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Rochelle Park police trace steps in snow, charge Teaneck man with stashing ounce of pot

Photo Credit: Courtesy ROCHELLE PARK PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: One of five men caught peering into the windows of cars parked outside a Rochelle Park hotel took off, stashing a jar of pot that was later found after police retraced his steps in the snow, authorities said this afternoon.

Lakeith Griffin, 23, of Teaneck ( above, left ) “admitted to arresting officers that he discarded of marijuana while running” from the Ramada Inn Saturday night, Detective James DePreta told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Teaneck police arrested him yesterday on an arrest warrant from Rochelle Park.

Officers Jared Shatkin and Franklin Laboy spotted the five walking between parked cars, peering into windows, around 10 p.m. Saturday, DePreta said.

“As the officers approached the group and attempted to speak with them, they crossed Passaic Street into oncoming traffic,” he said.

Four of them eventually stopped, but Griffin ran toward the Garden State Parkway, the detective said.

Shatkin began to chase him but quickly returned to assist Laboy with the group.

It turned out the group tried to reserve a hotel room to “party” but were refused because there were too many of them, DePreta said.

All four “smell of burnt and unburnt marijuana” and were taken into custody, he said.

Soon after, Parmus police found Griffin hiding under a Parkway underpass.

Charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and with being under the influence of drugs were three Teaneck residents — Tyron Qualls, 18; Brandon Warren, 19; and Shawn Chavannnes, 21 — and 20-year-old Angel Fragos Marchese of the Bronx ( clockwise from top left ).

Fragos Marchese also was charged with marijuana possession.

Qualls, Warren, Fragos Marchese and Chavannes were released on court summonses.

Rochelle Park police brought additional charges of hindering and obstruction against Chavannes for providing a fake name “in an attempt to avoid arrest for open warrants,” DePreta said.

He was being held on $2,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail after being arrested this afternoon ( SEE: Teaneck man sought by police found reading CLIFFVIEW PILOT story that he’s wanted ).

Griffin, meanwhile, was initially charged with resisting arrest, tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

New charges of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute it within 500 feet of public housing were filed against him after Officer Dean Pinto retraced Griffins’ steps in the snow and found the ounce of pot in a large jar, DePreta said.

Griffin remained held on $35,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail following his arrest by Teaneck police yesterday.


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