Dared to jump into river
An East Rutherford man had to be rescued this past Sunday night after allegedly jumped into the Hudson River on a dare, according to Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante. A full array of emergency responders, including two boats and a helicopter, were deployed to the scene, although ultimately only a rope and ladder was needed to save the individual, according to Ferrante.
Damien Bziukiewicz, 22, was walking with a group of friends near the southern end of Pier A Park at around 9 p.m. on Sunday when he was dared to jump into the Hudson, according to Ferrante. Bziukiewicz allegedly accepted the challenge, launching himself into the inlet between the park and the Erie-Lackawanna train terminal, Ferrante said.
Many of the search and rescue incidents in the Hudson River off Hoboken involve the southern waterfront, which is bordered with high walls below Fourth Street, and Sunday’s event was no different. Some visitors to the waterfront underestimate the strong and treacherous currents.
According to Ferrante, Bziukiewicz soon realized he could not escape the water on his own, and his friends called the police for aid. The fireboat of the Hoboken Fire Department was deployed, along with a boat and helicopter from the New York Police Department.
Ultimately, the vessels were not necessary, as the river rescue safety precautions installed by the Hoboken Police Department last year worked well. According to Ferrante, Hoboken Police Sergeant Ed Sellick and Officer Chris Hatfield threw Bziukiewicz one of the special ropes every Hoboken squad car is now equipped with, allowing him to stay above the surface of the water until a ladder was lowered to him.
After his rescue, Bziukiewicz was charged with violating section 58-21 of the Hoboken city code, which bans swimming in waters abutting city parks, and taken to the Hoboken University Medical Center as a precaution, said Ferrante.
According to the police report on the incident, Bziukiewicz did not appear to be intoxicated, although he allegedly became “highly obnoxious and agitated” after receiving his summons.
Some have argued that the city should install permanent ladders along the waterfront in places like Pier A Park, but Ferrante said such measures have not been pursued because the city Law Department advised that they could actually encourage people to enter the water illegally.
In it for the long prawn
A Jersey City man arrested on two counts of shoplifting at a Hoboken supermarket two weeks ago has a fishy calling card. According to police reports, he allegedly only steals frozen shrimp.
In separate incidents on May 31 and June 8, and in another incident that took place in January, Mark Serrano, 24, allegedly stole or attempted to steal three bags of frozen shrimp from the ShopRite on Madison Street, according to police reports.
In the Jan. 21 incident, store loss prevention officers allegedly caught Serrano trying to leave with the shrimp in his jacket, police said. He allegedly also had a crack pipe in his possession, and was charged with shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the police report.
On June 8, store security guards allegedly caught Serrano attempting an identical move, according to police. The three bags of Cape Gourmet frozen shrimp allegedly in Serrano’s possession were worth $95.94.
According to the report, when Hoboken police officers responded to the scene, the store officials reported additional video evidence showing Serrano allegedly successfully stealing three bags of shrimp on May 31.
Serrano was charged with two counts of shoplifting arising from the May and June incidents and released in advance of a future court date, according to police.
Lifting credit cards, not weights
A Jersey City man allegedly behind a string of thefts and burglaries from the locker room of a Hoboken gym turned himself in this past Tuesday, according to a report from the Hoboken Police Department. Jonah Williams, 44, faces multiple counts of burglary, theft, and criminal mischief in relation to the alleged crimes, according to the report.
In early May, a fitness center near First Street and Sinatra Drive reported several instances of credit cards and cash stolen from its lockers, according to police. All told, $4,716.63 was stolen between the cash and the value garnered through the use of the credit cards, police said.
According to the report, the Hoboken Detective Bureau began an investigation, but did not develop a strong lead until Williams was caught allegedly trying to steal from the gym locker room again on May 29. A gym employee recognized him, and Williams was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and obstructing the administration of law, police said.
Detective Andrew Perez subsequently developed “numerous investigative leads” tying Williams to the earlier thefts, according to the report. After being contacted by the police, Williams turned himself in on June 16 and currently awaits trial in Jersey City.
Busted by a drug expert
Hoboken police used an on-staff “certified drug recognition expert” to determine that a Palisades Park man was allegedly driving under the influence of narcotics three weeks ago, according to a police report.
Police were first alerted to the allegedly impaired driver by a caller on the night of Saturday, June 6. Detective Adam Colon subsequently observed driver, later identified as Kevin Alliots, 23, operating a black Range Rover in the area of Fourth and Newark streets, said police.
According to the report, when Colon pulled Alliots over, he was allegedly displayed “obvious signs of impairment,” such as hindered motor skills, slurred speech, and drooping eyes.
Alliots allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest, but at police headquarters, he was found to have no blood alcohol concentration, the report stated. According to police, at this point, Sergeant Edward Sellick, the drug recognition expert, evaluated Alliots and determined that he was under the influence of a narcotic analgesic (a class of opiate painkillers that includes morphine and heroin).
According to the report, in the course of the traffic stop, police also observed nine baggies containing a powdery substance believed to be cocaine in Alliots’ car console.
Alliots was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.
A passenger in Alliots’ car, Stephanie Sariol, 23, of West New York, was also arrested and charged with the latter two crimes. Both parties were released.