Car skids into Clifton home; homeowner, dog escape uninjured

2 11 2009

CLIFTON — A car drove off the road and into an Athenia Avenue home early this morning, seriously injuring the driver and startling the home owner awake, authorities said.

The Buick sedan was driving from Clifton Avenue along a curved section of Van Houten Avenue when it skidded off the road just after 5:30 a.m. The car struck a street sign and drove into a porch and dining room of the house, which is several feet from the street.

The male driver, who was not identified, had serious but not life-threatening injuries and was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, said Clifton Fire Department Deputy Chief George Spies. The woman and a dog in the home at the time escaped uninjured.

“It was loud,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified. “The house shook. (The driver) just said, ‘Help me.’”

The home could be unlivable for more than a week because the car took out an entire wall of the dining room.

(News Source:

Dozens Of Sukkahs collapsing!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 10 2009

Dozens of Sukkahs collapsing through out the tri state area please use extreme caution when going into the Sukkah. A warning for strong winds is in effect until Thursday morning.

Passaic woman charged after leaving tot in SUV

16 07 2008

A 33-year-old Passaic woman was charged with endangering the welfare of a child yesterday after she accidentally left a toddler inside her SUV for about three hours in Clifton, police said.

The 2-year-old boy, also of Passaic, was not breathing and had al most no pulse when she finally no ticed him and got help, but the toddler was expected to fully recover, Clifton Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken said last night.

Meira Lebovitz spent part of the day carpooling six children, including several of her own. Later, after dropping off five of the children, she stopped at the Home Depot in Clifton at about 2 p.m., not realizing the 2-year-old was still asleep in the back, the detective said.

While in the store parking lot on Bloomfield Avenue, Lebovitz suddenly noticed she had forgotten to drop off one child, who had fallen asleep in the rear of her Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle, Bracken said. Lebovitz, a friend of the boy’s family, rushed the child into the store, the detective said.

The child was dehydrated, had a temperature of 102.6 degrees Fahrenheit, was not breathing and did not have a noticeable pulse, Bracken said. The boy ap peared to have advanced heat stroke, he said.

Two customers in the store began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child as they waited for emergency rescue crews, according to the detective.

You Can Save A Life ; Just take a fiew minutes and wipe the Ice/Snow off your car

13 01 2008


Above is a picture of a car that was smashed from falling ice. Please be considerate for your fellow freinds. Please take the extra fiew minutes to clear snow or ice off your car. Please use caution when driving leave extra time.

It was unseasonably warm last week, but it didn’t keep me from encountering people who sympathized — just barely — with this column’s call to ban the kind of road hazard that we call the Snow and Ice That Fall Twice.

That’s the kind of white junk that leaves the other guy’s car or truck, hits your windshield and makes your whole life flash in front of you. You know the kind:

* The Route 17 kind that killed Ridgewood’s Michael Eastman nearly 12 years ago.

* The Route 287 kind that caused Hawthorne’s Bob and Mary Mahon to chase after the car whose icy load smashed their windshield last year.

* The Route 80 kind that ran Kinnelon’s Tara Varner and her 2-year-old off the road last month.

Shouldn’t New Jersey fine drivers whose vehicles carry snow? Currently, statute 39:4-77.1 makes it illegal only when it causes damage or injury.

Cathy Eastman understands this because the vehicle whose icy load crushed her husband’s skull was long gone by the time police arrived. Tara, Bob, Mary and most of the 2,000 readers who sent me petitions early this year also get it.

But not some folks I’ve encountered. “There are thousands of SUVs, many driven by women,” said Pequannock’s E.L. Quigley. “They can’t clean ice off the tops of their vehicles.”

Ray R. also sympathizes, but:

“Do you have suggestions for clearing … snow from an SUV that’s been out overnight WITHOUT damaging the hood, roof rack or moon roof?” asked the Fair Lawn man. “Pushing snow off is easy, but after past storms, thick solid ice and packed snow didn’t budge after the car’s heater was on for 20 minutes.”

* Run a garden hose over the car with the heater running, but do this for short periods to avoid cracking the windshield.

* Put old cardboard, canvas or a rug over the vehicle before it snows, and yank it off after the storm.

* Run the engine for an hour, long enough to free frozen snow, or at least to help clear it.

Some consider all this unnecessary. One woman, 72, said: “If I can clean my SUV, so can anybody.” Cathy Eastman, who’s 5 feet 1, says she does it. And Passaic News.

An Update On Passaic Women Shot By Clifton Police In Passaic Last Month

12 01 2008

A Passaic woman shot and wounded by Clifton police last month after she allegedly rammed her car into police cruisers will require surgery on a stomach wound that is not healing properly.

Michele M. Moleti is home on $25,000 bail and has been meeting with physicians for follow-up treatment, her lawyer, Marco Laracca, told state Superior Court Judge Marilyn Clark in Paterson on Friday.

Moleti was hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for about a week last month before being transferred to the Passaic County Jail infirmary, where she continued receiving treatment before posting bail.

