Three Arrested on Jacoby Street
Residents were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; portion of incident was captured on amateur video.
A man, his mother and a third person were arrested on Jacoby Street by Maplewood Police during a police “enforcement action” in the area that turned into a scuffle.
When it was over, the three were charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of the administration of law, resisting arrest and in one case, aggravated assault on a police officer, according to Chief Robert J. Cimino of the Maplewood Police Department.
Those arrested were identified as: 20-year-old Sydir Baptist, his mother Tiffany Baptist, 42, and 18-year-old Hensly Jeanty.
Police said Friday the arrests took place during an "enforcement action" on Jacoby Street in the early evening hours of July 24. Sydir Baptist was the first person arrested, police said for “disorderly and unsafe conduct” who, police said, was warned to obey the laws and act safely” but instead “placed himself in an unsafe position in the roadway and was nearly struck by a vehicle.”
Part of the incident was captured on videotape and was posted on YouTube, and although it could not be authenticated, Maplewood Police alluded to the tape and said "that (it) is narrated so as to suggest impropriety on the part of the officers" and that "The facts do not support the allegations."
The videotape, which is grainy in quality, shows police arresting Baptist and his mother trying to intervene and getting arrested.
Capt. John Perna of the Maplewood Police Department told Patch he could not comment further since it is still an active investigation. He confirmed that the video has been posted on YouTube. It can be found in this link. It is not clear who filmed or posted the video. (Warning: the video contains profanity.)
Police also said that they have had an increased presence on Jacoby Street because the area has had continuing issues with criminal activity. "We've been working with Jacoby Street residents and the Township Committee on an ongoing basis," said Perna. "We have had nothing but positive feedback from residents," he said.
On July 17, at the Maplewood Township Committee meeting, residents of Jacoby Street and 44th Street talked about quality of life issues in the area – including traffic, speeding, litter and public safety. Resident Windia Dieudonne said, "We are not getting the quality of life that other areas of Maplewood have."
Mayor Vic De Luca said the Township Committee had focused a lot of attention on the area and would continue to look into potential solutions such as improved lighting. "We are aware and will do a better job," said the Mayor at the meeting. He also confirmed that the committee was working with the police department on addressing public safety issues in the neighborhood.
De Luca said he could not comment on the arrests since the investigation is ongoing.