WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Police Department made several arrests in the month of January that included charges related to driving while intoxicated, assault and more. 

Three Arrested on Charges of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Lenaijah Ciarra Roberts, 26, of West Orange, was charged with hindering apprehension and various motor vehicles including DWI on Jan. 10 after she was observed traveling without headlamps illuminated at approximately 11:53 p.m. on Gaston Street.

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According to the responding officer, the suspect pulled into a parking lot when he activated his emergency lights, parked in an open space, exited the vehicle and began walking toward the police vehicle. The driver, who the officer noted had bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol emanating from her person, told the officer that she was coming from a friend’s house around the corner and did not have driving credentials with her.

As a second officer arrived, it was discovered that the vehicle’s registration was not on file and that the name she provided, “Ciarra C. Rotrts,” could not be found in the West Orange Police Database, according to police.

At this point, one officer noticed that there was an open beer container on the middle console of the vehicle. Additionally, the driver failed to follow the officers’ instructions to lean against the car, was continuously swaying, was unable to focus on questions or tasks, asked repetitive questions and had “an evasive attitude” toward the officers’ questions, according to the police report.

During the interaction, the owner of the vehicle approached the scene and informed the officers that he had given Roberts permission to be inside the car, but had left the vehicle idling in his driveway. When he provided the vehicle registration, officers discovered that the vehicle should have had another registration number attached to it, but that the owner had recently surrendered the license plates in order to get the registration changed.

According to police, he informed the officers that Roberts was an acquaintance, but that he knew little about her other than that her first name was Lenaijah, which was different than the information she had initially provided to the officers. When the officers once again asked Roberts for her pedigree information, they said she became more uncooperative and irate, but eventually provided the name “Ciarra C. Robertson.”

As the officers’ questioned her about the name Lenaijah, she responded that she has two first names and that only her father calls her Lenaijah, according to the police report. Officers then found an unopened alcohol container in her jacket pocket along with a 2013 student ID from West Orange High School indicating her real name (although officers noted that she continued to insist that her last name was Robertson).

Roberts was ultimately arrested for driving with the fictitious plates in addition to the DWI and hindering charges. Other charges included open container in a vehicle, designation of one-way traffic, driving without a license, failure to use lighted lamps when required, failure to possess registration and failure to possess insurance.

According to West Orange police, a record check revealed that Roberts also had an active warrant out of Orange.

While at headquarters, the vehicle owner opted not to pursue any further complaints about Roberts taking his vehicle without permission, according to police. The officers removed the license plates that were affixed to the vehicle, but allowed the owner to leave with the car, advising him to have it re-registered as soon as possible.

Roberts was released into the custody of a family member, police said.

The next day, a West Orange officer was traveling north on Main Street in the area of Park Avenue when he observed a vehicle that was stopped at a green traffic light. The vehicle then continued north, but did not maintain its lane and was swerving in the roadway, according to the officer.

The officer conducted a vehicle stop and observed that the driver’s eyes were watery and bloodshot. According to the officer, the driver stated that he was coming from Orange and had consumed two beers.

Based on the results of field sobriety tests, Dimitrus Sandu, 49, Cedar Grove, was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters. According to police, Sandu refused to submit a breath sample and was ultimately charged with DWI, refusal to submit a breath sample and other motor vehicle violations.

On Jan. 13, after receiving a report about a man sleeping behind the wheel of a vehicle, West Orange officers responded to the area of Northfield Avenue and Wheeler Street to find the described vehicle at the traffic light on the I280 exit ramp.

Upon arrival, officers saw a passerby who was attempting to wake the driver, later identified as Afamefuna Michaels, 35, of Livingston.

According to police, the vehicle was in drive and the music was playing extremely loud. Responding officers said it took several minutes to wake the driver and that they immediately detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the driver’s breath when he finally spoke. Additionally, police said Michaels’ eyes were bloodshot and watery and that he was unable to produce a driver’s license, registration or insurance card.

When Michaels was asked to exit the car for field sobriety testing, police said he did so without placing the vehicle in park, and the vehicle nearly rolled into a patrol car. At this point, Michaels was charged with DWI and transported to police headquarters.

While conducting a breath test, police said Michaels kept either pretending to blow into the tube or blew out the side of his mouth. According to police, six attempts failed to produce a successful breath sample, at which point Michaels refused to provide a seventh sample.

In addition to the DWI charges, Michaels was also charged with refusal to submit a breath sample, obstruction of view and failure to possess a driver’s license among other motor vehicle summonses. 

