Morristown police blotter: Drunk driving, celebrity urination, wrong-way biking and crying wolf on 911

Drunk driving stops dominated the Morristown police blotter over the last couple of weeks leading up to last weekend’s parade. Other noteworthy incidents included a former sports star slapped with a $500 ticket for public peeing, a bicyclist nailed for allegedly cycling against traffic, and a man arrested on a charge of crying wolf with a 911 call.


Many athletes have left their mark at Morristown High School.  Police charged one of them with leaving his mark on the side of a building near the Green.

Rafe Shupe, 21, who quarterbacked the football team to a state championship as a senior in 2010, was charged with urinating on the Bank Street side wall of 28 West Park Place near midnight on Feb. 26, 2014, by Officer Jesse Dickerson.


morristown police badgeA Morris Plains man was found to be two-and-a-half times over the legal limit after driving a Jeep Liberty into a parking lot snowbank and glancing a delivery van, police said.

Luis Sanango-Lazo, 25, was charged with drunk driving, careless driving, failure to keep right and failure to exhibit his registration after the 2:11 am incidents on Wilmot Place in Municipal Lot 10, on Feb. 25, 2014.

A breathalyzer test returned a blood-alcohol reading of .20, reported Officer Brian LaBarre, who investigated the case with Officer David Gizzi.  The legal level for intoxication is .08.


A Morristown man was charged with drunk driving after police saw him driving at night with no headlights through a red light at the intersection of Morris and Spring streets.

Joseph Byron, 29,  was charged with driving under the influence, refusing to submit breath samples, driving without headlights and failure to observe a traffic signal at about 2 am on Feb. 27, by Officer Joseph Heuneman.


A bicyclist pedaling the wrong way around the Morristown Green was ticketed after arguing with police who pulled him over.

Lawrence Nicholson, 51, of Parsippany, was charged with obstructing the administration of law, going the wrong way on a one-way street, and bicycling in violation of traffic laws, by Officer Eric Petr, around 7:30 pm on Feb. 28.

The officer reported that he was conducting a motor vehicle stop on North Park Place when he saw Lawrence Nicholson, who he recognized from prior incidents,  pedaling north in that south-bound lane.

“I exited my patrol vehicle and stepped in front of Nicholson to stop him and he attempted to ride by me to my left into the next lane of traffic,” the officer reported. The cyclist removed his headphones and began arguing, claiming that the policeman was harassing him and he would beat this in court, according to the report.

When Officer Petr told the man to stand and wait for him to finish processing his motor vehicle stop, the bicyclist mounted his bike and began pedaling south. He traveled about one car-length before the officer caught and stopped him, the report said.

When Officer Joseph Heuneman came to assist, the cyclist continued “to yell and scream” and started walking away. At that point, the individual was arrested.


A New Vernon man was charged with drunk driving after police observed him driving 20 miles over the speed limit on South Street without headlights around 11 pm on a Saturday.

James Moseley, 26, also was charged with careless driving, driving without lights, failure to produce his insurance card and refusal to submit breath samples.

The motorist’s Subaru made a hard, fast right turn onto Headley Road, the report said. Officer Joseph Heuneman said he had to accelerate to 47 mph to catch the vehicle in the 25 mph zone.

“I observed the vehicle’s driver still failed to realize his headlamps were not illuminated as he traveled down Headley Road and through a nearly pitch black and very sharp S curve in the road,” reported the officer, who made the stop on Headley.

Officer Heuneman reported that the driver did not follow instructions at headquarters when submitting his breath samples; after 11 attempts, the machine refused to register any more tries.


A student charged in connection with a fight at Morristown High School last month was arrested this month and charged with disorderly conduct during an active investigation.

Malik Liles, 18, of Morristown, was arrested at Clinton Place and Speedwell Avenue just before 1 pm on March 5, 2014, by Officer Anthony O’Brien.

Last month, Malik Liles was one of two students charged with simple assault stemming from altercations at the high school on Feb. 19.


A Randolph man was charged with drinking from a gallon bottle of Jack Daniels at the Morristown Train Station.

Christopher Surrago, 55, was charged by Officer Scott Weaver after an NJ Transit worker alerted the officer around 11:30 am on March 7.


A Monmouth Junction man who attempted to flee from police after urinating in a Schuyler Place alley was found with a bloody hand and forehead from an earlier altercation, according to police.

Officer Jesse Dickerson caught up to Cody McHugh, 23, around the corner of the building.

“OK. You got me,” the man reportedly told the officer. Cody McHugh declined medical attention, and “advised that he was fleeing the scene of a fight that had previously occurred on Washington Street.”  Police interviewed him about that fight, the report said.


Brian Gavilanes, 21, of Ledgewood, was charged with drunk driving after police observed his vehicle fail to observe a stop sign at DeHart Street and Maple Avenue.

“I’m not drunk officer,” the motorist told Officer Joseph Heuneman  after the 2:12 am stop on March 7, according to the police report.

A breath test registered a blood-alcohol level of .09, the report stated. The legal threshold for intoxication is .08.


A Morristown man was charged with needlessly calling 911 on March 7.

Amdi Dervisi, 41, had called police around noontime to complain of loud noise in his apartment building. When Officer Scott Weaver found no noise, he attempted to interview the man, who responded with a stream of profanity, according to the police report.

“Mr. Dervisi appeared to be intoxicated and was unstable as he stood in the doorway,” stated the officer, who said headquarters informed him of similar 911 abuses by Amdi Dervisi in the recent past.

The individual was arrested, and taken to Morristown Medical Center, where “he started yelling profanities as we stood waiting in the hallway where multiple patients were able to hear him.”   Officer Weaver said the emergency room had to sedate the man.

Since New Year’s Day, police have been called to Amdi Dervisi’s apartment 11 times, police said. Seven of those incidents were unfounded or non-emergencies, such as cable TV that was no working, no hot water or unfounded complaints of loud noise, police said.

Another eight unfounded noise complaints originated from that same address between September and December 2013, according to police.


A Morris Township woman was charged with drunk driving after she was observed driving through a stop sign at Flagler Street, police reported.

Tara Lovenberg, 22, was arrested at 1:44 am on March 8 by Officer Eric Petr, who said her vehicle was swerving across the center lines on Martin Luther King Avenue and Spring Street.

The driver, who told police that she had imbibed three Corona beers, according to the report, also was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to maintain lanes, careless driving and refusal to submit breath samples.


A Morristown man driving without headlights was stopped after nearly rear-ending a car that was waiting for a red light to change on Maple Avenue, police reported.

Jerman Richardson, 23, was arrested and charged with drunk driving, careless driving, driving without headlights, failure to maintain his lane and refusal to submit breath samples after the stop at about 2 am on March 8.

When asked at headquarters to submit a breath sample, the driver said, “what are you asking me, —-ing, what, that’s not the reason you pulled me over,” reported Officer Joseph Heuneman.

According to the report, the officer had to drive at 45 mph in the 25 mph zone to keep pace with Jerman Richardson’s Toyota.

“I noticed the dark vehicle became difficult to see as it traveled down dark sections of Maple Ave without any lights illuminated. I observed the vehicle continued to speed on Maple Ave and the driver appeared to be oblivious of his surrounding as he was rapidly approaching an intersection with a red traffic signal” at Miller Road, where two cars awaited the signal to change.

“I observed the driver of the Toyota finally realized he was about to crash into the vehicle stopped at the red light when he slammed onto his brakes, causing the vehicle’s front end to violently dip down as he came to a screeching halt, inches short of hitting the car in front of him,” Officer Heuneman said.

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