Last month, her lawyer told Clark during a bail review hearing that Moleti was in serious danger of losing an arm because of her injuries.

At a follow-up hearing Friday, however, Laracca said Moleti’s arm is healing well and appears to be out of danger.

Moleti, 34, is charged with aggravated assault, eluding police, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The “weapon” in this case was her mother’s car.

Authorities said in court last month that Moleti had two partially consumed bottles of vodka in her car when the incident occurred, and that she later admitted to drinking and using a controlled dangerous substance that day.

Moleti led police on a low-speed chase from Clifton to Passaic on Dec. 5, then rammed her car into police vehicles, according to authorities.

After she finally pulled over, Moleti allegedly struck one of the officers with her vehicle, prompting four officers to fire 20 bullets at her.

Authorities have said she was struck by six of those bullets, injuring her in the neck, arms and torso.

Michael De Marco, Passaic County senior assistant prosecutor, did not object to keeping Moleti’s bail at $25,000 pending an update hearing on her case, scheduled for Feb. 7. The case is currently awaiting grand jury action.

The four officers involved in the shooting were assigned to limited duty while the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office investigates their actions. Officials have said it appears that the officers were justified in their use of force.


Passaic:Orthodox Web site gives Craigslist a Jewish flavor

4 01 2008 is practically a doppelganger of Craigslist — except in addition to selling your old furniture, you’ll find opportunities to “Do a Mitzvah.”

With a title taken from the Hebrew for “calendar,” it’s a bulletin-board Web site serving the Orthodox Jewish community. Need a roommate in Clifton? Check Luach. Lost your car keys last Tuesday? The “Lost and Found” section of the site might help you out.

When Shmuel Laskin started Luach in the summer of 1997, his vision for the site was far narrower. The 50-year-old computer programmer from Monsey, N.Y., intended only to make a job board, and maybe advertise real estate. He lived in Passaic at the time, and launched the site mainly to serve the Passaic-Clifton area.

As an Orthodox Jew, Laskin saw the primary audience for the site as fellow Orthodox families — he had seen similar sites for other cultural groups, but none for his sect. He emphasized, though, that all were welcome to use it.

“I try to be as inclusive as I can; however, there are some things that the Orthodox community does not want on a site,” Laskin explained. Vulgar pictures and obscene language, often just a click away on Craigslist, are nowhere to be found on Luach.

Luach gained popularity almost entirely through word of mouth — and as he and others moved away from Passaic, Laskin started adding other regions to the site.

“We’re always getting requests from people in other communities,” he said. “You know, ‘We’ve moved to Podunk, and we don’t have it here.’ “

The bulletin board now serves 43 communities in three countries: the U.S., Canada and Israel. But Passaic “is still the place we have the most traction,” Laskin said.

As with Craigslist, posting on the site is free. Laskin also sells advertisements to keep the site running, charging between $15 and $45 for a monthlong ad.

Elisheva Snow’s posts on are brief and to the point: “20-year-old female looking for a ride from Passaic to Baltimore. Call or e-mail.”

“I do usually check out who they are,” she said. “Usually I end up getting a ride.”

It’s enough to make a parent swoon with fear, but Snow isn’t worried. The clientele of Luach, she says, keeps things safe.

Many of the posts on Luach are secular (“Does anyone have info on mold removal from basement with flood history?”), but Luach also provides listings for minayim, shiurim and gemachs (prayer meetings for men, Torah readings and good deeds). And the site offers a sense of security for those looking to stay within the Jewish community.

The popularity of Craigslist is rooted partially in its egalitarian nature — anyone with an Internet hookup can seek out a job, solicit a housing swap or post a missed connection. As long as it’s not bogus, illegal or obscene, the Craigslist administrators generally let it fly.

Rules on Luach are more stringent: Guidelines state that the site will not allow “any values that run contrary to the values of our readership.” Craigslist offers users a page to set up “casual encounters” and has a personals section for people seeking same-sex partners. While Laskin doesn’t preach, he also declines to post what his religion deems morally suspect.

The popularity of an Orthodox-only site isn’t surprising, says Rabbi Michel Gurkov of the Chabbad congregation in Passaic.

“You’re always more comfortable when you are using a type of Web page with people with similar backgrounds,” he said. “You know — or you hope you know — who you’re talking to.”

Gurkov’s congregation has been publicizing events on Luach for seven years, with positive responses. “People become wealthy on niches,” he said. “You’re catering to a specific community. There’s a need out there.”

Why Is The Orthodox Community Getting Involved In A Non Orthodox Organization

4 01 2008

Clifton, NJ – A family services agency in the New York City neighbourhoods of Washington Heights and Central Harlem has launched a three-year pilot project to partner with local hair salons and train stylists on how to identify cases of domestic abuse, as many woman go to hair stylise physical abuse can sometimes be visible.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Clifton-Passaic’s Jewish Family Service (JFS) division received a grant to implement its own version of a similar programme called “Cut It Out”, with a special approach to reach Passaic’s Orthodox Jewish population.

