino, 45, of Belleville, of shoplifting. Specifically, the store personnel charged Cerino concealed $160.86 of merchandise in a reusable shopping bag and passed all points of sale without paying.
Officer Stickno arrested and charged Cerino with shoplifting. She was later released with a summons.
On April 22 at 7:14 p.m., Officers Cort Montanino, Lawrence Latka and Chris Montes responded to a domestic dispute at a private residence. A 43-year-old husband with injury marks on his neck, showed officers a video of his 47-year-old wife putting her hands around his neck during an argument.
Officers arrested the wife and charged her with simple assault. She was later released with a summons.
On April 24 at 8:23 p.m., Officer Angel Martinez was dispatched to the Target store where a loss prevention associate pointed out a woman sitting in an Acura bearing Massachusetts license plates, whom he accused of shoplifting $944.86 worth of store merchandise.
When Officer Martinez approached the Acura, he saw the woman, later identified as Ketty L. Henriquez, 40, of Newark, snorting heroin from a wax fold stamped “Blue Cheese.” Officer Martinez grabbed Henriquez’s hands and removed her from the car, during which a crack pipe fell to the ground, and a second wax fold of heroin and a vial were recovered from the car.
Henriquez was later sent to the county jail on charges of shoplifting, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence.
While at the scene, officers removed rear passenger Furquan A. Thomas, 41, of Newark, from the car and another crack pipe was found on his seat. Thomas, too, was arrested. A search of his person uncovered three vials commonly used to package drugs. Thomas, who allegedly gave officers a false identity at the scene, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and hindering apprehension. He was later released with a summons.
On April 24 at 11:55 p.m., a woman walked in to KPD headquarters and reported to Officer Anthony Oliveira her 18-year-old friend had just been kidnapped by an acquaintance, Matthew J. Williams, 24, of North Bergen.
The complainant reported she had just arrived with the victim at her home and began unloading laundry from her car, when Williams allegedly appeared, forcefully entered the car and drive off with the victim still inside.
The victim’s cellular phone was tracked to Arlington Avenue in Kearny, where it had been thrown from the vehicle. A short time later, officers learned Williams had allegedly taken the victim against her will to a Super 8 Motel in North Bergen. There, the victim told a hotel desk clerk to call police. North Bergen police responded and arrested Williams, later lodging him in the county jail.
Kearny Police charged Williams with kidnapping, carjacking and harassment.
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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.