Bizarre behavior & 100G bail


What began with a report of someone obstructing rush-hour traffic on Kearny Ave. ended with the arrest of a township man on numerous charges, including aggravated assault, police reported.

The suspect, 44-year-old Paul McGinnis, was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Police Chief John Dowie said the incident occurred April 23, after Officers Luis Moran and Giovanni Rodriguez responded to a 6 p.m. report of a man running in traffic on the avenue near the Belleville Pike.

The man, later identified as McGinnis, ignored the officers’ requests to remain at the scene so they could question him about his bizarre behavior, Dowie said. He fled to an apartment in a building on the 800 block of Kearny Ave., where Moran and Rodriguez attempted again to interview him.

McGinnis, who police said was armed with a screwdriver, allegedly began to lunge and slash at the officers, who had to unholster their weapons to keep him at bay. This, the chief said, “had no deterrent effect.” With the arrival of backup — Officer Pat Becker, Sgt. Michael Ryan and several detectives — there were continued attempts to contain and negotiate with McGinnis, who was yelling incoherently, police reported. After a vice detective who knew McGinnis began to talk to him, he “relaxed his offensive posture but would not relinquish the screwdriver,” police said.

At that point, the cops “swarmed” him and were able to take him into custody.

McGinnis was charged on seven counts: aggravated assault, obstructing the administration of law, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, unlawful possession of a weapon, making terroristic threats against police officers, and — what reportedly caused all this in the first place — obstructing highways.

– Karen Zautyk 

The Observer Staff