Starting next week, JFS will be training hair stylists, but also professional wig stylists, according to Sharon Zwickler, a second-year social work student who has interned with JFS’s Project S.A.R.A.H. (Stop Abusive Relationships At Home) for over a year.

Since Orthodox Jewish women often cover their hair with wigs, hats or scarves after they become married, training wig stylists is an ideal way to reach these women in a setting where they feel most comfortable, Zwickler explained.

JFS eagerly signed up to run its own version of the programme because “it parallels one of our earlier initiatives,” explained director Esther East. “We’ve been training Jewish ritual bath attendants to be resources for women for 10 years. It’s been our experience that they are so grateful that someone is paying attention to them, as a group that has been on the front line with people in need.”

Indeed, hair stylists often play a uniquely intimate role in their clients’ lives as confidants, friends — even informal therapists, salon professionals agree.

“As a hairdresser, you build a bond with your clients, especially the people who you’ve worked with for a really long time. Some of them having been coming [to me] for 25 years,” said Joedy Puleio, a stylist at Innovation Hair Design in northern New Jersey. “I’ve heard of people’s husbands having affairs. I’ve had people cry in my chair about arguments they’ve had.”

This role for stylists is not limited to the beauty salon, but extends into the masculine realm of the barber shop. [IPS]

Paterson, Clifton see surge in robberies

1 01 2008

Paterson and Clifton police are continuing to see a surge in robberies, including a half dozen since Friday — two in broad daylight and two at gunpoint.

The victims — three men, a juvenile and two women — were not seriously injured in any of the incidents, police said. It’s unknown if any of the robberies are connected.

In Clifton, a 53-year-old woman was walking on Main Avenue near Park Slope when someone ran up from behind and snatched her purse around 11:15 a.m. Monday, Detective Capt. Robert Rowan said. The robber, described as a young black man wearing a black jacket, black hat and dark pants, fled on foot, police said. The purse contained less than $20 and numerous credit cards.

About a half-hour later, a 12-year-old boy was grabbed from behind and asked if he’d ever been robbed before as he walked passed a used car lot at Lexington Avenue and Van Riper Avenue. The robber, described as an adult Hispanic man in his early 20s, wearing all black clothing, took $5 and a cellphone from the juvenile, who ran to a friend’s house and called police.

“We’ve had a significant amount of robberies this month,” said Rowan, adding that middle-aged men and women had been targets in a string of recent strong-arm robberies. “It’s particularly troublesome when an adult is robbing a kid,” he said.

In Paterson, a waitress on her way home from work around 7 p.m. Friday was robbed of her purse after a brief struggle with a robber on Maryland Avenue, where she was punched in the face, said Lt. Anthony Traina. The robber, a man described as 5 feet 8, dark skin, in his late 20s, wearing dark colored clothes with a hood, fled on foot. The purse, which did not contain any money, was later recovered, said Traina.

Around 11:30 p.m. that evening, a 21-year-old man walking from his girlfriend’s house was robbed by three men in dark clothing, who approached him and told him to get on the ground at 12th Avenue and East 16th Street, Traina said. The victim said one of the men pointed a gun to his head and pistol-whipped him before robbing him of $20, said Traina.

On Sunday, another 21-year-old man was robbed on Governor Street by two men wearing ski masks, who brandished a gun, police said. The men fled with a wallet, which had $20, said Traina.

Shortly after midnight on Monday, a 24-year-old man was robbed by two men, wearing hooded sweatshirts, on Harrison Street and Graham Avenue, said Traina. The robbers got away with $23 and a cellphone, police said. NorthJersey

Woman injured in crash on GSP

31 12 2007

CLIFTON — A driver was left with serious leg injuries and traffic was snarled for two hours following a crash on the Garden State Parkway this morning, police said. At about 8:30 Monday morning, Diane Nachbaur, 49, of Woodcliff Lake slammed her car into the guardrail on the northbound Garden State Parkway just before the Exit 155P ramp to Route 19, according to Sgt. Stephen Jones of the state police. He said no other vehicles were involved and that Nachbaur may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Nachbaur was airlifted to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, where she was undergoing surgery, police said. One witness, who didn’t want to be named, said she saw a woman with a mangled leg lying face down in a pool of blood on the highway. “It looked like her leg was torn off,” the witness said. “It was horrifying.” A man and a young girl stood by watching, but it was unclear if they were related to the driver.

Passaic Police Officer catches Clifton thieves

22 12 2007

CLIFTON — Police arrested two men and two juveniles suspected in-several strong-arm robberies of middle-aged men and women committed this month in Clifton and Paterson, authorities said Friday.

The four males, 16- to 20-years-old, were apprehended early Friday, shortly after three of them allegedly attempted to rob a 52-year-old man returning to his Prescott Avenue home in Clifton, Detective Capt. Robert Rowan of the Clifton Police Department said.

