Police Beat
Compiled by Marilyn Baer
Feb 25, 2018 | 2125 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former pro athlete charged in DWI

According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, Phoenix, Ariz. resident Phillippi Sparks, 48, was charged on Feb. 17 at 1:35 a.m. with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated in a school zone, and reckless driving.

Officer Anthony Russo, while on patrol near Second and Harrison streets, was approached by two parking authority agents who told him that they though a driver might be intoxicated, according to the release.

They explained that they were moving double parked cars along Sinatra Drive when they saw a man was who was in a double parked black Porsche Macan.

They told him he had to move his car but he allegedly failed to do so. When they spoke with him they said they smelled alcohol.

As they went to write him a parking ticket he allegedly drove away, they told Russo.

Russo called in the vehicle information to dispatch.

Officers Harold Milne and Harry Montalvo saw the vehicle stopped at a traffic light on Fourteenth Street and pulled him over.

Milne smelled alcohol allegedly coming from the driver, who told them he had been dropping off a family member at the W hotel and didn’t know the parking agents had tried to issue him a summons.

Officer Fitzsimmons administered a field sobriety test and determined that Sparks was unable to operate his vehicle safely.

He was placed under arrest transported to headquarters for process and released to a responsible party with summonses.

Alleged drunk driver veers into park

North Bergen resident Scott Granat, 44, was arrested on Monday Feb. 19 at 1:26 p.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated in a school zone, reckless driving, possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, and a fictitious display of plates.

Officers Wilfredo Gomez and Roberto Cuevas were sent to Church Square Park to respond to a car that allegedly crashed into a utility pole in the park.

The officers saw a black SUV on the sidewalk near the park entrance, which had allegedly crashed into a fence directly in front of the children’s playground and backed into a utility pole on the sidewalk. Granat was sitting outside next to the car, surrounded by children and parents who had been playing in the park.

A witness said that the SUV allegedly drove up onto the sidewalk and traveled about 50 feet, then reversed and struck the pole. Granat then allegedly exited the vehicle and allegedly attempted to leave the scene but the witness sat him down on the sidewalk while others contacted the police.

Gomez and Cuevas spoke with Granat, who allegedly had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.

The officers said he had drunk a can of beer in the car as he was driving before the accident, according to a release. The officers found a 24-ounce can of Redd’s Wicked in the car, according to a release.

Officer Ramon Calderon administered a field sobriety test, which Granat allegedly failed. He was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters for processing. He was released to a responsible party.

Women allegedly rob man using pink knife, pink pepper spray

Union City residents Nadia Mendieta, 21, and Astrid Gamarra, 22, were arrested on Sunday Feb. 18 at 1:26 a.m. and charged with robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, luring and enticing an adult, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Special Police Officers Jonathan Rodriguez and Christopher Barrel said, according to a release from police, that they were at Third and Court streets when a victim who had been at a local bar told the officers he had been approached by the two women who asked him to dance.

At about 1 a.m. the women allegedly invited him back to their apartment and offered to drive him there. While walking to the car the victim reported that Mendieta allegedly took out a pink pocket knife, placed it on his neck, and demanded that he give her his wallet. He handed it over and Mendieta allegedly hit him, causing him to fall on his knees. Mendieta allegedly attempted to flee the scene with Gamarra, but Gamarra fell to the ground.

The victim then tried to grab Gamarra, but she allegedly pepper sprayed him.

The victim’s face was swollen and his eyes and skin were red from the spray. He also had a mark on his throat that he said was from the knife.

During a search after the arrest, the officers found Gamarra to allegedly have a pink pocket knife and pink canister of pepper spray in her possession. Both the women were charged and transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility.

Man allegedly makes false 911 call

Glen Rock resident Robert Castaldi, 21, was arrested and charged with false public alarm and false reports at 12:41 a.m. on Sunday Feb. 18.

Officers Jayla Vega and Anthony Ruthkowski were sent to a bar on the 200 block of Washington Street on a report of a woman possibly being raped in the bar’s bathroom.

Officers arrived on scene and spoke with Castaldi who was standing outside the bar. He allegedly told the officers he saw a woman being sexually assaulted in the women’s bathroom. He allegedly said security wouldn’t let him enter the bar to check on the woman.

