Former Jersey City Mayor Gerry McCann’s attempt to cite a construction worker for allegedly transporting debris illegally turned into something out of a “Cops” episode Tuesday afternoon, the Jersey Journal reports.
McCann, an inspector for the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, told The Jersey Journal he attempted to give the man a summons, but the man took off, and eventually landed behind bars after police say he trespassed in two different homes while trying to escape the ex-mayor.
“All he would have gotten is a ticket,” said McCann.
The worker, Curtis Freeman Stembridge, 44, of Arlington Avenue, was charged with two counts of criminal trespass after his encounter with McCann.
According to the former mayor: at about noon, McCann was driving by two Eighth Street homes under renovation when he spotted a truck filled with construction debris. He said he saw no permit that would have allowed the worker to drop off the rubbish at a landfill or transfer station. That’s usually a tip-off that a worker plans to dump the trash illegally, according to McCann.
McCann said he walked over to the 1999 Chevrolet pick-up truck when Stembridge spotted him, jumped in the truck and drove away.
“When he goes by me I look in the car (and) said, ‘I’m going to catch you,'” McCann said.
The former mayor, 65, said he climbed into his Toyota and started chasing Stembridge, who drove in circles until finally stopping at Sixth and Coles streets, getting out of his truck and running away from McCann.
Soon, the area filled with cop cars, with McCann saying they were “cutting down streets … flashing lights.” He didn’t imagine they were there responding to his chase until he found out what Stembridge had reportedly done to hide from him.
A Fourth Street man said he was in his garage watching television when Stembridge tried to walk in. The witness shouted at him and called police, telling them he saw Stembridge then climb a fence to get to the rear of a Third Street home, according to a police report. Cops believe Stembridge went through that home’s basement and walked around the block to Coles Street, where he was apprehended, the report says.
McCann never issued the summons to Stembridge. The JCIA is looking to cite the contractor he was working for and/or the homeowner.