The would-be victim, sensing he was about to be robbed, pretended he had a pistol by stuffing his hand in his pocket. The three would-be attackers fled, Rowan said.

Witnesses provided a description of both the would-be robbers and their getaway vehicle, allowing a Passaic police officer to pull them over shortly afterwards, Rowan said.

A Clifton detective discovered a 10-inch knife in the vehicle.

Within a few hours of their arrest, Clifton Detective Robert Tillie used a cell phone found on one of the juveniles to link the four to a recent Paterson robbery, in which a 49-year-old, mentally disabled man was assaulted for $15 and his cell phone, Rowan said.

Clifton police were attempting to see if the four males also are responsible for several robberies in and around the Lakeview section of the city, including one committed Wednesday night in which a 54-year-old woman was robbed of her end-of-the-year bonus check and $400 earmarked for her family’s Christmas presents, Rowan said.

In the meantime, Clifton police have charged both Paterson men — Maison Booker, 20, of Sheridan Avenue and Raheem Beal, 18, of Ryle Avenue — with unlawful weapons possession, conspiring to commit robbery and employing a juvenile in commission of a crime.

Booker and Beal were being held Friday at the Clifton Municipal Jail. Bail information was not immediately available.

The juveniles, both 16, were charged with juvenile delinquency and were being held in the Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center in Haledon, according to authorities.

Clifton house destroyed by fire

18 12 2007

CLIFTON – A two-story house on Alfred Street was destroyed by fire late Monday, police said.

There were no reported injuries in the house, but several animals apparently perished, said police Lt. Pat Ciser. Neighbors reported flames moving from the back to the front of the house as city firefighters battled the blaze.

None of the houses adjacent the burning building was damaged, Ciser said.

Clifton Police Officer Was Injured When Route 19 Turns Into A Car Skating Rank

16 12 2007

Clifton New Jersey- – Clifton Police got several reports at about 6:45 Pm of several cars spinning out of control near the Broad Street exit on Rt 19. The Clifton officers got on scene and advised their dispatcher that they should call the State to come salt the Highway due to the Highway being like an Ice Skating Rank. Moments after the officer advised the dispatcher of the condition of the Highway another passenger car skid right in to one of the Police cruisers. The police officers car was pushed about 30 feet forward all-though their was very little damage to the vehicles. The Officer was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Passaic by Clifton Fire Dept E.M.S. No one else was reported to have any injuries. The Route 19 Highway was closed down by the Passaic County Sherrifs Dept. untill the salt trucks come to salt the Highway and is safe.P.C.J.N was the first to report this story.

Not very smart but true

14 12 2007

 Tonight at 500 Broadway their was a report of fire at a Delta Gas station on the corner of Broadway and Brook. The call came over as a gas fire coming out of the ground from the gas lines. It turns out yes their was a fire on top of the snow multiple Police And Fire Trucks pulled up. The Chief who was first on scene after Police,went over to the fire and realize it was a Fire on top of the snow .The Fire Dept Quickly hosed it out and the fire was put out. After a small investigation they found out that the Gas attendant took Gasoline and poured it on the snow to melt the snow. Which is extremely dangerous. Well now the Gas Station has to deal with the arson Squad as well as several other agencies and fines.

Firefighter Injured in Clifton

11 12 2007

Clifton N.J. A firefighter was taken to the hospital after he tripped down a flight of stairs and injured himself during a service call Saturday night at a Lakeview section home, a fire official said.At about 7 p.m. Saturday, the fire department was called to 77 E. Second St., to extinguish a mattress fire sparked by a shorted-out electrical outlet, Deputy Chief Leo Loder said.

The firefighter, George Kruckmeyer, was carrying the extinguished mattress down the stairs when he slipped.

Kruckmeyer was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries to his left leg and released on Saturday night, Deputy Chief Thomas Lyons said on Sunday.

– Ed Beeson and Paul Brubaker

Reyes, who based on the preliminary investigation was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene

10 12 2007

CLIFTON — Police have identified the man killed in a head-on collision on Route 46 early Sunday morning as a 19-year-old Passaic resident.

Carlos Reyes of Passaic was in the front passenger seat of a black Acura traveling westbound on Route 46 a little after 4 a.m. Sunday, when the car collided with a beige Nissan Altima that was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane, Lt. John Link of the Clifton Police Department said Monday.

Reyes, who based on the preliminary investigation was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene, Link said.

It is unclear why the driver of the Nissan Altima, whom police identify as Leighton Alarcon, 21, of Prospect Park, was traveling in the wrong direction, Link said.

Alarcon, who was also not wearing a seat belt, and the driver of the Acura in which Reyes was a passenger, Lenyn Munoz-Paredes, 24, were both taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson with major head injuries. Munoz-Paredes was wearing a seat belt, Link said.

“We are still investigating aspects such as the cause, where they were going, where they were coming from,” Link said.