Orange Man Arrested on Weapons Charges in West Orange

After receiving reports of a disturbance involving a man with a hammer near the West Orange Community House on Jan. 31, West Orange officers arrived on scene to find a small crowd that directed them to one of the involved individuals, who was identified as Angel Ambuludi, 32, of Orange.

According to police, a hammer was found on the ground about 10 feet away from Ambuludi, who was taken into custody for further investigation.

While on scene, a second individual told police that he received a text from a friend asking him to pick up her children from the Boys & Girls Club and bring them back to their home in Newark. He said that he was parked and waiting directly outside the facility in a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu when his driver’s side mirror was smashed off, according to the police report.

When he exited the vehicle to confront the man later identified as Ambuludi, the individual stated that Ambuludi told him he was “going to kill” him and was still holding the hammer at the time, according to police. He told officers that group began to form at this point, and the hammer was successfully removed from Ambuludi’s possession.

According to police, Ambuludi was charged with criminal mischief, assault by menace, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was released on his own recognizance pending court action.

Two Arrested for Charges Involving Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)

After receiving a report from a concerned resident about two individuals who left the scene of a crash at the intersection of Columbia Street and Liberty Street on Jan. 12, police located and arrested West Orange residents Keli Norman, 20, and Christian Alleyne, 21, on various charges.

In addition to pointing out a rear bumper that was left behind as a result of the crash, the caller was also able to provide a description of the involved vehicle, which the caller indicated was still parked just north of the scene as police arrived.

When the responding officer located the described vehicle, which was still parked and missing a bumper, the officer observed that the driver was holding a lighter up to what appeared to be a hand-rolled cigar. According to the officer’s report, the driver—later identified as Alleyne—placed the lighter and cigar into the center console when the officer knocked on the window.

According to police, a strong odor of raw and burnt marijuana emanated from the vehicle as Alleyne rolled down the window, and the driver was ordered to exit.

As the officer searched Alleyne’s person, which was negative for contraband, the passenger attempted to exit the car and was advised to remain inside, according to the officer’s report. At this point, the officer observed the passenger—later identified as Norman—retrieving the cigar and placing it on the driver’s seat. The officer reported that he immediately recognized the cigar to be a “blunt,” which he described as “a marijuana cigar commonly used to ingest CDS marijuana.”

The officer then approached Norman’s side of the vehicle, where he located a second blunt in the street within arms distance of the passenger-side door. He noted that both blunts appeared to be made with the same materials and were similar in appearance. A search of the vehicle and of Norman’s person both proved negative for additional contraband, according to the final report.

According to police, Alleyne told the officer that the marijuana belonged to both individuals, and they were both charged with possession of CDS marijuana. Alleyne also faces charges of careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and failure to possess an insurance card.

On Jan. 16, Omar Alexander Lliguicota-Inga, 25, of Orange, was arrested on charges of possession of CDS and two motor vehicle summonses after being pulled over for making a left-hand turn onto Brennan Drive from Mt. Pleasant Avenue in West Orange without using a signal.

During the traffic stop, Lliguicota-Inga informed the officer that he had smoked marijuana earlier that day, according to the officer’s report. Due to the odor emanating from the vehicle, the officer conducted a search that revealed a grinder—which he knew to be commonly used for preparing CDS marijuana—containing marijuana residue.

Although the driver did not have his license on him at the time of the stop, the officer found that Lliguicota-Inga held a valid driver’s license and was in good standing. According to the officer’s report, a record check also proved negative for any outstanding warrants.

Two Individuals Arrested on Outstanding Warrants

After being pulled over during a random plate check on Jan. 22 in West Orange that revealed his registration as being expired, Lamar Graves, 37, of East Orange was issued summonses for driving unregistered, driving while suspended, failure to possess an insurance card, failure to possess a driver’s license, failure to possess a registration card and failure to possess liability insurance.

The officer reported that the vehicle was registered in the previous owner’s name, and that Graves explained that he had only purchased the vehicle a week prior.

A record check revealed that Graves had an outstanding warrant for DWI out of Kearny and an active warrant for failure to pay child support out of New Jersey Superior Court, according to police. West Orange police ultimately turned him over to the Essex County Correctional Facility to be processed on the child support warrant.

Fitzpatrick Calixte, 19, of Orange, was turned over by East Hanover police on Jan. 19 on an active warrant out of West Orange in the amount of $500 with no 10-percent option, according to police. He was processed at headquarters and released on bail.