A look at Ne­wark’s bizarre crimes of 2018

Stolen di­ar­rhea medicine, a mis­placed grenade and the tequila bot­tle that helped ID a bur­glar

Newark Post - - YEAR IN REVIEW - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­pub.com

Ne­wark is for­tu­nate that it doesn’t usu­ally have to deal with the shoot­ings, mur­ders and other vi­o­lent crimes that of­ten plague larger cities.

That said, the crime logs at the Ne­wark Po­lice De­part­ment are rarely bor­ing.

Here’s a look at some of the stranger crimes we re­ported on in 2018.

Two peo­ple stole anti-di­ar­rheal medicine from a Ne­wark Acme mul­ti­ple times over the course of two weeks in Septem­ber. A man and woman were caught on surveil­lance cam­era steal­ing more than $200 in over-the-counter medicine on at least three sep­a­rate in­ci­dents, po­lice said. It’s un­clear if the thieves were ad­dicts – cer­tain anti-di­ar­rheal medicine taken in large quan­ti­ties re­port­edly pro­duces a high sim­i­lar to opi­oids – or just re­ally un­lucky when it comes to food poi­son­ing.

A dis­pute over drugs led to a bizarre chain of events dur­ing which a woman force­fully re­moved an­other woman’s shoes and socks, as­saulted a po­lice of­fi­cer and flooded her hold­ing cell, caus­ing $14,000 in da­m­age to the Ne­wark po­lice sta­tion. While search­ing the woman, of­fi­cers found a crack pipe hid­den in her rec­tum and a con­tainer of drugs hid­den in her crotch. The woman later told po­lice that she went to the Park N Shop to buy crack co­caine for the vic­tim, but be­cause it was hot out­side, she felt the vic­tim should share the crack with her. When the vic­tim re­fused to share, she re­moved the vic­tim’s socks in an at­tempt to find the drugs, which she be­lieved had been stashed there.

A Mary­land man was ar­rested for his sec­ond DUI af­ter slam­ming his car into a pole on South Col­lege Av­enue while hold­ing a beer. Emer­gency re­spon­ders ar­rived to find him trapped in the car and un­re­spon­sive but still clutch­ing the bot­tle of beer. Fire­fight­ers cut the roof off the car and freed the man af­ter 15 min­utes and took him to Chris­tiana Hospi­tal.

Af­ter watch­ing a man steal $145 worth of rib-eye steaks and frozen shrimp from the Col­lege Square Acme, an armed vig­i­lante jumped into his vehicle and pur­sued the thief. He pulled into the path of the shoplifter’s vehicle and got out to con­front him. At some point, the vig­i­lante, who has a con­cealed-carry per­mit, drew his hand­gun and pointed it at the shoplifter’s vehicle, po­lice said, adding that the vig­i­lante later told po­lice the vehicle started to move and he was wor­ried the shoplifter would run him over. The shoplifter backed up his vehicle and then sped away. Po­lice said they were con­sult­ing with the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice about whether to charge the vig­i­lante.

A UD stu­dent was charged with 82 of­fenses for a months-long graf­fiti spree in which he al­legedly spray-painted the word “Why?” in mul­ti­ple places around Ne­wark, in­clud­ing the side of a busi­ness on Cleve­land Av­enue, a trash can on Wil­bur Street and a porta-potty at a South Chapel Street con­struc­tion site. As for why he painted the word “Why,” po­lice wouldn’t say.

Fin­ger­prints left on a bot­tle of Pa­trón tequila helped de­tec­tives track down an al­leged bur­glar three months af­ter a break-in at a Ne­wark liquor store. Three men broke into the Dash Dis­count Liquors on Elk­ton Road, and one of the bur­glars filled a garbage bag full of al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes. The bur­glar at­tempted to flee through a side door but strug­gled to carry his bag of loot, which split apart, caus­ing many of the liquor bot­tles to fall on the floor. De­tec­tives were able to glean fin­ger­prints from one of the bot­tles that was left be­hind.

Rowdy UD stu­dents cel­e­brat­ing grad­u­a­tion drew the at­ten­tion of cam­pus cops and the ire of Old Ne­wark res­i­dents by jump­ing in the foun­tain on The Green and chant­ing late at night. Video that cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia showed one shirt­less stu­dent, who had what ap­peared to be male gen­i­talia drawn on his arm, ad­dress­ing the crowd. “There are hon­estly no words in my soul .... we grad­u­ate tomorrow,” he said be­fore im­plor­ing the crowd to “shut the [ex­ple­tive] up” so he could fin­ish speak­ing. The crowd then chanted for him to take his pants off.

Rit­ten­house Park was evac­u­ated in Au­gust af­ter a vis­i­tor found a mil­i­tary prac­tice grenade in the park­ing lot. In what won’t go down as the year’s smartest de­ci­sion, the vis­i­tor picked up the grenade and drove it to Delaware State Po­lice Troop 2 in Glas­gow. DSP bomb ex­perts dis­posed of the grenade and swept the park for other ex­plo­sives.

Po­lice ar­rested a home­less bur­glar af­ter a UD stu­dent found him drink­ing beer and smok­ing cig­a­rettes in the base­ment of the stu­dent’s Choate Street home. The stu­dent called po­lice and gave chase, and the bur­glar chucked a can of beer over his shoul­der at him as he ran away. Po­lice later caught the bur­glar, who was the same man who was ar­rested four years ago for throw­ing a piece of pizza through a woman’s car win­dow on Delaware Av­enue, hit­ting her in the back of the head.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate Rit­ten­house Park af­ter some­one found a mil­i­tary prac­tice grenade there in Au­gust.

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