A Paramus man who, police allege, was hitting up Lyndhurst businesses for donations for a fake charity has been ticketed for violation of a township ordinance for canvassing without a permit.
Lyndhurst Police Det. Capt. John Valente said Brian J. Hope, 50, was observed canvassing without the proper license along Ridge Road on behalf of an organization called “Real Hope for Kids” on Monday, Nov. 4.
However, Valente said subsequent investigation disclosed that “Real Hope for Kids” was a non-existent entity devised by Hope who, they said, informed local merchants that he was collecting signatures for a petition he intended to sent to the United Nations to pressure all countries to adopt tougher laws dealing with the sentencing of people convicted of sexual crimes against children.
After an individual signed the petition, Hope would then ask the signer for a donation to help the cause, Valente said. As an incentive to get people to donate, Valente said Hope stapled various denominations of money to the petition to make it appear that other businesses had provided donations.
But Hope simply kept the money, Valente said. At the time he was stopped by police, Hope had $300 in his possession, but it’s unclear how much of that, if any, he’d collected from merchants, Valente said.
“Hope claimed that since he is not a 501(c)3 organization of the IRS code, as documented on his petition, he did not accept donations for charitable purposes; therefore, all money received was his to keep,” said Valente. “He claimed that the signed petitions were sent on to the United Nations.”
Valente said the address listed on both Hope’s driver’s license and on the Real Hope for Kids petition was the same – 556 Rt. 17N #7-195, Paramus, N.J. 07652 – which was found to be a Mail Star mail box rental store.
Hope was released after police issued him a summons, pending a court appearance. Other incidents logged by Lyndhurst Police during the past week included these:
At 4:48 a.m., police discovered that someone had spray painted red graffiti in the form of random lettering on the north side of the T.J. Maxx department store building in the shopping mall at 423 Valley Brook Ave.
At 9:32 p.m., police responded to a call from a taxi driver at Rutherford and Stuyvesant Aves. about a passenger who appeared to be acting irrationally. The cabbie told police that his fare had pre-paid for a ride from Paterson to East Rutherford but while traveling through Lyndhurst, had begun arguing and opened the cab door. After finding some wet cigarettes that, police suspect, may have been dipped in PCP on the passenger, police charged Hector Alameda, 28, of East Rutherford, with possession of drugs and being under the influence of drugs. Alameda was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center for observation.
At 8:33 a.m., police were called to Columbus School on Lake Ave. on a report of inappropriate behavior. Police charged Narsingrao Gollyala, 66, of Forest Hills, N.Y., with urinating in public outside a school and lewdness. Police said Gollyala had just dropped off a family member at the school and was observed relieving himself by an adult and child in the area.
At 3:39 p.m., police responded to the Kings Court fitness center on a report of theft. Police said they were met there by a Kearny man who told police he’d left his gym bag with the keys to his 2008 Mercedes, parked in the Kings Court lot, under a bench in a locker room and, upon returning, noticed that the bag appeared to have been moved and the keys missing. When he went outside to check his car, the man located his keys outside his car but found that someone had removed his $600 I-phone and his wallet containing $250, his license and several credit cards from the vehicle, police said.
At 3:43 p.m., police received a report of theft from Kings Court. A Lyndhurst woman told police someone stole her $500 I-phone and set of keys from a locker which, police said, had been left unsecured.
– Ron Leir