EMTs in neighboring Bergenfield, Dumont, New Milford and elsewhere in Bergen County know 53-year-old Dean Mancini, and not in a good way: Homeless and often combative, he’s been transported to hospitals an estimated 200 times the past year alone, they say.
Mancini's arrest sheet stretches 25 years, mostly for non-violent crimes in towns that include Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Maywood, New Milford, Teaneck and Tenafly.
Records also show as many parole violations as disorderly persons arrests -- although there also was an aggravated assault a decade ago.
As a result, Mancini hasn’t done hard prison time. Instead, he’s spent several stretches in the Bergen County Jail – sometimes for days, other times for weeks or even months -- either as part of a sentence or while awaiting trial, records show.
Since New Jersey lawmakers adopted a bail reform measure in 2017, the stays have been shorter and less frequent, however.
Meanwhile, his medical assists have skyrocketed, responders say.
Just last week, responders in Bergenfield and Dumont were called to transport Mancini to the hospital seven times in six days.
“These go into the system as aid calls,” one said.
“He knows the code words to get him an ambulance instead of a prison cell,” said the ranking responder, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This wastes first responders’ and local hospitals’ time and resources, as well as costing taxpayers.”
There are graver concerns, however.
Mancini, formerly of Fort Lee and New Milford, was charged on Feb. 10 with spitting on a Bergenfield ambulance captain who was trying to help him outside a TD Bank branch on North Washington Avenue, police records show.
Because EMTs are a "protected class" -- the same as police, firefighters and other emergency responders -- he was charged with aggravated assault. A judge released him under bail reform, however, pending an upcoming court date.
“We always do what we should do – try to get him help with his addiction and get him off the streets,” a responder said. “We were able to get him into several substance abuse programs, but he always walks out of them as soon as we leave.
“We've approached the local hospitals that we transport him to, but they say they are powerless to do anything,” he added.
“We’re hoping someone can help get him into a program that can help him,” the responder said. “But public safety is an issue, too.
“It's just a matter of time before someone else gets hurt -- or worse.”
According to records, these are the alleged criminal offenses for which Dean Mancini, 53, ended up in the Bergen County Jail pending the outcome of arrests:
- 1994: Simple assault, trespass, contempt, resisting arrest, parole violation (New Milford);
- 1995: Resisting arrest, parole violation (Fort Lee);
- 1998: Assault (Garfield);
- 1998: Aggravated assault, first degree (no town specified);
- 2000: Parole violation;
- 2001: Parole violation;
- 2004: DWI, simple assault (Maywood);
- 2006: Drug-related charge (Tenafly);
- 2008: Drug-related charge, having an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle (Englewood);
- 2009: Assault by endangering an incompetent person, drug-related charge (Fort Lee);
- 2010: Improper behavior, possession of drug paraphernalia (Fort Lee);
- 2017: Disorderly person (Fort Lee) / Hindering apprehension by providing false information (New Milford);
- 2018: Possession of drug paraphernalia (Tenafly).
ALSO SEE: A trio of Essex County 18-year-olds suspected in local car thefts were grabbed by New Milford police with ski masks, mechanics’ gloves, stolen bank checks and counterfeit money in their car before dawn Thursday, authorities said.
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