• This Is Rutherford

Police Blotter 8/12-8/25: Winning Lottery Tickets Are Rarely Found In The Garbage; Suspicious Men

Monthly RPD Reports can be found here. New: July Activity Report


This is Rutherford publishes incidents that the public may find interesting or informative. The Blotter represents a small fraction of the total calls the RDP responds to regularly. The following information was provided to TIR by the Rutherford Police. All suspects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Incidents involving juveniles will not be published.

Sunday, August 25 - Suspicious Person, Park Ave

At approximately 9:28 pm, a 48 year old male caller reported an unknown male party following his daughter and her friends in and out of businesses on Park Ave. When the caller confronted him, the suspicious person fled on foot. He was a young white male with long shaggy hair, a pink sweatshirt and headphones. A canvas of the area was negative and RPD is awaiting security footage from businesses.


Friday, August 23 - Aid and Assist, West Passaic Ave

A complainant reported a juvenile running in the street on West Passaic Ave. RPD responded and found it to be a girl running a lemonade stand. Her mother was present.


Friday, August 23 - DWI, Route 17 South

At approximately 1:55 am, a 45 year old male from Rutherford driving a 2014 4-door Nissan Sentra reported he was stuck at the Wendy’s drive-through because “the barriers came down.” There are no moveable barriers at this location. Upon arrival, Officer Batchelor observed the vehicle hanging over the curbed wall which separates the Wendy’s and Burger King lots and concluded this was a motor vehicle crash between the vehicle and the wall at Wendy’s. The man was transported to headquarters after failing field sobriety tests and blew a .15% BAC. He was issued a summons for careless driving and DWI and released to a responsible party under John’s Law.


Thursday, August 22 - Suspicious Person, Lincoln Ave

At approximately 2:41pm, a caller reported a man rummaging through garbage. RPD responded and located the man who reported he looks through garbage cans for lottery tickets in hopes of finding a winner. He was advised his behavior can be deemed strange and may cause alert.


Thursday, August 22 - Suspicious Incident, West Van Ness Ave

At approximately 11:57 am, a 22 year old female called 911 and stated that while at work in Paramus, her Ring doorbell notified her of 2 males outside her residence on West Van Ness. The males appeared to be trying to enter her home. The caller did not have a description of the males. RPD was dispatched and reported no signs of false entry.


Wednesday, August 21 - Criminal Mischief, East Passaic Ave

Health Dept Official Brian O’Keefe reported a mailbox as the victim of graffiti. RPD documented the graffiti and took photographs. The letters “PFL” were written in yellow spray paint.


Tuesday, August 20 - Dispute, Park Ave

A 42 year old female caller reported she was asked to leave a laundromat because she had a service dog. Officers dispatched determined the party had a “comfort dog” and not a service dog and the only reason the business asked her to take the dog outside was because it was barking at customers, not a trait of an actual service dog. No ADA guidelines were violated.


Tuesday, August 20 - Dispute, Park Ave

At approximately 10:30 am, a 59 year old female reported an unknown male party approached her and her 22 year old daughter requesting to send an unknown picture to the daughter’s cell phone. He was reported as a short Hispanic male, approximately 50 years old, wearing a beige hat, beige t-shirt and blue jeans. The party was gone upon RPD’s arrival after last seen walking south on Park Ave. Additional officers were dispatched with negative results. The complainant was unsure of the man’s intention but thinks he may have taken a photograph of the 22 year old girl.


Monday, August 19 - Suspicious Person, Feronia Way

At approximately 3:55 am, a caller reported an unknown male party banging on her door and ringing her doorbell. Officers were dispatched and located the man who was lost and believed he was at his friend’s house. RPD transported him to the correct house on Mountain Way.


Sunday, August 18 - Aid and Assist, Hastings Ave

A 57 year old female caller stated she was in her apartment and couldn’t unlock the deadbolt to her door. Officer Merlo was able to unlock it and was advised to contact her super to repair the door.


Saturday, August 17 - Suspicious Person, Hastings Ave

At approximately 10:39 pm, a 48 year old male reported a suspicious male looking into an apartment where he believed a single woman lives. The man was described as in his 20's, white, 5 ft 8 inches, wearing a black shirt and maroon shorts, black hair, 155-160 lbs. The caller had seen him looking in the windows for the last 2 weeks.


Saturday, August 17 - Suspicious Vehicle, Extended Stay America

A caller reported a 1999 Volkswagen van, spray painted with no front plate, was parked and the windows were spray painted. RPD responded and reported the above vehicle was empty, with a layer of dirt on it as if it had been parked for an extended period of time. The hotel has no parking policy and the man to whom the vehicle was registered was not staying at the hotel.


Saturday, August 17 - DWI, Montross Ave

At approximately 7:08 pm, Officer Batchelor stopped a 45 year old Rutherford resident at Montross and Sydney Ave. The man refused to take the alcohol test and was issued summonses for DWI and released to a responsible party under John’s Law.


