The information contained in this police blotter for January 2021 has been compiled and released at the discretion of the West Milford Twp. Police Department and does not represent the entire scope of activity for the time period.
However, in the spirit of transparency, the Police Department strives to release all information that can be released without compromising ongoing investigations or causing unnecessary harm to victims.
On Jan. 3, at 5:50 p.m., Officer Michael Weber was dispatched Route 23 South near Hamburg Turnpike for a single-car motor vehicle crash into two utility poles. On arrival Weber met with a N.J. DOT employee who happened to come across the accident and was assisting in closing the lane of travel and anotherpasserby who pointed out the driver of the involved vehicle.
Weber blocked off the accident scene and made contact with the driver, Stephen Richter, 66, of Wayne, N.J.
While speaking to Richter, police said Weber detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage and observed signs of intoxication.
Officer Andrew Petrucelli arrived on scene to assist. Police said that after failing the standard field sobriety tests, Richter was charged driving while intoxicated.
Richter also was charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, failure to exhibit driver’s license, registration and insurance, obstructed windshield, maintenance of lamps and unsafe tires.
He was released to a family member pending an appearance in West Milford Municipal Court.
On Jan. 10, at 6:15 a.m., Officer Thomas Connors was dispatched to Route 23 South near the Kinnelon border for a man walking in the roadway, attempting to flag down passing motorists.
On his arrival to the area, Connors saw a man walking along the left shoulder of the roadway. According to police, he man said he had crashed his vehicle due to a medical condition.
Police said that while speaking to the man identified as Ernesto Arrieta, 30, of Wantage, Connors observe some minor injuries consistent with a motor vehicle accident and observed signs of intoxication.
Officers William Pittelko and Jonathan Bregman arrived to assist and located Arritea’s vehicle several hundred yards away on the northbound side of Route 23.
Police said that after being evaluated for his injuries and refusing medical attention, Arrieta failed standard field sobriety tests and was charged with DWI.
Arrieta also was charged with reckles driving and failure to maintain lane. He was released to a family member pending an appearance in West Milford Municipal Court.
On Jan. 12 at 8:41 p.m., Sgt. Stephen Herzog was dispatched to Browns Point on a report of a vehicle in the park after hours called in by a passing motorist.
On arrival, Herzog made contact with the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle: Charles Connors, 49, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y.
Police said that while speaking to Connors, Herzog detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage, observed signs of intoxication and also observed numerous open containers of alcohol within the vehicle.
After police said he refused to perform the standard field sobriety tests, Connors was charged with DWI.
He also was charged with refusal to submit breath samples, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, violation of town ordinance for after hours in a recreation area and violation of town ordinance for alcoholic beverages in a recreation area.
Police said Connors was taken to St. Clare’s Hospital pending an initial appearance in West Milford Municipal Court.
On Jan. 19, at 7:51 p.m., Sgt. Anthony Frassa and Officers David Borowski and Kevin Canova were dispatched to the Tractor Supply at 1926 Union Valley Road on a motor vehicle crash in the parking lot.
On arrival the officers met with the driver and lone occupant of the 2019 Dodge Challenger: Glenn Sarra, 54 of West Milford.
Police said that while speaking to Sarra, Canova detected an odor of an alcohol and observed signs of impairment.
Police said that after failing standard field sobriety tests, Sarra charged with DWI.
Sarra also was charged with reckless driving.
He was later transported to Chilton Medical Center pending an appearance in West Milford Municipal Court.
Crash leads to DWI and CDS arrest
On Jan. 24, at 2:47 p.m., Officers Jonathan Bregman, Michael Weber and Jenna Bednarovsky were dispatched to serious motor vehicle crash on Warwick Turnpike.
While enroute, officers were advised that a red 2004 Saturn involved in the crash was fleeing the scene on three wheels.
Weber arrived on scene and began to tend to injured parties. Bednarovsky and Bregman began to check for the Saturn’s driver assisted by an off-duty out-of-town officer who witnessed the crash and followed the vehicle until it became disabled and witnessed the driver run from the vehicle.
The driver was later located at his residence and identified as Shawn Golembreski, 31, of Hewitt.
Police said that while speaking to Golembreski, Bregman, a drug recognition expert, observed signs of impairment due to a narcotic. After failing standard field sobriety tests, police said Golembreski charged with DWI. Police also said that a subsequent search found Golembreski to be in possession of a hypodermic syringe.
Golembreski also was charged with being under the influence of CDS, operating a vehicle without owner’s consent, reckless driving, unsafe lane change, failure to keep right, driving after license suspension, driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident.
Police said Golembreski was also the subject of multiple outstanding warrants. He was taken to the Passaic County Jail pending an initial appearance in Passaic County Superior Court.
Work dispute leads to theft charge
On Jan. 29, at 12:23 p.m., Officers Lewis Rose and Michael Onembo were dispatched to a Union Valley Road business on a reported dispute between two employees.
Once there, officers spoke to Taim Lee, 65, of Ridgefield, who said during the course of the argument over a business transaction the other employee, Jeongsook Choe, 55, Hewitt took her purse containing a large sum of cash and disappeared only to later return to the business and return an empty purse.
All of this observed by a customer who police said confirmed Lee’s story.
Police said Onembo spoke to Choe, who admitted taking the purse and later granted consent to search her vehicle. Police said the cash was retrieved.
Choe was charged with third-degree theft and released pending an appearance in Passaic County Superior Court.