Crime & Safety Local News

Clifton Police Car Goes Airborne During Chase, Knocks Down Signs, Pole In Garfield

The officer tried stopping a motorist on Ackermann Avenue near Route 21 for careless driving shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.

He ended up pursuing the driver after the sedan sped off onto northbound Route 21, he said.

The chase continued on River Road to Outwater Lane, with the fleeing motorist turning off his lights and driving recklessly, the lieutenant said.

They crossed the railroad tracks near Plauderville Station next to Columbus Park when the police vehicle became airborne, Bracken said.

It overturned, knocking down a couple of signs and snapping a utility pole at Eberhard Lane, he said.

The officer was treated at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and released, Bracken said.

Meanwhile, police continued to search for the sedan.

Local News

Three-alarm fire destroys house in Paterson as residents evacuate

A three alarm-fire near 12th Avenue destroyed a home early Sunday morning on William Street in Paterson.

The one-and-a-half story home with a wood frame caught fire shortly after midnight. The structure was unreliable and fully involved with fire, Deputy Chief Orlando Rodriguez said.

There were no injuries reported, however, the fire did extend to a nearby building on East 22nd Street, where there was exterior damage and multiple residents evacuated using the fire escape. The building is behind the home that caught fire.

The fire spread quickly because of gas, and both the gas and electricity were shut off on the street. “A crew had to come and dig up the street to shut off the gas in the building,” Rodriguez said.

The fire took about two hours to control, and the Paterson Fire Department as well as Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office responded.

Crime & Safety Local News

Wayne Driver Was Drunk, High In Crash That Seriously Injured Paterson Motorist, Authorities Say

A 23-year-old Wayne man was both drunk and high when he ran a red light 16 months ago and crashed his sedan into another in Paterson, seriously injuring the other driver,  authorities charged.

A lengthy investigation led to Friday’s arrest of Ibrahim Sumrein on assault by auto and DWI charges, they said.

Sumrein was driving a 2012 Honda Accord that blew the light and collided with a 1994 Toyota Corolla driven by a 31-year-old Paterson resident on Dec. 21, 2019, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint announcement.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for serious injuries, responders said at the time.

Sumrein was “under the combined influence of alcohol and narcotics at the time of the crash,” Valdes and Baycora said Friday.

Prosecutor’s detectives charged Sumrein on a summons and released him pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson, they said.

Crime & Safety Local News

Paterson Detectives Nab Ex-Con In Hail Of Gunfire That Wounded Teen, Damaged Cars, Building

Paterson detectives nabbed an ex-con who they said unloaded no fewer than 20 shots on a local street corner, wounding a city man, damaging vehicles and shattering a store window.

At 25, Michael Deas has spent most of his adult life behind bars, records show.

He spent five years in state prison before being released this past November for a pair of Passaic County armed robberies in 2013 and 2014.

Paterson detectives arrested Deas on Friday for last Sunday’s shooting at the corner of Straight and Essex streets.

A wounded 19-year-old victim arrived at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center via private vehicle soon after. He was treated and survived his injuries, authorities said.

Police later reported recovering 18 shell casings and two live rounds from the scene.

One of the bullets smashed through the window of a medical insurance company. Three parked vehicles also were struck.

Dean remained held in the Passaic County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and various weapons counts, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.


Devils Getting Solid Play From Janne Kuokkanen

If you can remember back before the world ended and the pandemic started (I know, it isn’t easy), one of the last normal things to take place, especially as it relates to the world of hockey, was the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline. That happened near the end of February last year, only a few weeks before everything shut down. It was perhaps also Tom Fitzgerald’s first serious event after taking over for Ray Shero as Acting GM, a job he has since taken on in a more permanent fashion.

Looking back on it now, one of the major successes from that deadline, and one of the reasons Fitzgerald definitely should be praised, was the trade that sent Sami Vatanen to Carolina in exchange for, among other assets, Janne Kuokkanen. The Devils also got a draft pick and a player, but in reality, the winner of the entire deal, on either side, has been Kuokkanen.

Before getting into his play, however, just think about the deal itself. Fitzgerald sent Carolina Vatanen, who was injured at the time, as a rental piece to potentially help Carolina in a playoff run. Since then, Carolina would bow out quietly in the first round of the 2020 playoffs to Boston, wouldn’t re-sign Vatanen, and Vatanen would once again come back to New Jersey before the team placed him on waivers and Dallas claimed him. So for Kuokkanen and other pieces, Fitzgerald basically gave up absolutely nothing. You arguably cannot do better than that. At the time, AATJ readers in the poll from that link above liked the trade but didn’t love it; now, how can you not love it?

