To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy has issued a stay-at-home order to all residents and a directive to observe all other social distancing measures. However, some Hudson County locals have not been following the rules.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, recently released incidents from the end of May. This crackdown included charges against three more Hudson County residents for potentially dangerous behavior during the pandemic.
One resident with charged with violating the emergency order and various drug charges after police busted an apartment party. Two other residents were charged after coughing or spitting on police officers during arrest while claiming they have COVID-19.
This makes four such instances of this occurring in Hudson County after recent incidents involving residents spitting at Secaucus Police during arrest.
“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”
Guillermo Garcia-Guzman, 27, from Guttenberg, was charged on May 18 by the Guttenberg Police with possession of the controlled substance ketamine and violating the emergency orders.
Police responded to Garcia-Guzman’s apartment in the 100 block of 70th Street on a noise complaint, according to Attorney General Grewal. Upon arrival, officers observed 15 to 20 people inside allegedly with a DJ, ketamine, and alcoholic beverages.
Spitting on officers
Elsewhere in Hudson County, residents continue to spit on officers while being arrested, claiming they have COVID-19.
Jose Ruiz, 51, Jersey City, was charged on May 15 with making terroristic threats during an emergency aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, throwing bodily fluids at an officer and violating the emergency orders after he was arrested by the Jersey City police for allegedly committing three separate armed robberies in Jersey City.
At the time of his arrest, Ruiz allegedly asked police how they could be sure he was not infected with COVID-19. When questioned further, he allegedly told police they would find out shortly and then spat in an officer’s face.
In connection with three armed robberies, Ruiz was also charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon. Ruiz allegedly committed a single armed robbery in Jersey City on May 2, and two armed robberies in Jersey City on May 9.
Jose Morales, Jr., 24, from Kearny, was charged with making terroristic threats during an emergency, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and throwing bodily fluids in Kearny on May 16.
Morales was also charged with receiving stolen property, a vehicle, in connection with the incident, and violating the emergency orders. When Morales was taken into custody by Kearny Police, he allegedly twice indicated that he had COVID-19 and spat at a Kearny police officer.
The charges are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.