Richard Keller, 58, of Franklin was charged with criminal mischief, harassment and several township ordinance and New Jersey motor vehicle offenses.
The summonses issued to Mr. Keller were the result of an investigation by the Sparta Detective Bureau with the assistance of the patrol division and was based on complaints from a Sparta homeowner. The complainant told police that someone started throwing garbage on his property about 4 months ago, but that it stopped for a while during the COVID pandemic, only to resume, again, in June.
Sparta patrols took several reports from the complainant of garbage being thrown onto his driveway. He installed cameras and was able to capture a Kia Soul passing his house and garbage being thrown from the vehicle as it drove past.
On June 1, Sparta detectives parked in the complainant’s driveway, in an unmarked vehicle. At approximately 5 am. a light colored Kia Soul drove by the residence and threw a bag of garbage, out of the car window, onto the driveway. The Detectives radioed ahead and a Sparta patrol stopped Mr. Keller’s vehicle. When Mr. Keller was asked why he kept throwing garbage on the complainant’s driveway, he stated “I think you know why” and “Because of that flag”. When he was asked which flag, he angrily stated “The TRUMP flag”. Police said Mr. Keller had such disdain for President Trump that it enraged him that someone was displaying a Trump flag. He decided that he would keep throwing garbage on their driveway to cause them inconvenience.
Mr. Keller was served his summonses and advised of a mandatory court appearance before being released.
Chistopher Heddinger, 45, of Sparta was charged with a disorderly persons offense, advised of a mandatory court appearance.
At about 2 p.m., patrols responded to a residence for a landlord/tenant dispute. Patrols had responded an hour earlier for the same dispute. The tenant, Heddinger, was visibly agitated and highly intoxicated. He was being accused of assault by his landlord, for pushing him. Police said Heddinger came running down the stairs from his apartment when he saw the police officers speaking to his landlord and he was told by police to go back to his apartment. He started walking back up the stairs and suddenly turned around and began to charge toward Cpl. Mastandrea and the landlord, before falling forward on his face at their feet.
He was transported to Sparta Police HQ for processing. He was advised of a mandatory court appearance. Heddinger was assessed by EMS and ultimately transported to Newton Hospital.
Tanner Dykstra, 21, of Rockaway was charged with possession of marijuana.
At approximately 10 p.m. Cpl. Richard Smith was monitoring traffic at the intersection of Woodport and East Mountain roads, when he observed three vehicles, following each other, turn onto East Mountain Road and rapidly accelerate. He attempted to catch up to the vehicles and when he did, he observed two of the vehicles stopped in the middle of the road, side by side. He activated his overhead lights and got both vehicles to the shoulder of the road. While speaking to the drivers of both vehicles, He observed a plastic ziplock, containing a yellowish/green wax substance, on the passenger seat of the vehicle being driven by Dykstra.
When asked about the contents of the ziplock, Mr. Dykstra stated that it was his medicine, marijuana wax. P.O. Erick Finley arrived on scene as backup and Officer Smith advised him of his findings. Officer Finley placed Dykstra under arrest for possession of Marijuana and transported him to Sparta Police HQ for processing.
He was advised of a mandatory court appearance and released.
Michael Soriano of Fairlawn was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing a false name to law enforcement.
At about 6 p.m., Sparta Dispatch received a call about an intoxicated person in the parking lot of a local business. P.O. Matt Pletcher arrived on scene and located the individual that was called in as being intoxicated. Officer Pletcher was able to determine that the individual, Soriano, was under the influence of a narcotic substance. When Officer Pletcher asked him his name, he stated “Michael J McKay.” Further investigation led to Soriano’s arrest for hindering his own apprehension by providing a false name. A search of Soriano turned up full and empty packets of heroin and a cut straw.