WEST ORANGE, NJ – Dangerous driving led to the capture and arrest of individuals who have bench warrants out in West Orange and beyond. In addition, recent arrests in the township included a person causing havoc at a local gas station, someone buying a cheap meal with a $100 counterfeit bill, and an individual who made his DWI arrest worse by threatening police.

The major arrests taking place in late June included:  

Bench Warrant Arrests:

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1. While patrolling the area of Park Avenue and Spring Street, an officer observed a vehicle making an aggressive and careless turn traveling east onto Park Avenue from Main Street. In addition, he observed that the vehicle had an inoperable right headlight. According to police, a check on Info-Cop revealed that the vehicle owner had multiple outstanding warrants issued by different jurisdictions.

The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop and asked the male driver for proper credentials. According to police, the driver could not produce a driver’s license, vehicle registration or insurance card. Info-Cop revealed that the car belonged to his brother. The police report stated that the driver gave the officer false information, saying he was his brother.

Via Info-Cop, the officer confirmed that there were three outstanding warrants for the driver: one for driving while suspended issued out of Union; one for failure to possess an insurance card issued out of Maplewood; and one for poor maintenance of auto lamps issued out of South Orange.

The driver was placed under arrest and admitted at headquarters that he gave the officer false information at the scene of the stop, according to the police report. He was charged with hindering an apprehension or prosecution, and giving false information to law enforcement. Police said he was issued several motor vehicle summonses for driving while suspended, as well as failure to possess a driver’s license, registration card and insurance card.

2. An officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing that it was traveling north on Valley Road with its lights off. A check on Info-Cop revealed that the driver’s license was suspended, and he had an active warrant in the amount of $250 out of the City of Orange, according to police. The driver was placed under arrest for the warrant and also charged with failure to use lighted lamps and operating a motor vehicle while suspended.

3. An individual with $4,000 in West Orange bench warrants was transported back to West Orange by Mercer County Police. In addition, this person had a bench warrant in the amount of $250 out of Elizabeth. According to police, this individual was arrested on March 8, 2011 by the New Jersey State Police in the jurisdiction of West Orange.

Arrests for Criminal Mischief, Forgery and Driving While Intoxicated:

1. An officer observed the pumping area of a gas station on Prospect Avenue to be in complete disarray when the office responded to a report of a fray at that location. According to the police report, there were oil canisters, washer fluid containers and garbage cans thrown around the entrance to the convenience store/paying station.

The gas attendant identified a white male exiting the convenience store as the man who caused this havoc, police said. According to the report, the man raised his blood-covered hands above his head. The officer instructed the man to sit on the curb near the convenience store’s entrance. The man complied and asked for medical aid. Two other officers arrived as backup, police said.

When the officer questioned the suspect as to why he had destroyed the items strewn across the entrance of the gas station, police said he replied, “I did not do this.” The West Orange Fire/Rescue Squad arrived on the scene to treat the suspect’s cut on his left hand’s index finger. The suspect refused to be taken to the hospital for further medical treatment.

The first officer on the scene reported that he entered the convenience store and observed multiple items strewn across the floor. According to police, the attendant said that after the man threw around multiple objects outside the store, he went into the store and knocked over shelves and several display cases containing candy bars, other foods and cigarette lighters.

According to police, the attendant further explained that the man reached over the counter and pushed a Dell flat screen computer monitor to the floor, causing the monitor to break into pieces. The owner of the station arrived on the scene and estimated that the broken items were worth approximately $1500, police said.

The man was taken into custody and transported to headquarters. He responded positively to a police request to provide a voluntary written statement of the events. The man was charged with criminal mischief and released.

2. Four officers responded to a call from a restaurant on Valley Road reporting that a male customer was attempting to pass a counterfeit bill. The restaurant’s manager told the police that he was informed by one of his waitresses that a Hispanic male attempted to purchase approximately $11 worth of food with a $100 bill. According to police, the manager said that a counterfeit detection pen determined that the bill was a forgery.

The manager advised the customer of his findings, and advised him that the police were being notified. According to the manager’s report of the incident, the customer claimed that he received the bill from his boss, who paid him for his work. The customer said he noticed that the bill looked odd, and claimed the boss told him the bill was good to use.

According to police, the bill was confiscated, and the customer was taken into custody and charged with one count of forgery.

3. Two officers responded to a reported motor vehicle accident on Liberty Street, where the first officer on scene witnessed a vehicle stopped in the middle of the wrong side of the roadway. While speaking with the driver, the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath, according to the police report.

The report also stated that the driver could not maintain his balance properly when he exited the vehicle. According to police, he had bloodshot eyes, and was uncooperative to commands given by the police. The driver failed to complete a field sobriety test.

The driver was arrested and transported to headquarters, where police said he refused to submit breath samples for testing. While in the holding cell, he became increasingly enraged, police said, making threats against officers and telling them he wanted to cause them physical harm.

Police said he was placed in a cell until he was released to his mother. He was charged with Obstruction of Administration Law Enforcement – Obstruction of Governmental Functions.

In addition, police said the man received summonses for DWI, driving with a suspended driver’s license and registration, failure to report an accident, refusal to give breath samples and obstructing the passage of vehicles.

The above information is based on a written weekly report provided by the West Orange Police Department.