Clifton New Jersey Another life is taken on Rt-21

9 12 2007

Clifton New Jersey There was a fatal accident this morning at about 4:05 am on Rt-21 South by Rt-46 and Rt-20 when a car was driving down Rt-21 a 3 lane 55 mph highway the wrong way and hit a oncoming car at high speeds. The crash had 2 people in 1 car and 1 in the other the accident took the life of 1 left 1 in likely to expire condition 1 in critical condition. At the time of the accident Clifton F.D. had no Ambulances available so they sent 4 fire trucks all of Clifton’s Fire Fighter’s are E.M.T. Garfield E.M.S. Passaic E.M.S. Nutley E.M.S and Hatzolah E.M.S. all were on scene 2 Pt were xported to Saint Joes Trauma Center in Paterson with Paramedics aboard. The Highway is expected to be closed for most of the day for the investigation.

You heard this story first on

Passaic cops defend use of force

7 12 2007

PASSAIC – The Passaic County prosecutor said the police shooting of an unarmed city woman “appears to be justified” after she used her car to ram police vehicles and strike an officer during a low-speed chase.

Michele M. Moleti, 34, who was hit by six of the estimated 20 bullets that police fired into her mother’s 1999 Nissan Altima, remained under armed guard Thursday at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson. Her condition was listed as “guarded,” less dire than “serious,” police said.

It was unclear Thursday precisely why Moleti, a former Clifton High School softball star who has had recent run-ins with the law, led police on a slow pursuit through Clifton and into Passaic. That pursuit ended in what was the third shooting involving Clifton police this year.

Residents of the neighborhood near Clifton’s Weasel Brook Park said that they had noticed an unfamiliar car parked in front a fire hydrant on Clinton Avenue as early as 4 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly after 9:20 p.m., Clifton police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked in front of 204 Clinton Ave.

Two patrol cars approached and boxed in the car with Moleti in it. Officers got out and saw Moleti asleep at the wheel, said Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano in a news conference Thursday. The officers attempted to wake her. When she did not respond, they tried opening her door with a Slim Jim, a police-issued lock-picking device.

Moleti stirred and locked the door. The officers tried to unlock the door again, but Moleti pushed the button down again.

At some point, she started her car and tried to pull out, smacking the patrol cars behind and in front of her. Police said one of the officers was hit as she was trying to get out. Neighbors on Clinton Avenue said they watched Moleti barely miss hitting an officer as she struck the car and tried to drive off.

The police jumped in their cruisers and started to follow her. One pulled in front of Moleti after she turned on Westervelt Avenue, but she kept driving. They proceeded to make two circuits around a wedge-shaped block bounded by Clinton, Westervelt and De Mott avenues.

“It was like Keystone Kops,” said Michael David, a 64-year-old resident, who ran outside after hearing the commotion on his quiet street.

Meanwhile, neighbors said, a firetruck and an off-duty probation officer living on Clinton Avenue joined the chase. They sped after Moleti after she took off on De Mott Avenue.

The chase continued through local roads and then onto the southbound lanes of Route 21, Avigliano said. Moleti exited in Passaic, where a pair of Clifton narcotics detectives stationed themselves to join the pursuit. The officers notified Passaic police and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, who left the pursuit in Clifton’s hands, Clifton police Capt. Robert Rowan said.

Police used their vehicles to box Moleti in at the intersection of Gregory and Main avenues.

The officers stepped out of their cars and approached Moleti. But she allegedly rammed one of the vehicles and hit one of the narcotics detectives. The officers drew their service weapons and fired into the car. Avigliano said as many as 20 shots were fired at Moleti.

Six bullets pierced her neck, chest and arm. But she did not stop. Police followed her as she drove away. She drove to Lafayette Avenue, turned into a driveway and came to a stop. Police wrestled her out of the vehicle.

Twenty minutes after it started, the chase ended about one block away from the apartment on Boulevard that Moleti shares with her mother.

“I’m just as baffled as everybody else right now that this happened, and I haven’t gotten any answers from the police yet,” her mother, Rose Moleti, told WABC-TV in New York.

Avigliano, whose office is leading the investigation of the shooting, would not release the names of the four Clifton police officers involved. They remain on duty, said Chief Robert Ferreri. Detective Capt. Robert Rowan said all four men are veterans of the force. Two of the officers were treated and released from St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center on Wednesday night, one for a hand injury and one for a leg injury, authorities said.

Avigliano would not comment when asked if Moleti was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the pursuit.

He said at minimum, she’ll be charged with eluding police, attempt to commit aggravated assault or homicide and resisting arrest.

“Police cannot use deadly force unless their life is in danger,” Avigliano said.

The prosecutor said his shooting unit will investigate to determine whether police acted justifiably. In June, Clifton police shot Garfield resident John Kubasta six times after he drove away from a traffic stop and led police on a chase. In April, police shot Aleksander Malek after he wielded a machete and a pipe. Both men survived the shootings.

Terence Persaud, an emergency medical technician who lives at the Lafayette Avenue home where Moleti stopped, said he awoke to find his yard full of uniformed and plainclothes police officers. He saw Moleti on the ground, her hair shaking wildly as police circled her.