The officers asked him questions in regards to the incident. The woman and he were allegedly unable to provide answers, and then provided a different account of what had occurred. The officers then spoke with Castaldi’s female friend, who said that Castaldi and another friend were not allowed into the bar because they were both intoxicated. Apparently, Castaldi had remained outside the bar when he was denied entry and allegedly called 911.

He was arrested and transported to headquarters for process where he was given a date to appear in court.

No love on Valentine’s day

On Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 10:26 p.m. Hoboken resident Edward Mongon, 22, was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, hindering apprehension, possession of marijuana, being under the influence of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While on patrol near Third Street and Willow Avenue, Officers William Bullock and David Dimartino saw Mongon walking with a woman and allegedly manipulate an item before lighting and smoking it.

The officers smelled marijuana and as they approached, they saw Mongon allegedly attempt to hide it between two parked cars. The officers then saw Mongon allegedly attempt to hide something else in his jacket. The officers stopped him and found him to allegedly be in possession of a bag of marijuana. He was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters for processing. A complaint warrant was prepared and he was remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center. The woman was later released with no charges.

Two men arrested for drug possession

On Monday, Feb. 12 at 9:45 p.m., two Jersey City residents were arrested for drug possession.

Akibia Ling, 39, was charged with possession of heroin, resisting arrest, and bail jumping while Brian Robinson, 56, was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school zone, possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing, defiant trespass, and bail jumping.

The arresting officers were Det. John Quinones, Det. William Collins, Det. Robert Roman, Sgt Jonathan Mecka, PO Anthony Hochstadter.

Detectives went to the Hoboken Housing area to execute an arrest of Ling who, according to the release, had several outstanding warrants from the city for shoplifting and trespassing. Detective John Quinones and Sergeant Jonathan Mecka saw Ling in the area of 400 Marshall Dr. The detectives were not able to locate Ling and proceeded to conduct a sweep of the building in order to find him. As they made their way to the fifth floor of the building they saw Robinson knock on one of the apartment doors. The detectives saw Ling open the door and they immediately attempted to place Ling under arrest. Ling allegedly tried to close the door to the apartment but they were able to enter and place him under arrest.

A search found him to allegedly have a wax fold of heroin in his possession. Robinson was not a resident of the Hoboken Housing and was not a visitor to the complex. He was placed under arrest for defiant trespass and found to have several outstanding warrants as well. A search found him to allegedly have two glass vials of cocaine and four wax folds of suspected heroin. Both defendants were transported to headquarters and processed. They were then remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.

Alleged robber nabbed after months of investigation

North Bergen resident Casey Collado, 27, was arrested and charged with robbery on Sunday Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m. for a crime that allegedly occurred in November.

On Nov. 3 officers responded to an address on the 500 block of Washington Street to speak with a victim of a robbery. The victim stated he was walking home when he was approached by Collado who allegedly pointed a knife at his face and demanded he turn over “his stuff.”

He allegedly took the victim’s backpack and the victim fled the scene to the safety of his home.

Detective Michael Miranda investigated the robbery and through his investigation he was able to track Collado to the Newport Mall in Jersey City.

On Nov. 16, Miranda identified the alleged perpetrator as Collado and a warrant was generated for his arrest.

On Sunday Feb. 11 he turned himself into the Hoboken Police Department. He was remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.

Alleged burglar bagged

Union City resident Eric Rourk, 48, was arrested on Thursday Feb. 8 at 2:16 a.m. He was charged with burglary, theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal mischief.

While officers Harry Montalvo and Harold Milne were on patrol they saw a man looking into the windows of parked cars and he allegedly retrieved bags from inside one of the vehicles.

The officers immediately approached him had him drop the bags and place him under arrest. They saw broken glass near Rourk along with a large rock and they found him to allegedly be in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was remanded to the Hudson county Rehabilitation Center.

Alleged PCP perpetrator picked up

Clifton resident Crystal Mendoza, 29, was arrested on Jan. 24 at 9:08 p.m. and charged with being under the influence of drugs, criminal trespass, defiant trespass, and possession of PCP.

Officers Damien Bates and Harold Milne were checking the building at 400 Marshall Dr. when they saw Mendoza in the stairwell. They smelled PCP allegedly coming from the same area. As they approached they saw Mendoza allegedly had a lit brown leafy cigarette and the officers recognized it as PCP. She was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters for processing. She allegedly had another cigarette of PCP in her possession as well. She did not have a valid reason for being in the Hoboken Housing Authority building so she was additionally charged with defiant trespass. She was remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.

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