On Sept. 17, Weehawken police arrested three people in a bizarre incident that took place outside of the Squeeze gentleman's club, with the main suspect being charged for allegedly firing a weapon into the air multiple times.
According to Weehawken Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Fulcher, the incident began around 9:45 p.m. when three people, two women (who are sisters) and a man were partying inside the Squeeze lounge, located on Willow Avenue.
"According to personnel at the Squeeze, the three people apparently became loud and rowdy and were asked to leave," Fulcher said. "One of the women left the bar and went to find her car, but couldn't find it, so she called a cab."
A cab driver from America's Taxi in West New York picked up the woman, but then was told to go back to the Squeeze, because she had no money, according to Fulcher.
Meanwhile, the other sister and the male made their way toward 18th Street, looking for the sister and her car.
As the cab driver made her way back towards the Squeeze, she noticed a man standing in the street, allegedly firing a gun into the air.
"They were apparently general, random shots [fired] into the air," Fulcher said.
The man then allegedly pointed the gun at the cab driver as well.
After letting the woman out of the cab, the driver then apparently went right to Weehawken police headquarters to report the incident.
"She told the desk sergeant on duty what had happened," Fulcher said.
At least five patrol cars were then sent to the area.
"We flooded the area," Fulcher said.
In an attempt to find witnesses to the shooting, Weehawken Police Sgt. Mitchell Chasmar then encountered the man who fit the description of the shooter.
"Officers then found at least three spent shell casings on the ground," Fulcher said. "We made a pattern search and found a Glock 47 behind the tire of a parked car on 18th Street, right near where the man was being questioned."
At that point, Weehawken police apprehended Alfonso Bowen, 20, of Union City, and charged him with possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, possession of an unlawful weapon, aggravated assault (for allegedly pointing the weapon at the cab driver) and reckless endangerment.
The two sisters, Christina Roque, 24, of West New York, and Demaris Roque, 25, of Cliffside Park, were charged with obstructing justice and hindering apprehension for allegedly lying to the police during the investigation. Christina Roque also had a knife in her possession, so she was also hit with weapons charges.
All three were transported to Hudson County Jail, where they remain after failing to post bail. Bowen is being held on $10,000 bail, with the Roque sisters' bail set at $5,000 each.
Bowen allegedly had an extensive record with charges in West New York and Union City.
"It was good police work," Fulcher said. "It was a good coordinated response. The officers involved interviewed witnesses and the [alleged] actors, found a weapon right away and made arrests. And no one was injured."
Burglary and subsequent arrest
On Sept. 1, sometime between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and midnight, a resident of 49th Street said that someone allegedly entered her first floor apartment and removed a laptop, a major-sized iPOD and jewelry, with an estimated value of approximately $8,000.
"There was no sign of a forced entry," Fulcher said.
Four days later, in conjunction with the West New York detective bureau, 18-year-old Steven Cuartas of West New York was arrested and charged with other burglaries in West New York.
"During the course of the interview with the WNY detectives, he allegedly admitted to committing a burglary in Weehawken," Fulcher said. "We checked into it and he admitted to stealing the iPOD and the jewelry and that he admitted to selling the items from the apartment in Weehawken."
Fulcher said that Cuartas allegedly admitted to taking the iPOD and the jewelry, but not the laptop. The teenager was arrested and charged with the burglaries in both West New York and Weehawken and was still being held on $5,000 bail.
Altercation leads to drug arrest
On Sept. 3, at 2 a.m., Weehawken police responded to a call of a possible assault taking place at a Liberty Place residence, after Officers James White, Frank Mezzina and John Mulvaney were approached by passersby who allegedly heard the altercation.
"They received reports of a fight taking place inside the residence and when the officers entered the apartment, they noticed the front door was open," Fulcher said. "They also observed a large amount of blood on the floor and walls."
There were two men inside the apartment that were allegedly engaged in an argument.
Police arrested 33-year-old Hemeraj Rampersad, who lived in the apartment and who allegedly beat up another man inside the apartment.
When the police searched the apartment, they allegedly spotted a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, according to Fulcher.
"During his arrest, the resident [allegedly] got physical with the arresting officers," Fulcher said.
Because of that, Rampersad was charged with assault, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released after posting bail.
Drug arrest in car
On Sept. 5, Sgt. John Johnson was on regular patrol at 3:30 a.m., when he spotted a parked Mitsubishi on Boulevard East and two people sitting in the car.
