Police Beat

Compiled by Marilyn Baer

Suspect arrested in connection with purse-snatching

Jersey City resident Christopher Lanzo, 34, was arrested and charged with robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 11 at 11 a.m.
According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, on Monday, July 11, Detective Bret Globke began to investigate a robbery that occurred in the night. Officers had responded to the area of Second and Monroe streets to meet with the victim, who said that while she was walking home a man took her purse and fled the scene. She was thrown to the ground during the struggle and sustained cuts, bruises, and an injury to her elbow.
She was taken to Hoboken University Medical Center for treatment.
After speaking to witnesses and flowing leads, Globke was able to focus his attention on Lanzo, who was the main suspect.
Det. Globke generated an arrest warrant for Lanzo on Wednesday, July 11 and, while Lanzo was at police headquarters on an unrelated matter, he was placed under arrest by Det. John Quinones and Arturo Gonzalez and charged with the robbery. A search found him to allegedly have a glass pipe commonly used to smoke crack. He was later remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.

Teed off

Hoboken resident James Murray, age 46, was charged with aggravated assault resisting arrest and criminal mischief on June 17 at 4:02 p.m.
Officers Michael Straten and Luke Zezsotarski were sent to the area of Fourteenth and Garden streets on a report of a man acting disorderly. The man was carrying a golf club and allegedly was swinging it wildly, causing damage to several parked vehicles in the area. The officers, with the help of a passerby, were able to locate Murray and safely retrieve the golf club. They were also able to locate several cars with damage from the club.
As Sergeant Cesar Olavarria attempted to handcuff Murray, Murray allegedly pushed him in an attempt to prevent handcuffing. Once handcuffed, he was transported to headquarters for processing. Murray was allegedly intoxicated. As a result, he was transported to Hoboken University Medical Center where he was left under the hospital’s care. He received a summons.

Alleged bank robbery goes awry

Edward Dempsey, 54, of Bayonne was charged with robbery after allegedly trying to rob Investors Bank on June 6.
On June 6 at 7:54 p.m. officers responded to a panic alarm at Investors Bank at 221 River St. when they arrived they were told a white man entered the bank and allegedly provided the tellers with a note with monetary denominations. He then allegedly stated, “Give me that money.”
The tellers told him they had already stored the money and there was no money in their drawers. The man then allegedly climbed on the counter to check. When he saw there was no money, he left.
Officers quickly arrived on scene and canvassed the area but could not locate the suspect. Hoboken detectives began their investigation that night with witness statements. Over the next four days they were able to obtain video footage and high-quality photographs of the suspect. The photos were provided to all police departments in the state requesting their assistance in identifying him.
The Hoboken Police Department received two identical leads from Rutherford and Weehawken Police Departments about a possible identity. On Monday June 11, Detectives William Collins, Robert Roman, and John Quinones went to Bayonne in an effort to further this investigation. Once there, they positively identified Dempsey as the suspect and placed him under arrest.
Dempsey was transported to Hudson County Correctional Facility.

DWI arrest

Jersey City resident Johanna Melendez, age 38, was charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI in a school zone, and reckless driving on June 21 at 6:19 p.m.
Officers were sent to Fifth and Bloomfield streets on the report of a motor vehicle accident. When they arrived they were told a taxi was struck from behind when it stopped for a stop sign. Melendez, who allegedly hit the taxi, also allegedly hit the stop sign when she pulled over after the accident. When the officer was collecting the necessary documents from both drivers, he noticed that Melendez allegedly had glassy, bloodshot eyes, according to a release from the department.
According to the report, it allegedly took Melendez several minutes to locate her key fob in order to turn off her car. She also allegedly gave an inconsistent account of the accident to the officer.
Melendez allegedly failed a field sobriety test and she was placed under arrest.
Once at headquarters, she provided a breath sample, which did not produce a reading. Based on Sgt. Edward Sellick’s observations and her results, the officer attempted to perform an additional Drug Recognition Evaluation, but Melendez allegedly refused this test.
After the arrest process was complete, Melendez was released to a responsible adult. No one suffered any injuries as a result of the accident and only the taxi and stop sign were damaged.

Police car allegedly damaged by shovel

Jersey City resident Varnell Richardson, age 31, was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief on June 17 at 6:01 p.m.
Officers were sent to the area of Second and Washington streets on a report of someone struck in the face with a shovel.
As they arrived, they saw Richardson, who ran towards the police vehicle and allegedly struck it with a shovel, causing damage, before allegedly fleeing the scene. Officer Luke Zeszotarski and Detective John Quinones pursued him and caught him several blocks away.
Meanwhile, a man nearby told police officers that he’d been struck with a shovel and alleged that Richardson took his backpack. The victim refused medical treatment.
Zeszotarski suffered a minor wrist injury while attempting to place Richardson under arrest. Richardson was later transported to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.