Isn’t it just great when parents back up the talk by walking the walk for their children? Well, in most cases, yes — but not in this one. You’ll see why one Kearny mom would have been much better off if she had just said “no” to her kid.
Now, Det. Sgt. Mike Gontarczuk remind us it is commonly known the Kearny Police Department does not like to break up parties unless it has to (they do when neighbors call and complain it’s too loud and the like). But even then, so long as partygoers are peaceful (and of age), they rarely see reason to issue summonses or take any further action.
But on Oct. 28, at around 11 p.m., it was a completely different animal when officers were dispatched to a disorderly juvenile drinking party at a small Kearny residence — a single apartment of a narrow multi-family homes — in the southwest corner of town. There, officers found an estimated 100 to 150 kids, many of whom were impaired, openly flaunting marijuana and bottles of alcohol.
As police broke up the party, crowds were non-compliant. When asked to leave their liquor bottles behind, juveniles refused and carried their supplies out with them. They argued with neighbors who were outside, uttered profanities at police and anyone else who believed it to be too late to be screaming in the middle of an intersection, blocking traffic in the streets and refusing to disperse.
Mutual aid was requested from the Harrison and North Arlington police departments, and despite mitigating the situation to some degree, police units continued to be flagged down or called to disturbances stemming from this giant crowd for a period of time thereafter.
A hit-and-run (pedestrian struck and injured) occurred shortly thereafter, which is still being investigated (likely one of the party-leavers based on the time frame, but it’s still too early to determine).
Officers later learned the mother of the juvenile who threw the party was home throughout it and was well aware of the goings-on inside her home. Apparently, the juvenile attendees were also being charged an entrance fee to use the residence as a venue for consuming marijuana and alcohol.
The adult woman, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the juvenile, was charged with charging admission fee to patrons consuming alcoholic beverages, making property available for underage alcohol consumption, maintaining a nuisance — a condition that endangers safety or health of a considerable number of persons, maintaining a nuisance — gathering for purposes of engaging in unlawful conduct, endangering another person — risk of bodily injury to another, distribution on alcoholic beverages without a license, serving alcohol to underage persons, (failure of) duty to ascertain proof of age, noise control, disorderly assemblage and providing alcoholic beverages to persons under 21.
While on patrol Oct. 30 at 11:30 p.m., Officers Kevin Matos and Andy Soto were flagged down by a motorist who told them a passing Jeep shot at him and his car with paintball gun. The victim proceeded to follow the Jeep and took a photo of the license plate.
At some point, the Jeep stopped and a male exited and again shot the victim’s vehicle with the paintball gun, this time on the front windshield. While taking the report, Matos and Soto noticed the vehicle and they jumped back into their police vehicle and attempted to pull it over.
The Jeep, however, drove away at a high rate of speed and officers lost sight of it. Several officers responded and searched for the Jeep, eventually locating it and stopping it.
The driver, Kelvin Ochoa Mayo, 26, of Phillipsburg, formerly of Kearny was arrested and charged with eluding. A show-up identification procedure was conducted and the victim was also able to identify Diego S. Hoyos Gomez, 22, of Kearny, as the one who fired the paintball gun.
The Jeep was searched, but the paintball gun appears to have been discarded from the vehicle when they fled the police (a paintball gun bag and instruction manual were located in the vehicle and secured as evidence).
The vehicle, meanwhile, was impounded by Moran.
Both men were processed and had no outstanding warrants. Per the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the pair were charged on summonses and released to go home.
Hoyos Gomez was charged with possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of weapon, criminal mischief, conspiracy, interference with transportation, tampering with evidence and endangering another person.
Ochoa Mayo was charged with eluding, criminal mischief and conspiracy.
But, another person who was inside the vehicle was released on scene. However, after police did a bit of research, they learned he provided false information. Ricardo Miguel, 21, formerly of Kearny but now a resident of Florida, was charged with hindering apprehension, pending a court appearance.
On Oct. 30 just before 2 p.m., Sgt. Michael Farinola, Officer Sean Podolski, Darwin Paulino and Nicole Cain responded to Hoyt Street after a witness called the police stating a man was assaulting a woman. There, they encountered a woman who said a male assaulted her, causing injuries, smashed her phone so she couldn’t call for help, then ultimately stopped when a witness approached.
Officers obtained a description of the male and found him a short distance away; however, he fled upon seeing the police. A foot pursuit ensued, but Officer Paulino caught the suspect, who tried to hide behind a pile of wood in a back yard.
Juan Romero, 23, of Kearny, was arrested and taken to HQ. He was found to be in possession of keys, a wallet and Airpods belonging to the victim. He was charged with assault, criminal mischief, obstructing the administration of the law and was sent off to the Hudson County Jail, South Kearny, to await court.
On Nov. 1 at 9:19 p.m., medical personnel and Kearny PD officers responded to the basement of a Kearny residence on a report of a man in his 50s, suicidal, with weapons. After speaking to the man, who initially seemed to be unarmed and cooperative, he procured a large knife and began to hold it to his own throat. Sgt. Sean Kelly and Officers Tom Collins and Angel Baez were able to build rapport with the man, and were able to deescalate the situation. The man handed the knife over and cooperated with police.
He was voluntarily taken to hospital to get help. No force was used.