A massive search conducted by officers from numerous law enforcement agencies resulted in five arrests in Haledon, New Jersey on Sunday, January 19th. Those arrested, who were initially suspected of running over an officer from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, were ultimately charged with burglary and obstructing the administration of the law.
After police were notified that a number of suspects had run over a Passaic County Sheriff’s Officer and fled the scene of the incident, authorities launched a search involving members of the Wayne, Haledon, Little Falls, and Clifton Police Departments, as well as officers from William Paterson and Montclair State Universities.
Officials subsequently discovered that the alleged offenders were not involved in the incident, nor was the officer seriously injured. However, they determined that the suspects were fleeing after illegally entering a former wing of Preakness Hospital, which is located on Valley View Road in Haledon and is currently vacant.
The accused include 20-year-old Michael Nieves, 19-year-old Ricardo Aguirre, and 18-year-old Aleidy Ortiz, all of whom are from Paterson, New Jersey. The identities of the other two arrested individuals, one of whom is a Paterson resident, while the other is from Haledon, have not been disclosed due to their status as juveniles.
According to Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik, all of the accused were apprehended in Haledon prior to 4:40 a.m. on Sunday morning. The investigation is ongoing, as officials continue to seek a motive for the break-in. Other than a fire extinguisher, they have yet to identify anything stolen from the premises. Nevertheless, the five arrested are facing charges for burglary and obstructing the administration of the law, which could subject them to terms of incarceration of up to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Of the charges they are facing, those for burglary carry the most severe penalties upon conviction. Burglary is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, and is considered a crime of the third degree unless the defendant inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury on another or is armed during the commission of the crime, in which case it is a crime of the second degree. Third degree offenses are punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Obstructing the Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function, also known as simply “Obstructing,” is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. These types of offenses are considered less serious under New Jersey Law and are typically classified as disorderly persons offenses, which are punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months in the county jail. However, a case under this statute is considered a crime of the fourth degree if the actor obstructs the detention or investigation of a crime or the prosecution of a person for a crime. Fourth degree offenses are punishable by a term of incarceration of up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
If you have been charged with one of the aforementioned offenses, contact Passaic County, NJ criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup for a free consultation about your case.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Three Paterson men charged in break-in at Haledon vacant hospital building