Saturday, August 17 - Suspicious Vehicle, Washington Ave

A 49 year old female reported a blue vehicle often parks on the block and she believed they may be selling drugs. RPD responded and determined that they were local teenagers and there was no illegal activity.


Friday, August 16 - Terroristic Threats, Park Ave

RPD was called to a Rutherford business after a patron threatened to kill the business owner and spit on the store windows after being made to leave the premises. RDP located a 47 year old male from Elizabeth who provided Officer Merlo with false information in order to evade being arrested on a warrant from Newark. After being transported to headquarters, the man became agitated and kicked the officer. He was issued a summons for violating the borough ordinance against spitting in public, issued warrants for terroristic threats, aggravated assault law enforcement officer and hindering apprehension. All parties are innocent until proven guilty.


Wednesday, August 14 - Fraud, Route 17 South

A 25 year old female reported she was never paid for a cellphone that she sold to a party via PayPal. She posted an advertisement on Craigslist selling a space gray iPhone X, asking $950 for the phone and was only originally open to accepting cash as payment. She was then contacted by a party named Mark Harris who was interested. He stated he could not meet to pay in cash because he was in Florida. He advised her he could utilize a PayPal service where the money is withdrawn from his account and held until she provided a shipping number and then deposited to her account. She agreed but never got her money.


Tuesday, August 13 - Suspicious Person, Montross Ave

A complainant reported multiple juveniles walking under the Montross bridge. RPD responded and identified two 18 year old males and one 14 year old male, all from Bloomfield, taking pictures under the bridge. They were notified they were trespassing and were told to leave.


Tuesday, August 13 - Suspicious Incident, Elliott Place

A 53 year old female who works in the Guidance Department at Rutherford High School received 4 phone calls to her direct line in her office from an unknown party. A female party sounded agitated on the phone and made the following comments: “You have been sitting on my porch. You have been in my apartment and lying on my bed. Michael Torres is having your baby.” The female party used excessive vulgar language. The Guidance Department staff did not know the caller or a person named Michael Torres. The woman was advised she was calling a high school guidance department and that she must have the wrong number. After more phone calls in which the woman repeated the same things, an unknown male party called and reiterated the same comments as the female. The staff was concerned for the callers’ well being and the fact that they were making inappropriate phone calls to the high school. They contacted RPD and during the investigation, the phone number was tracked to Fort Lee. RPD contacted Fort Lee Police who were aware of the individuals in question and stated they had had numerous encounters with those parties and would follow up.


Tuesday, August 13 - Suspicious Incident, Washington Ave

At approximately 10:48 am, a 60 year old male caller reported an individual inside his garage. The superintendent from the building on Washington Ave. also advised the same unknown party at his location last week going through the garbage. The man is described as a white male wearing a green shirt, 50-60 years old and rides a bicycle.


Tuesday, August 13 - Suspicious Incident, Washington Ave

At approximately 3:19 am, a 50 year old female reported that she woke up to use the bathroom and noticed the motion light in her front yard was on. She observed an unknown male in dark clothing milling around the front of her property and porch. She believed he was walking slowly and uneasy and may have been impaired. Her husband yelled out the window for the man to leave. Officer Batchelor located the male at which time it was determined that the man had an altered mental status and required medical attention.


Monday, August 12 - Noise Complaint, Ridge Road

At approximately 10:30 pm, a 42 year old resident called 911 to report an unknown noise coming from the upstairs of the residence where she resides with her parents. Everyone in the household was downstairs at the time. RPD responded and reported the noise was coming from window blinds banging against an open window.


Monday, August 12 - Suspicious Incident, Park Ave

The Rutherford Fire Department received a letter from a Rockville, MD man stating he’s an active volunteer fireman for 36 years and asked a series of 6 questions about how the RFD operates. RFD had previously received a warning for NJ fire departments to be on the lookout for something similar and to report it as a potential scam to their local police and also to the Old Bridge Police Dept.


Monday, August 12 - Suspicious Incident, Stuyvesant Ave

At approximately 9:15 pm, a 35 year old female reported she observed flashlights in a residence under construction across the street from her house. She observed a male and female depart the house with what appeared to be a power drill. RPD located the individuals and established the male and female party were legitimate contractors removing the tools and were allowed to be there.


Monday, August 12 - Unwanted Party, East Passaic Ave

At approximately 6:39 pm, a 53 year old male reported he wanted a 20-something year old male out of his house. The caller appeared to be intoxicated and stated the male, who he only knows as “Big Mac” had been staying at his house for 4 months and that Big Mac kept saying he’d get a job but he never did. He told RPD he wants Big Mac to leave the residence. RPD interviewed the man’s son who is about the same age, who reported Big Mac had been living there since about October 2018. Big Mac proved he has his own set of keys and mail coming to the house and has established residency.