BERENFIELD, N.J. – A self-described disabled Vietnam Air Force veteran who spent several years in federal prison after amassing enough weapons and ammo to raise fears of “another Colombine” was arrested Tuesday when he went to Bergenfield police headquarters to retrieve a rifle he’d left behind after having a fight with an acquaintance, authorities said.
Daniel M. Furesz, a 68-year-old former auto mechanic who lives in Bergenfield, was released from federal prison in October 2014 after serving more than three years on various weapons convictions.
Furesz originally was arrested in December 2009 by police who reported finding three dozen weapons in what was then his sister's Washington Township home.
They also found thousands of rounds of ammunition – most of it stored in a refrigerator – a gas mask, a Kevlar vest and other items that they said he stashed in a house willed to his sister by their mother, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
Furesz also had knives, swords, and crossbows, most of which were stashed in closets, local police said.
The Bergen County Bomb Squad was summoned after officers found what appeared to be gunpowder.
A SWAT team was in position during his Dec. 9, 2009 arrest, in case things got tense. A dangerous situation was avoided, however, when Furesz opened the door.
“Do you have any weapons in the house?” Furesz was asked.
“Maybe,” he said.
“No one could have anticipated the magnitude” of what his squad found, a lieutenant told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
Furesz had “more ammunition than the entire police department in Washington Township,” the lieutenant said.
“I don’t know what his intention was,” a law enforcement source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time. “But this could have had the potential for another Colombine, given his history.”
In Tuesday's incident, a 59-year-old Anderson Avenue woman called Bergenfield police around 1:30 p.m. to report a domestic dispute, Capt. Mustafa Rabboh said.
She gave the responding officers a .22-caliber Ruger high-impact air rifle, which she said Furesz had left behind, saying “she did not want it there,” Rabboh said.
Furesz eventually came to headquarters to try and retrieve the gun – and was immediately arrested, the captain said.
Additional weapons charges followed when officer found him carrying several knives and a pair of handcuffs, Rabboh said.
Federal and state laws prohibit convicted felons from having guns of any type.
A judge ordered Furesz held in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Furesz, who law enforcement sources said amassed his earlier arsenal at gun shows in Virginia, was previously charged with making terroristic threats against his sister.
The Westwood High School graduate – who also has a history of lewdness convictions on his record – also was arrested no fewer than 15 times decades ago on charges that included lewdness, sexual assault, child endangerment and weapons possession.
Four months before the raid in Washington Township, a Glen Rock resident driving south on Route 17 reported seeing Furesz masturbating in a 1993 Buick LeSabre near Franklin Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights.
A Rutherford police officer took him into custody -- after which Hasbrouck Heights police said they found a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum handgun.
Furesz was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison in July 2011 as a result of the Washington Township raid.
Shortly before both 2009 arrests, Furesz tried circulating a petition asking Congress to protect the Second Amendment.
“I am a strong advocate of the National Rifle Association which I must remind you was our first and strongest Homeland Security,” he wrote in his petition, obtained and originally published by CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “We survived being invaded by Japan because it was told to the Imperial Majesty of Japan that at least one out 3 families in California were armed.”
“[T]here has never been a known incident of a gun jumping off the shelf and shooting someone,” Furesz wrote, in the petitions. “I implore you to consider stricter enforcement of existing laws instead of making new ones that limit the ownership use and or purchase of new firearms in any caliber and or action.”
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