SPARTA, NJ- A Sparta man refusing to wear a mask in the Stop & Shop, coughing and spitting at employees and police, is in jail.  On April 15, Wadim Sakiewicz refused to leave when asked by a store employee according to the New Jersey Attorney General Grewal. 

Sakiewicz became combative when a second store employee escorted him out of the store. Sakiewicz said he had the coronavirus, coughing on the employee, Grewal said.

Sparta police were called by someone from Stop & Shop.  When they found Sakiewicz he resisted arrest, this time attempting to bite and spit on the officers, according to Grewal.

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While being processed at the Sparta Police Department Headquarters, Sakiewicz urinated and spat in the holding cell, according to police.

“This individuals conduct was disgusting and deplorable to say the least,” Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto said. “To put the employees at Stop & Shop in jeopardy who are there making sacrifices for all of us during this difficult time is just reprehensible,” Spidaletto said. “Then to expose our officers to this similar conduct speaks of the type of person he is.”

Executive Order 122 requires anyone going into a business, as a patron or employee, to wear a mask.

Sakiewicz has a history of tangling with Sparta Police Department. The most recent occurrence was in February when he was found to be driving with a suspended license.  He had warrants in Sparta, Englewood and Andover, according to Sparta police. 

He initially told Sparta Cpl. Kurt Morris he did not understand English.  The officer knew Sakiewicz from previous interactions and knew he understood English.

In 2016 Sakiewicz was found guilty of assault. According to court documents he was initially charged with terroristic threats, aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer and attempted aggravated assault upon a person engaged in performance of emergency first aid.  The case relates to incidents that occurred in 2012.

 In 2014 he was found guilty of resisting arrest.  The case against him stemmed from an incident on the Lake Mohawk County Club boardwalk.  After skateboarding “aggressively” he became “belligerent” with officers when they tried to stop him, according to court documents. He was charged with resisting arrest.  The incident occurred in 2011. 

“Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis.  Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” Attorney General Grewal said.  “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law.  Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”   

According to Grewal, violations of the emergency orders carry a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  They can also face additional criminal charges.

Sakiewicz was charged with terroristic threats during an emergency, aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest, obstruction, criminal mischief and violating the emergency orders. He is currently lodged at the Morris County jail.

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