Driver stopped for tailgating, passenger arrested for marijuana
On Sept. 4 at approximately 7:15 p.m., Sparta police officer Erick Finley observed a red Honda Civic bearing New York plates tailgating another vehicle on Route 15 north. After stopping the vehicle and approaching the driver’s side window, Finley made contact with the driver, Hakeem Bokhari, and advised him why he was stopped. While speaking with Bokhari, Finley smelled the odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle. When asked about the odor, Bokhari admitted that his rear seat passenger, Naeem Semerkant, 22, of Flushing, N.Y., had some marijuana in his possession. Finley spoke with Semerkant, who admitted he had marijuana in his backpack for their camping trip. A search of the backpack revealed a ziplock of marijuana, a bong, and smoking pipes. Semerkant was placed under arrest and transported to Sparta Police headquarters for processing. Bokhari was issued summonses for Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle and Following Too Closely. Semerkant was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was advised of a mandatory court appearance and released.
Driver in rollover charged with DWI
On Sept. 4 at approximately 9:30 p.m., Sparta patrols were dispatched to the area of West Shore Trail and Rocky Terrace for a report of a rollover motor vehicle accident. When patrols arrived on scene, they observed a blue BMW in the woods. There was no one around the vehicle, but a witness stated that the driver fled on foot down West Shore Trail toward White Deer Plaza. Police officer Chris Favaro located a white male, Christopher Curran, 24, of Sparta, N.J., who had been driving the BMW. Curran stated that he left the scene because people told him to run. Favaro was able to determine that Curran had been consuming alcoholic beverages and informed him that he was going to be transported to Sparta Police headquarters to perform field sobriety tests due to the unsafe conditions on the road. After completing the tests, Curran was placed under arrest for DWI and asked to take breathalyzer tests. After completion of the breath testing, Curran was charged with DWI, Careless Driving, Failure to Keep Right, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Report an Accident, and Failure to Produce Documents. He was advised of a mandatory court appearance and released to a sober adult.
Smoking marijuana leads to driver’s arrest
On Sept. 8 at approximately 10:30 p.m., police officer Jonathan Poon observed a black Jeep pass him with a headlight out. Upon stopping the vehicle, Poon approached the driver, Jonathan O’Brien, 21, of Staten Island, N.Y., and advised him why he was stopped. While speaking with O’Brien, Poon smelled the odor of marijuana within the vehicle. When asked about the odor, O’Brien stated that he had smoked some marijuana while in Pennsylvania. A search of the vehicle revealed a rubber bong and a metal grinder that contained marijuana. O’Brien was placed under arrest and transported to Sparta Police headquarters to be processed. He was charged with Maintenance of Lamps, CDS in a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was advised of a mandatory court appearance and released.