"With the number of burglaries in the area, we instructed our officers to pay attention to suspicious vehicles," Fulcher said. "So when Sgt. Johnson saw the car sitting there and the people in the parked vehicle, he decided to check it further."
Johnson approached the driver of the vehicle and the driver allegedly opened the window.
"When she opened the window, there was a distinct odor of marijuana coming from the car," Fulcher said.
Johnson then arrested the driver, 25-year-old Miglinda Guibe of Jersey City and the passenger, 25-year-old Reilly Perez of North Bergen, and charged both with possession of a controlled substance and possession within 1,000 feet of a school. Because the keys were still in the ignition, Guibe was also charged with driving under the influence. Both were sent to Hudson County Jail.
Sometime between Sept. 4 and 5, a resident of Bond Place reported that his 1998 Honda was stolen after leaving it parked on the street the night before.
Drug arrests in Arricale
There were two drug arrests made at Arricale Field, the township's Little League facility, in recent weeks. The first was on Sept. 9 at 9 p.m., when Officer Max Guevarez was on regular bicycle patrol in Arricale Field behind the Pathmark Tower Shopping Center. Guevarez came upon a man who was allegedly smoking a marijuana cigarette.
Guevarez arrested 23-year-old Ramon Carrion-Acosta of the Bronx, N.Y. and charged him with possession of a controlled substance and possession within 1,000 feet of a school. Guevarez posted bail and was released. Then a week later on Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m., Officer James White on patrol and Officer Joseph LoRocco on bicycle patrol encountered two men in Arricale Field who allegedly were smoking marijuana.
"Further investigation revealed that they were in the possession of marijuana cigarettes and two small plastic bags containing a controlled substance, believed to be marijuana," Fulcher said.
Victor Florenzan, 18, of Bridgeport, Ct. and a 17-year-old unnamed juvenile from New York were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession within 1,000 feet of a school.
It is not known what the teenagers from Connecticut and New York were doing at Arricale Field in the first place.
Drunken juvenile causes ruckus
On Sept. 12 at 7:30 a.m., Weehawken police responded to several 911 emergency calls at a Park Avenue residence, where a 16-year-old resident was allegedly highly intoxicated.
According to Fulcher, the person who made the emergency 911 calls was the teenager's father.
"When Officers John DeCosmis and William Paynter arrived on the scene, they were met by the actor's father," Fulcher said. "Apparently, the kid was out all night and came home highly intoxicated. The father was concerned for his son's health, so he called the police. When they found the teenager, he was face down on the couch with a strong odor of alcohol on his breath."
Fulcher said that the officers allegedly tried to determine the condition of the teenager, but when they got closer to him, he allegedly assumed a fighting stance and attempted to strike the police officers.
The teenager was subsequently apprehended by Paynter, but he allegedly continued to resist arrest when placed in the police car.
"He tried to kick the windows out of the car," Fulcher said. "Things got so bad that he had to be restrained with ankle shackles."
The drunken teen was taken to Weehawken police headquarters and placed in a cell. The teen's father refused medical treatment for his son. However, while the teen was in the cell, he allegedly threatened officers, spit at them and allegedly ripped out the fingerprinting apparatus that was hanging on the wall.
The teen was charged with public drinking, resisting arrest, underage drinking, making terroristic threats, throwing bodily fluids at a police officer and property damage.
"All of those charges fall under juvenile delinquency," Fulcher said. "He was released to the father's custody after a few hours."
The teen faces the charges in Hudson County Juvenile Court at a later date.
On Sept. 13, a female resident of 47th Street remembered that she left her purse on a table inside the vestibule of her home.
"When she came back home about an hour later, she noticed that the purse was gone," Fulcher said.
The thief allegedly noticed that the woman left the front door of the vestibule open and he gained easy access, taking cash and credit cards along with the purse.
Driving while intoxicated
On Sept. 14 at 2 a.m., Weehawken police arrested 58-year-old Edgard Cruz of Union for allegedly driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.
"Someone spotted him [allegedly] getting into an accident at 46th and Boulevard East and driving away," Fulcher said. "A witness provided a description of the car and the driver was apprehended less than a quarter-mile away from the accident scene."
Cruz registered a 0.18 on the breathalyzer, more than double the limit for driving while intoxicated.
Cruz posted bail and was released, but his car was impounded.
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org