Police arrest huffer who (and then he) got high off compressed air: KPD


On June 1 at 8:27 p.m., Officers Luis Cazares, Jose Castillo and Sgt. Sean Kelly investigated a report of a man lying on the ground next to a dumpster on the side of Passaic Avenue’s Old Navy store. They arrived to find Benjamin J. Carson, 49, of Newark, who was reportedly disoriented and surrounded by a scatter of Endust compressed air duster cans, including one can in Carson’s back pocket.

The officers arrested Carson after learning that he had allegedly “huffed” from the duster cans. Huffing is a practice whereby a person becomes high from inhaling the aerosol propellant from an aerosol can. It is a practice that has been known to cause immediate fatalities in some cases. They charged Carson with inhaling a toxic chemical with the purpose of causing intoxication.

Officers later released Carson with a summons after processing.

On May 26 at 2:27 p.m., Officers John Fearon, Jason Rodrigues, Pedro Pina and Sgt. Jack Grimm were dispatched to a fight at ShopRite. There, a store manager reported to police he had a dispute with a Mr. Camely C. Costa, 34, of Paterson, after allegedly watching Costa pass through a self-checkout register without scanning all the merchandise he was buying.

After investigating further, officers arrested Costa for shoplifting. He was later released with a summons.

On May 26 at 4:54 p.m., Officers Mariana Figueiredo, Alvaro Goncalves and Jason Rodrigues were sent to Ulta Beauty store for a report of two shoplifters. A store employee accused two 14-year-old Kearny girls of concealing $550.68 worth of merchandise into two backpacks and attempting to leave the store without paying.

The officers took both girls into custody, charging them with shoplifting and conspiracy. The girls were later released to their parents.

On May 28 at 9:04 a.m., Officers Andre Fernandes, Jonathan Lima and Sgt. Jack Grimm responded to ShopRite where a store manager had accused Mark J. Richmond, 29, of Newark, with concealing $27.49 worth of Tide Pods into a reusable shopping bag and trying to carry them from the store without paying.

Officers arrested the accused pod poacher for shoplifting. Search incident to arrest revealed Richmond possessed a Target card, a Visa debit card and a driver’s license in the names of three other people.

The officers charged Richmond by summons with shoplifting and theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake. They later released Richmond.

On May 29 at 6:07 p.m., Officers Janitza Aquino, Bismark Karikari and Ryan Wilson responded to the Target store’s report of a shoplifter. A store employee there told police he witnessed a 16-year-old Elizabeth girl conceal at least 35 beauty products into a reusable shopping bag and attempt to leave the store without paying the $799.25 retail value.

The officers took the teen into custody on a shoplifting charge. They later released her to her mother.

On May 30 at 4:47 p.m., Officers Sean King and Harold Azurdia were dispatched to ShopRite to assist Sgt. Tom Pontrella, who was working a store security detail, with apprehending a shoplifter. A store manager accused Medina Y. Grant, 31, of Newark, of concealing $29.99 worth of groceries, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide in a duffle bag and trying to carry them out of the store without paying.

Officers arrested Grant and learned she was also wanted on a Hoboken arrest warrant charging criminal trespass and carrying a $3,500 bail. The officers charged Grant with shoplifting and later transferred her to the Hudson County Jail.

On May 31 at 11:30 p.m., Officers Luis Cazares and David Vazquez arrested Lurzime Sakir, 41, of Newark, at the Essex County Jail. A bench warrant had been issued for Sakir’s arrest stemming from two, 2022 shoplifting incidents at Kearny ShopRite.

In one incident, Sakir was accused by a store manager of eating food offered for sale all around the store without paying for it. In the other incident, store personnel accused Sakir of having tried to push a shopping cart containing $514.95 worth of merchandise out the store exit without paying.

During her original 2022 arrest, officers allegedly found a crack pipe on Sakir and charged her with an additional count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Officers booked Sakir on the warrant and then transferred her to the county jail in South Kearny.

On June 1 at 1:08 p.m., Officers Jonathan Lima, Ellesse Ogando and Sgt. Jack Grimm responded to a domestic dispute at a private home. Upon arrival, a man answered the door and told officers a woman inside the home had fought his wife and was being restrained in the kitchen by her husband.

As soon as the police entered the kitchen, the husband let go of his wife. Officers observed the man had minor lacerations to his hand. As best the cops could discern, there had been an argument between the two wives. One woman tried to leave and the woman who had been restrained had tried to follow her out the door to continue the fight. The restrained woman then turned on her husband and began hitting him, causing the cuts to his hand.

Officers arrested the woman who allegedly caused the lacerations for simple assault. She was later released with a summons.

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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.