Accused druggie trapped in mudflats

LYNDHURST –

An out-of-town “visitor” has been checked into another location for safekeeping after being retrieved by police from the banks of the Passaic River.

The episode began Tuesday, March 7, at about 6:25 p.m. when police received a 911 emergency call that someone had jumped off a lower roof of the Winslow Motor Hotel on the 200 block of Rutherford Ave. into the parking lot below.

Police said the caller told them that the individual was last seen running through the yards of neighboring properties.

Responding officers checked the surrounding area and eventually tracked the suspect to the riverbank where he had reportedly been hiding in the weeds.

At this point, according to police, the individual entered the water to try and elude his pursuers.

This effort proved unsuccessful when, as the suspect began traversing the muddy banks, he became stuck and LPD Officers Joseph White, Steve Passamano, Charles Giangeruso and Paul Haggerty entered the water and pulled him to safety.

The 39-year-old Secaucus resident was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center by Lyndhurst EMS for physical and psychological evaluations.

Members of the Lyndhurst Volunteer Fire Department responded to decontaminate the officers from any water pollutants to which they may have been exposed.

Police said the Secaucus man had been staying in the motel and a search of his room disclosed drug paraphernalia. Charges of being under the influence of CDS and possession of CDS paraphernalia were filed against him.

– Ron Leir

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.