Victim Found Holding Marijuana


Newark – The victim of an assault and robbery apparently lost track of the amount of property stolen from him late yesterday afternoon and wound up be charged with a crime.

According to Sheriff Armando Fontoura, detectives at his department’s Patrol Division headquarters on Clifton Avenue responded to several screams for help from a male who was outside the police facility at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday.

The man, later identified as 43-year-old Claiston Smith of Columbia Avenue, reported to the officers that he had just been beaten and robbed by three young males. Smith was suffering from multiple abrasions, bumps and bruises about the head and was bleeding from the mouth.

Sheriff Fontoura said that the officers immediately called EMS for medical treatment. The battered man was placed inside a sheriff’s marked unit and the immediate area was canvassed without success for the three suspects.

While awaiting the arrival of EMS, Smith was questioned about the particulars of the assault and robbery. “There was no weapon involved, just hands,” Smith told the sheriff’s detectives, “and they took 30 dime bags of weed.” Smith was referring to the $300 worth of marijuana he was carrying at the time of the incident.

At that point EMS arrived at the headquarters. When Smith removed his jacket to have his blood pressure checked the 30th bag of marijuana, apparently not stolen during the assault, dropped to the floor.

“This is the second time in two weeks that people have come to us for assistance while carrying drugs,” Sheriff Fontoura noted. “Another guy came to the courthouse on February 28th to turn himself in on an open criminal warrant and he had 22 bags of marijuana in his underwear. What they say about the excessive use of marijuana causing memory loss is apparently true.”

Smith was issued a disorderly persons summons for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and released. The charge will be heard in Newark municipal court at a later date.