Hoboken police officers arrested two out-of-towners after they allegedly tried to shoplift from a local smoke shop on Aug. 18. One of the men, allegedly injured an officer when resisting officers’ commands.
According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, at about 11:48 p.m., on Aug. 18, Officer Jonathan Figueroa and Officer James Barbro responded to Urge Smoke Shop, 704 Washington St. on a report of shoplifting.
As the officers responded, a description of the alleged shoplifter was broadcast over the police radio.
Officer Enrico Gnassi located a man matching the description riding a bicycle eastbound on Seventh St. from Washington St.
Officer Gnassi ordered the cyclist to stop several times but he allegedly continued to ride away.
The cyclist then crossed the intersection of Seventh and Hudson streets and fell as he reached the sidewalk.
Officer Gnassi was able to detain him for investigation, which led to his arrest on charges related to shoplifting and obstruction.
He was identified as North Bergen resident Jasper Brafford, 22.
Officer Brandon Fitzgibbons responded as backup and assisted Officer Gnassi in transporting Brafford to police headquarters for processing.
Sergeant Joseph Lucignano and Officer Frank Lombardo responded to Urge Smoke Shop and met up with Officer Figueroa and Officer Barbro.
An employee from Urge Smoke Shop saw Brafford allegedly grab two bongs from the shelf and immediately run out of the store.
As the employee attempted to stop Brafford, he saw Brafford allegedly trip and fall dropping the bongs on the ground, causing them to shatter.
Brafford then allegedly got up, mounted a bicycle, and rode away before Officer Gnassi apprehended him.
As the employee tried to stop Brafford, he saw a second man, identified as Union City resident Daniel Recinos, 22, allegedly stuff several packs of tobacco papers into his pocket.
The employee was able to stop this man without incident and retrieved the packs of tobacco paper.
When officers arrived, Recinos was still on the scene, and officers placed him under arrest.
Officers searched Recinos and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia allegedly in his possession.
Recinos was transported to headquarters and processed.
He was charged with Shoplifting, Possession of Control Dangerous Substance, and Drug Paraphernalia.
These charges were placed on a summons, and he was released with a court date.
While processing Brafford, Brafford asked to use the bathroom.
Brafford was taken to the bathroom by Officer Marvin DeJesus, Officer Brandon Fitzgibbons, and Sergeant William Collins.
While walking back to the processing room, Brafford tensed up, and allegedly started to resist officers’ control, and became uncooperative.
“Brafford’s aggressive behavior caused Sergeant William Collins to fall to the ground, and additional officers were needed to regain control of Brafford,” states the press release.
Lieutenant Michael Costello and Officer Michael Aviles arrived to assist.
Sergeant Collins was not injured as a result of him falling, and Officer Fitzgibbons reported pain to his left thumb.
Officer Fitzgibbons was treated by an ambulance and sought no further treatment before returning to full duty.
Brafford was charged with Shoplifting, Obstruction, and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.
Brafford’s charges were placed on a warrant, and he was transported to the Hudson County Correctional Center.
Both men are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.