“She was yelling and screaming with the cops,” said Persaud, 40. “They were trying to calm her down.”

His neighbors described hearing the pops of gunfire shortly before Moleti’s car and the police behind her descended on the avenue. On Thursday afternoon, evidence of the struggle remained, with shattered glass lying in Persaud’s driveway. Surgeon’s gloves and a dozen alcohol packets littered Lafayette Avenue.

Jeffrey Meano, who said he and Moleti dated for seven years, said family tragedies have haunted her. Her father, Ronald, died during her junior year of high school. Her brother, Mark, died last year at age 35. Illnesses took other family members and her own dreams of becoming a teacher were frequently frustrated.

“She wasn’t a dangerous person. She was a person who was depressed,” Meano said. “Every time she turned around, she was getting hit.”

Moleti was once a standout high school softball player. Meano said she went to Rutgers on an athletic scholarship before transferring to Montclair State. Recently, she found herself in trouble with police, getting arrested three times in a year and a half.

Edgewater police arrested her in June 2006 on charges of cocaine possession. In December of last year, Cliffside Park police charged her with theft after she was allegedly caught on surveillance video stealing $280 in cash from The Club House Cafe, where she worked as a bartender, Capt. Michael Russo said.

Earlier this year, Nutley police arrested her for making a terroristic threat, a charge that was later downgraded to harassment, said Paul Loriquet, spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

All three cases are pending.

“She was no crazy person, no convict,” Meano said. “Just a normal kid who has had some bad turns and was in a cloudy place.”

–Staff writers Heather Haddon, Suzanne Travers and the Associated Press,

Woman shot in Passaic after police chase by Clifton Police

6 12 2007

PASSAIC-Clifton police shot an unidentified woman last night in Passaic after she led them on a chase and tried to run down officers, authorities said.

Details were sketchy, but the woman was shot on Lafayette Avenue in the city of Passaic at about 9:30 p.m., according to Lt. Paul Haertel of the Clifton police. He said police do not know the woman’s name, age or address.

The woman was alert and conscious when she was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, the lieutenant said. Her condition was not immediately known.

The incident began in the 200 block of Clinton Avenue when Clifton police officers approached the woman, who appeared to be crying and slumped over the wheel of a car, the lieutenant said. But the woman sped off.

Officers gave chase, and the pursuit ended in Passaic when, Haertel said, the woman tried to run over several officers and police fired upon her.

It was not immediately clear which officers were involved or how many shots were fired.

The woman did not fire, and the car she was in was not stolen, the lieutenant said.

Truck fire closes parts of Route 3 in Clifton

28 11 2007

CLIFTON — A Wednesday afternoon truck fire on Route 3 snarled eastbound traffic for more than three miles, causing delays that stretched onto Route 46 and into Little Falls.

At about 1:30 p.m., a plumber driving onto the highway from the Bloomfield Avenue entrance heard an explosion from the back of his truck. He pulled over on the ramp’s shoulder, saw smoke pouring out the back and thought about the chemicals onboard.

As N.J. house sales fall, prices still rise – only more slowly

22 11 2007

The number of New Jersey house sales dropped 13.4 percent during the third quarter of 2007 from the same period in 2006, continuing a slide from the hyperactive sales pace of 2004 and 2005, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Home prices, however, have not followed. In the census area that includes Bergen and Passaic counties, prices were up 3.6 percent from the same period last year, to a median of $550,900 for an existing single-family home, the NAR said.

That may reflect high demand in New York City, which is in the same statistical area. The New Jersey Multiple Listing Service says that North Jersey prices have risen just about 1 percent over the last year, to a median of $520,000 in Bergen County and $389,000 in Passaic County.

Passaic New Jersey’s First Snow Fall @ 2:24Am

19 11 2007

Passaic New Jersey’s first snow fall at 2:24 Am. The temperature is 37 degrees real feel is 32 degrees. Humidity is at 68%.  The snow is a very wet snow. We are going to get a coating to an inch. Please drive extra cautious, from the PCJN Staff.

There was a report of a home invasion @ 450 Fenlon Blvd

13 11 2007

(Clifton New Jersey) Their was a home invasion at approximately 2:30 am . It took place on the border between Passaic and Clifton. Police on scene requested the fire department and an ambulance for an unknown reason at this time.

Police break up fight between cops Shame Shame Shame

12 11 2007

CLIFTON — It was definitely not OK at the Corral

A Paterson police sergeant had to separate two female Paterson police officers who got into a brawl at The New Corral Saturday morning.

The fight started when one of the police officers stormed into the eatery and began exchanging heated words with the other officer, who was eating with the sergeant at the time. A struggle between them ensued and the sergeant was forced to intervene. Both Paterson and Clifton police responded to the restaurant, although a police report on the fight was not available Sunday. The Clifton police report said those involved were “G.O.A.,” or gone on arrival, Clifton police Sgt. Andre Moreira said Sunday.