And even though losing Vatanen obviously meant basically nothing to the Devils, last year and now, the biggest reason for the trade being so good has been the growth of Janne. The 22 year old Finnish forward made the team out of camp, and initially was given fourth line duties alongside Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian. I wrote about their early season successes back in January, when it was clear that the three of them were gelling and off to a good start. Since then, he has only improved. He has moved out of fourth line duty, and Miles Wood has more often than not taken that position instead.

More recently, Kuokkanen has been given top 6 opportunities. Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, for example, he played all of his 5 on 5 minutes on what was technically the top line with Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich, something he has done for several games now. And combined, they were one of the best lines on the team (as they have usually been recently). They were out there the longest of any line by far, thanks to McLeod and Nico Hischier flipping lines at some point in the game. With almost 12 minutes together at 5 on 5, Janne Jack and Yegor had an excellent relative Corsi at +10.84. They also had 9 Corsi For attempts between them, which was the most offensive line by far, none of the others having more than 5 Corsi attempts. And this wasn’t a line where Kuokkanen was merely a passenger, he definitely was a driver. If you look at with or without you numbers for the same game, among all skaters with at least 3 minutes on the ice with Janne, only Damon Severson and Ryan Murray had worse Corsi numbers when they were with Kuokkanen on the ice as opposed to when they were out there without him. Everyone else benefited in terms of possession by being out there with Janne. That is a great sign.

But of course, the solid play from him is not just limited to one game. That line stayed together for Thursday night’s debacle, and while that line was not as standoutish as compared to the other forward lines as it was on Tuesday, they did have a solid game, Janne included. That line had a similar relative Corsi, sitting at +10 even in that game, and once again their line had 9 Corsi attempts, the most of any line on the team. And just to show you that Kuokkanen has been productive on this line, not just a passenger to Jack Hughes, here is the chart Todd Cordell put out after the game showing shot attempts:

He wasn’t the biggest driver of play on the team, but that isn’t the point either. In his top line role, he has been productive, and is helping the group push play up the ice, not simply just along for the ride. If you really want to see a positive chart, however, check out the same data from Cordell after the last game against New York, where that top line crushed it in shot attempts, and Kuokkanen was a major driver along with Hughes.

In a season that has been disappointing for many reasons, the growth of Janne Kuokkanen from a young player just making the team out of camp in a fourth line capacity to someone who has played fairly well in a top line role alongside the team’s future superstar in Jack Hughes has been a huge boon for this team. The Devils traded for him hoping he would be an NHL contributor eventually, and it seemed possible, but I am not sure that anyone expected it to happen this soon, and in a top 6 capacity like he has been playing in recently. And perhaps the greatest part of it all is that Tom Fitzgerald gave up literally nothing to get him on this team. How can you beat that?


No. 24 Baseball Records One-Hit Shutout During 11-0 Victory Against Rutgers-Newark

WAYNE, N.J. – Five Pioneer pitchers combined for a one-hit shutout as No. 24 William Paterson (18-5, 9-3 NJAC) secured an 11-0 baseball victory against Rutgers-Newark (1-11, 1-11 NJAC) in baseball action April 23 at Jeff Albies Field.


  • A one-out error put senior catcher Dylan Habeeb (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) aboard during the bottom of the third inning. Junior third baseman Steve Yelin (River Edge, N.J./River Dell Regional) tripled to right field and senior first baseman Carson Weis (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, making it a 2-0 score.
  • WP crossed the plate four times in the fourth. A Frankie Deane (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) walk and groundout left him on second base with two outs, and senior center fielder Steven DiGirolamo (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) promptly delivered him home with a base hit through the right side. Senior shortstop Matt Ferrara (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) hit a ground-rule double to left and Habeeb walked to load the bases for Yelin, who dropped a single between three fielders in shallow right-center field that plated two runners. Yelin and Habeeb then executed the first-and-third double steal, pushing the lead to 6-0.
  • Junior right fielder Adrian Alarcon (Belleville, N.J./Belleville) started the home half of the sixth inning with a single to first, advanced to second when junior designated hitter Dan Carter (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a groundout and scored via Colin Lombardo’s (Edison, N.J./Edison) sac fly to left field.
  • DiGirolamo opened the bottom of the eighth with a homer to right, his third of the season. Two batters later, Habeeb drilled a pitch that the right fielder lost in the sun, ending up down the line and into the right-field corner for an inside-the-park home run. Yelin then doubled, Weis walked and Alarcon singled before getting caught in a run down, but not before both runners touched home for the final two runs of the game.


