KPD: Woman was so wrecked & belligerent she had to be sedated at hospital after assaulting officers, hospital staff

On Feb. 19, at 3 a.m., Officer Baez was on patrol in the area of Schuyler Avenue and Radley Street, when he observed a grey Honda Pilot stopped in the middle of the roadway with no headlights or taillights on.

He waited for a period of time behind the vehicle and eventually made contact with the driver, Rebecca L. Mravlag, 33, of Harrison. The odor of alcohol allegedly emanated from her and police say she admitted to consuming multiple alcoholic beverages. Her eyes were also reportedly bloodshot and watery.

Police say she was uncooperative and Sgt. Sean Kelly and Officers Anthony Oliveira and Pedro Lima were called to the scene as backup.

After Oliveira conducted field-sobriety tests, it was determined Mravlag was intoxicated, police say.

Soon after, Mravlag attempted to return to her vehicle, despite repeated orders from officers not to do so. Officers intercepted her before she could enter her vehicle.  A struggle later ensued and Mravlag was arrested.

While officers were handcuffing her and securing her into the rear of a patrol vehicle, she was reported to have been screaming and assaulting the officers by kicking them, flailing her body, dropping her weight and striking the patrol vehicle.

Unfortunately, the officers had to resort to Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray, commonly known as “pepper spray,” to overcome the woman’s resistance and assaults.

Once she was secured and brought to police headquarters, medical assistance was requested; however, she was again uncooperative and had to be physically carried into an ambulance while she kicked and screamed. At the hospital, she was so aggressive toward staff they had to sedate her and restrain her to the bed.

Officers obtained a telephonic search warrant, pursuant to which a blood sample was later obtained for the purposes of determining her BAC.

And after all of this, some hours later, she was released with summonses to both criminal and traffic courts, charging her with two counts of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer, one count of resisting arrest, operating under the influence of liquor,  possession of an open container of alcohol, double parking, reckless driving and failure to use lamps when required.


On Feb. 1 at 7 a.m., KPD Units responded to a John Miller Way building in South Kearny when it was reported an individual was burgling the property. Officer Janitza Aquino quickly viewed surveillance video of the incident and broadcast a description of the burglar.

The property manager determined the burglar was opening packages and searching for items of value.

In a chaotic search for the suspect, the man somehow sprayed down the front lobby with a fire extinguisher, after which the man —Christopher Dibenedetto, 49, of Jersey City — fled further into the building.

He briefly took shelter inside a business suite in the building; however, when a woman found him, he locked her inside the suite and fled. Ultimately, the man was caught near the lobby. Upon police contact, he became agitated and uncooperative, refusing to comply with orders during the investigation.

Officers obtained brief statements from witnesses and arrested Dibenedetto, charging him with burglary, criminal mischief, theft and criminal trespassing.

The arrestee repeatedly told officers that, upon his handcuffs being removed, he would take officers’ guns from them. Later, once inside of the cell block, he began to throw toilet paper and shake the bars of the cell door, as he became even more irate.

Ultimately, he had to be taken to a hospital so he would not injure himself, and officers were able to serve him with his charges on a summons there.


On Feb. 16, at quarter past 7 p.m., Officer Oliveira was patrolling near Fish House Road in South Kearny when he observed a Pennsylvania-registered Infiniti G50 driving against the flow of traffic, in order to pass slow-moving traffic, which had backed up due to a train moving across the roadway.

Other motorists patiently waited in said traffic, clearly not realizing the driver of the Infiniti was much more important than them and was therefore entitled to skip ahead.

Officer Oliveira pulled over and them made contact with the driver, Xavier T. Villaruel, 25, of Orange, and then quickly learned Villaruel’s driving privileges were suspended.

To make matters worse, six warrants were outstanding for Villaruel’s arrest. He was arrested (briefly anyway). A licensed driver took custody of the vehicle.

At KPD HQ, Officer Oliveira issued traffic summonses for driving after DL suspended, reckless driving, and improper passing. And then, despite endangering the lives of many motorists, having had six active warrants and three new traffic summonses, Villaruel was released from custody, as all involved courts simply provided new court dates.

Editor’s note: There were 20 total arrests in the past week.

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Det. Sgt. Michal Gontarczuk | Kearny Police Department

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.