Paterson police officials refused to comment on the incident on Sunday, other than to confirm that an “altercation” took place at the Hazel Street restaurant. They also refused to confirm the names of the three officers involved.

“The chief and internal affairs are investigating it,” Police Director Michael C. Walker said.

Clifton gets FEMA aid for nor’easter

9 09 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007  

CLIFTON — The city is one of seven New Jersey communities to receive federal emergency money to cover costs incurred during the April nor’easter.Clifton has been awarded an $82,498 grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the city’s costs, according to a press release from Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson. City Manager Al Greco said the money will be used to help pay for overtime for police, fire and Department of Public Works employees in the aftermath of the storm, and to replace damaged playground surfacing at city parks that is designed to cushion children’s falls.Clifton had applied for a $160,000 FEMA grant, Greco said. “We liked to have gotten a little more,” he said. Clifton received the second-highest grant of the communities listed Friday. The six others are in Essex County. Bloomfield received the top award, with $97,069

Passaic Pair Recycles Baby Goods for Families in Need

6 09 2007
Abigail Klein Leichman

New Jersey Jewish Standard

PASSAIC – Leah Zimmerman and Siggy Berger, two local moms with 17 children between them, have a successful matchmaking service. But this isn’t about engagement rings; it’s about cribs, high chairs, and strollers.Zimmerman and Berger collect gently used baby equipment and distribute it to Jewish families here in need. They call it the Baby Gemoch. “Gemoch” is an acronym composed of the three Hebrew letters gimmel, mem, and chet, which stands for “gemillut chasadim” or “acts of kindness.” A gemoch is commonly an organization that lends items for free or gives them outright. “You don’t have to be poor to take from the gemoch,” Zimmerman said. “In Passaic we don’t have a lot of low-income people but very few are wealthy. Most would be doing okay but because they have a lot of kids and tuition is high, they’re struggling.”Zimmerman started the project about three years ago, using the excess of formula that she had from her own children. “I figured if many people didn’t use what they got from the hospital, we could feed a few babies a year on it,” she said. “And then I realized that sometimes you buy a case of diapers and suddenly the baby outgrows the size and what will you do with it? So I put a basket outside my front door for people to drop off diapers and formula. We’d find some babies whose parents needed a little help.”Enter her friend Siggy Berger.“Mostly,” said Berger, “Leah was getting stuff from Passaic, where families are larger and the things weren’t in such good condition. I suggested getting more people and more neighborhoods involved, but Leah couldn’t pick up the things so I started doing it with my van and it blossomed very quickly.”Driving her van with a little wooden trailer hitched on, Berger drives at least twice a week to Teaneck and once a week to Englewood and other Jewish communities where families have heard of the service and have things to donate. Riverdale, Paramus, West Orange, Livingston, Monsey, and even Brooklyn also are on her route.“I’ll go farther if people have items that are worth my trip, like a full nursery set,” she said. “[Recently,] I got a set from Mahwah. The woman who donated it explained that her mother-in-law’s best friend works at Yavneh [Academy in Paramus] and she found me that way. I was happy to know the word is getting out to other communities.”The trailer, by the way, was the present she asked her husband to give her for what she calls “a significant birthday” last November. Often she brings along some of her kids to help her carry the items from the trailer up the three flights to the Zimmermans’ storage area.“Before I knew it, the gemoch of diapers and formula was only 5 percent of that and 95 percent other items that people would really throw out otherwise,” said Zimmerman. “They’re from Jewish homes mostly, and the families are thrilled to give them to other Jewish families.”Another family nearby recently agreed to allow the women to store donated toys in their garage.Berger stressed that there is complete confidentiality. “Many times, Leah doesn’t know where the things came from and I don’t know who’s getting them,” she said, “and in any case, nobody knows other than us.”The women usually have a list of 15 to 20 items that parents are waiting for. The most in-demand items are cribs, nursery furniture, and jogging strollers.“At one point I had six cribs and now I have people waiting for them,” said Zimmerman. “Sometimes I have to make a decision about who gets what we have here and that’s difficult. I always try to make people comfortable taking because otherwise these things would have no home. And I never ask anyone how badly they need it.”Zimmerman’s children, ranging from an infant to a 14-year-old, also lend a hand. On a recent day, Tova, 9, and Miriam, 11, happily hauled car seats and busy boxes up the steps.“When Siggy comes, the kids help bring in all the stuff and they help organize and clean it and help people find what they are looking for,” she said. “I wanted chesed [kindness] to come out of my house to give a bracha [blessing] to my house.”To reach the Baby Gemoch, call Berger at (201) 486-1492.


Clifton Gas Station Robbed at Gunpoint

17 08 2007

Heather Haddon –

Clifton, NJ – Police continued to hunt for a roving band of robbers Thursday who hit two gas stations in two counties in the space of about an hour.

At around 11 p.m. Wednesday, an unidentified man approached the attendant at the Sunoco station, 870 Route 3 west, and asked for a pack of cigarettes. The robber then pulled out a handgun and punched the clerk in the face, according to Clifton police Capt. Robert Rowan.