  • Yelin finished 4-for-5 while contributing a double, triple, three RBI and two runs scored. Habeeb was 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs.
  • DiGirolamo posted a 2-for-5 effort while adding a home run, two RBI and two runs scored, and Ferrara and Alarcon each had a pair of hits.
  • Senior Jason Palmeri (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) struck out six and walked five during his 5.0 innings as the starter, giving up just one hit (4-2).
  • Freshman Pat Warburton (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) tossed the sixth inning, striking out one, and senior Zac Polzer (North Haledon, N.J./Passaic County Tech) had a punchout and a base on balls in 1.0 inning. Carter tossed the top of the eighth, walking one, and Alarcon struck out three batters while working the ninth.
  • The Scarlet Raiders’ lone hit was a second-inning triple as WP registered its third shutout of the season.


  • William Paterson plays a doubleheader against The College of New Jersey Saturday, April 24, at 11:30 a.m. at Rider University.


U. S. News

New US envoy starts challenge to restore US on world stage

The longtime career diplomat thanked President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, who swore her in on Wednesday, for choosing her for the “distinguished position” and said she was “thrilled” to be at the United Nations.

“The United Nations is the world’s most important forum for bringing people and countries together,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters immediately afterward. “This administration knows that when America is at the table and acting in accordance with our values, the United States is an indispensable institution for the advancement of peace, security and collective well-being.”

She said the Biden administration is “clear-eyed about the difficult work that needs to be done, from elevating human rights to reforming the U.N. itself to addressing conflicts old and new around the world.”

Thomas-Greenfield reiterated what she said when she was nominated for the U.N. post: “Multilateralism is back and diplomacy is back and America is back and we’re ready to get to work.”

The United States takes over the rotating presidency of the powerful U.N. Security Council on Monday and the new ambassador, who only arrived in New York on Thursday morning, said with a smile, “I not only had to hit the ground running, I’m actually hitting the ground sprinting.”

Thomas-Greenfield, who rose to be U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs before retiring after more that 35 years during the Trump administration, will be the third African-American, and the second African-American woman, to hold the U.N. post.

Her confirmation on Tuesday was hailed by Democrats and advocates of the United Nations who had lamented “America First” unilateral approach to international affairs and rejoiced at Biden’s return to multilateralism.

At the Senate hearing on her nomination, Thomas-Greenfield described China as “a strategic adversary” that threatens the world, and called a speech she gave in 2019 that praised China’s initiatives in Africa but made no mention of its human rights abuses a mistake.

The Senate voted 78-20 to confirm her with Republican opponents saying she was soft on China and would not stand up for U.S. principles at the U.N.

Thomas-Greenfield told reporters Wednesday that representing the United States as a diplomat around the world, “I found that diplomacy is about showing compassion, it’s about managing points of differentiation and it’s about bringing people together.”

When she presented her credentials to secretary-general Guterres, she said coming to the United Nations “was made all the more wonderful because I knew you were here.”

“So I’m looking forward very anxiously to getting to work and working on many of the key issues that we know are before the United Nations and we know that people around the globe are looking to us for,” he said.

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told a group of reporters Wednesday that “the red carpet” will be rolled out for Thomas-Greenfield and Moscow is ready to work with President Joe Biden’s administration — but “it takes two to tango.”

“We are looking forward to interactions with her,” he told a group of reporters Wednesday. “You can count on our most favorable attitudes and positive emotions towards her as a member of our Security Council family.”

But he said America’s view that Russia is “an enemy” and a “threat” hasn’t changed under Biden, so “it’s very difficult to imagine how the interaction with us might change with such starting points of the positions of the new administration.”

Nonetheless, Polyansky said the U.S. and Russia can work together but “it takes two to tango, and really we’re ready to dance.”

“But we need a good and reliable partner who knows all the moves and who respects us” as a country with certain positions, “doesn’t view us as a threat” and sees “our obvious national interests in many issues,” he said.

Thomas-Greenfield said at her Senate hearing that Washington will be working not only with allies “but to see where we can find common ground with the Russians and the Chinese to put more pressure on the Iranians to push them back into strict compliance” with the 2015 agreement to rein in their nuclear program. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 and Biden has indicated the U.S. will rejoin it, though how that might happen remains a major question.

Polyansky said Russia welcomes the “positive developments” on the Iran nuclear deal and the U.S. agreement to extend the START nuclear agreement, adding that Moscow is ready for serious and meaningful discussions “first and foremost in the area of strategic stability.”

