Jan 21, 2018 | 3545 views | 0 0 comments | 258 258 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Weehawken author Theresa Borrelli speaks about anti-bullying to kids at the Union City Public Library last month. Borrelli read her latest book, “I Want To Play Too.”
Weehawken author Theresa Borrelli speaks about anti-bullying to kids at the Union City Public Library last month. Borrelli read her latest book, “I Want To Play Too.”
Man arrested in Union City for allegedly sexually assaulting 10-year-old

The Union City Police Department arrested a 31-year-old man on Jan. 13 for alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl the day before, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.

According to an HCPO press release, the man allegedly assaulted the girl on the steps of her apartment building.

The alleged victim was able to escape and alert an adult, who then contacted the UCPD. That same day, UCPD detectives contacted the County Prosecutor's Special Victims Unit regarding the alleged attack.

An initial investigation led to the suspect at a nearby shelter. Officials transported the man to a Hudson County Prosecutor facility to Jersey City. However, he escaped the facility soon after. Officers recaptured him within 24 hours.

The man, who – according to the Prosecutor’s Office press release is Luis Bescome of East Elmhurst, N.Y. -- is charged with sexual assault, a second degree crime; endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime; escape, a third degree crime; possession of controlled dangerous substance; defiant trespassing, and obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez credited the Union City Police Department for their assistance in catching the suspect. She also credited the NJ State Police, the Maywood Police Department K-9 Unit, the Jersey City Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for assisting.

West New York plans ordinance banning short-term rentals in town

West New York officials were scheduled to hold a public hearing last week on an ordinance that would ban short-term vacation rentals in town. The hearing was to take place at last Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, but results were not available by press time.

In the ordinance, the town cites concerns over “preserving” existing single and multi-family residences and residents renting out their units to potentially disruptive out-of-towners.

If adopted, the ordinance would ban vacation rentals of any dwelling unit, accessory building or structure, garage, attic, or basement lasting 30 days or less. The ban would apply even if the unit’s permanent residents are on-site during the visitor’s stay.

The ordinance would virtually ban the popular (but controversial) Airbnb short term rental service in town. There are no hotels in West New York.

First offenders would receive a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses would be punishable by a minimum $1,000 fine.

County’s homeless hotline AGAIN doesn’t pick up when we call – days after homeless man freezes to death in portable potty

Eight days after construction workers in Union City found a homeless man’s body in a local port-o-potty, the county’s homeless hotline is again not working. Two reporters called the number for two hours on Wednesday, a cold, snowy day, and listened to the phone ring more than eight times with each call. Others who tried got a busy signal.

This is the third time in two years that the Hudson Reporter – in the course of routine reporting on the homeless situation – tried the 24-hour emergency line and got no answer.

Each time, county officials gave apologetic responses and promises to fix the line – which homeless people are supposed to call in winter if they need shelter and the three local shelters are backed up. The county runs an overflow shelter in Kearny.

The hotline is 800-624-0287.

Stories by The Reporter ( back to 2016 showed problems with the line, with various county officials saying it was another department’s responsibility.

On Jan. 9, local workers discovered a homeless man’s body in a port-o-potty at a construction site near a church in Union City, according to Police Chief Richard Molinari. The construction site is the location for the Sts. Joseph and Michael Church, severely damaged in a fire last March.

A company is currently performing repairs to the church, located at 1314 Central Ave.

According to Molinari, the man was Hispanic and in his late 20s. The chief believes that he used the port-o-potty to escape the freezing temperatures.

“The weather was certainly a factor in causing his death,” Molinari said. “If someone’s going to seek refuge in a port-o-john, that does not protect you from the low temperatures.”

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