The thief stole wads of money from the attendant’s shirt and pants pockets, then fled in a silver sport utility vehicle with a female driver and male passenger, Rowan said.

Managers at the Sunoco station were still calculating how much was stolen Thursday, Rowan said. The 32-year-old attendant from Passaic, whose name was not released, was treated at the scene for injuries to his face. No shots were fired.

Just after midnight on Thursday, the robbers allegedly struck again along Route 22 in Union Township, according to Lt. Joseph Dilginias, of the Union Police Department.

Again, three individuals in a silver SUV stole from a gas station with a handgun, Dilginias said.

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact Detective Hank Tkach of the Clifton Police Department at 973-470-5900.

Clifton Cops Catch Car thief from Passaic

10 08 2007

Ed Beeson –

CLIFTON, NJ – For once, it seems, a late night car alarm actually did some good.

Two plainclothes police officers were patrolling Botany Village early Thursday morning when they heard a car alarm from a nearby Volkswagen, Clifton police Detective Lt. Richard Berdnik said.

The officers, John Kavakich and Robert Suhey, directed their spotlight at a man inside the car, which was parked near Randolph and Durant avenues, Berdnik said.

“It was later determined that the individual should not have been in the victim’s car,” Berdnik said.

The individual, Carlos Pulido-Mota, 23, of Passaic stepped out, paused and then ran toward Ackerman Avenue, Berdnik said. Suhey followed on foot, while Kavakich trailed them in the officers’ unmarked cruiser.

Kavakich cut off the suspect, who then tried to climb a nearby fence. Pulido-Mota was pulled to the ground and arrested.

Pulido-Mota was charged with burglary and resisting arrest by flight. He was held Thursday at Clifton’s municipal jail on a $10,000 bail.

Car In Flames on Route 21 in Clifton, Possible Drunk Driver Involved.

5 08 2007

File Photo of a Car Fire

Clifton, NJ – A car with three Jewish teenagers from Fair Lawn got a flat tire on Route 21 right under the Route 3 underpass. They put on their blinkers, got out of their car, and were attempting to change the tire, when the car was rear ended by another vehicle traveling at a very high rate of speed. Their car was thrown, and reportedly rolled over from the force of the collision.The boy who was actually jacking up the car was thrown and lost consciousness. The two other boys who were helping with the car were also injured.The car began to smoke, and the boys, with great difficulty, got away from the car moments before it burst into flames, that reportedly went as high as the Route 3 overpass that was above it.Hatzolah, Clifton EMS, Clifton Fire Department, N.J. State police, and MONOC ALS all responded.The police reportedly asked driver of the car that crashed into the stopped car if he had had anything to drink, to which he allegedly replied, “not much, just a few beers.”Hatzolah transported the three teenagers, one with serious injuries, to Hackensack Hospital, while Clifton EMS transported the driver of the car to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. [PCJN Staff]Safety Note: if your tire blows out on the highway, please try to drive slowly on the rim to a safe location to change it. Changing tires in the middle of a busy highway can be deadly.

Truck clips utility pole, causes power outages

2 08 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007

CLIFTON — Impatience is what caused parts of the city to sink into darkness on Wednesday night.

A tractor-trailer operator tried to pass a motorist at about 4:37 p.m. who had stopped to make a left turn onto Twain Place from Clifton Avenue and ended up clipping a utility pole instead, Deputy Chief Kevin McCarthy of the Clifton Fire Department said. Live power lines then crashed onto the very car that the driver of the tractor-trailer was attempting to pass, he said.

The motorist, who was not injured in the accident, was trapped inside her vehicle for about 20 minutes as Public Service, Gas and Electric crews worked to cut the power, McCarthy said.

The crash also destroyed an electrical transformer, according to John Senkewicz, a PSE&G spokesman. Power was cut to several locations in town, including City Hall and the 911 emergency call center, McCarthy said.

The blown transformer also leaked a “significant” amount of non-toxic oil, which a private contractor was scheduled to clean up Wednesday night. Power was restored before the end of the evening.

It was not clear Wednesday night if police issued the tractor-trailer driver a summons in the accident.

– Ed Beeson

Clifton man sentenced in beating death

29 07 2007

What happened: A Clifton man was sentenced to 13 years in prison Thursday for beating his roommate to death during an argument over the TV remote control and cleanliness of their apartment. Steve Schiro, 45, will have to serve at least 11½ years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. “I don’t think Mr. Schiro intended to kill the victim, but he did,” said Mike De Marco, Passaic County senior assistant prosecutor. He noted that alcohol played a part in Schiro’s fatal beating of 63-year-old Mohsin Oskoui. Superior Court Judge Randolph Subryan lamented the fact that a simple argument could lead to such violence. “No sentence I impose could ease the pain in your hearts,” he said to three of Oskoui’s relatives who sat in court. One of them, a woman, ran wailing out of the courtroom.


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