Covid-19 U. S. News

White House to Spend $10 Billion to Bolster Vaccine Effor

The White House announced Thursday that it is dedicating another $10 billion to try to drive up vaccination rates in low-income, minority and rural enclaves throughout the country.

The effort, which is funded through the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed earlier this month, will include $6 billion in funding for community health centers to expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and other preventive health care for populations at higher risk for the virus.

President Joe Biden’s administration, which will start distributing the money in April to nearly 1,400 centers across the country, said health centers can also use the funding to modify and improve infrastructure and add mobile units.

In addition, the Biden administration said it is allotting $3 billion to bolster “vaccine confidence.” The money, which will be parceled out to 64 jurisdictions, can be used by rural, faith-based organizations and by food assistance and housing nonprofits in high-poverty communities to conduct door-to-door outreach and education efforts to urge eligible people to schedule vaccination appointments.

Some of the funding will also be spent to help dialysis clinics provide COVID-19 vaccinations to people receiving dialysis and health care personnel in the clinics.

About $300 million is earmarked for community health worker services to support COVID-19 prevention and control, and an additional $32 million is for training, technical assistance and evaluation, the White House said.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 545,000 people in the United States, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Crime & Safety U. S. News

Kentucky Man Arrested for Assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police Officer in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, April 20th, the District of Columbia unsealed a criminal complaint against Stephen Chase Randolph, 31, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, for assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer and engaging in disorderly conduct.

Randolph was arrested pursuant to a complaint and made his initial appearance in court on April 20, 2021 in the Western District of Kentucky. The complaint charges Randolph with assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer causing bodily injury; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice and Congress.

According to court documents, Randolph was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 where he was captured on video pushing into and pulling barricades from officers. As depicted in the video, Johnson became confrontational with USCP officers as he approached a barricade blocking access to Pennsylvania walkway. He can be seen forcibly pushing and pulling on the metal barricades, causing a USCP officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. He continued to assault two other USCP officers by physically pushing, shoving, grabbing and generally resisting the officers. In conversation with undercover agents, Randolph stated, “It was f****** fun,” referring to being in the crowd at the U.S. Capitol.

In the same conversation with agents acting in an undercover capacity, Randolph said he witnessed a female police officer get pushed over by barricades and that her head had bounced off the handrails by the stairs. Randolph opined that the police officer likely had a concussion because she was curled up in the fetal position after being pushed to the ground.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, along with the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department, who listed Johnson as #168 on their seeking information photos. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the FBI-Louisville Field Office.

Crime & Safety Local News

Feds: Imprisoned Paterson Dealer Admits Selling Heroin That Killed User From Warwick, NY

A twice-imprisoned drug dealer from Paterson admitted he sold the heroin that killed a user from Orange County, NY.

Shameik “Homeboy” Byrd, 31, who’s currently serving a state prison sentence, told a federal judge via videoconference in Newark that the death of 25-year-old Kean Cabral of Warwick was caused by heroin from the batch of “Trap Queen” that he’d been selling.

State authorities tried to prosecute Byrd and a couple who they said bought the drugs from him and sold some to Cabral in April 2016.

They were over-ruled, however, by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which said they didn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute someone for a drug-induced death that occurred in another state.

Federal authorities can. So they took the case.

It all began when Cabral was found dead of an overdose at his Warwick home the morning of April 3, 2016.

Three days later, detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office – alerted by Warwick police — set up surveillance in Paterson on April 6, 2019.

The investigators stopped Anthony Potts and his girlfriend, Noel Ferguson, after seeing them buy heroin on East 34th Street, authorities said at the time.

Ferguson turned over 50 or so folds of the “Trap Queen” they’d bought, authorities said.

Investigators found that Potts and Ferguson had previously sold several folds of the same heroin to Cabral after getting it from Byrd in Paterson, they said.

Byrd previously served 4 ½ years in state prison for robbery, drug dealing and resisting arrest before being released in October 2014, records show.

He was back behind bars less than two years later and has been imprisoned since September 2016 following convictions for drug dealing and leading police on a dangerous pursuit, among other offenses.

Byrd is scheduled to be released from the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown this August, records show. He’s then expected to go into federal custody.

Rather than face a federal trial, Byrd pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing and distributing the heroin that led to Cabral’s death, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachael A. Honig said.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and Warwick Police Department with the investigation leading to the guilty plea secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill of her Health Care Fraud Unit.