Throngs of attendees were enjoying the annual Feast of St. Rocco in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge this weekend when a convicted sex offender known to police began drawing attention.
Robert J. Frate, 56, apparently had become irate over something, “yelling and waving his arms around in an animated manner,” Fort Lee Police Capt. Edward Young said.
Detective Michael Kelly approached the borough resident, who told him that he intended to return to the popular feast “loaded,” Young said.
Frate motioned toward Kelly’s gun as he said this, the captain said.
The detective “believed to be this to be a threat towards the safety of the festival and its attendees” and arrested him, Young said.
Frate was charged following Sunday afternoon’s incident with making terroristic threats and causing a false public alarm. Police then sent him to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Monday awaiting a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
Frate, formerly of Fair Lawn, has a criminal record that stretches back nearly 15 years for offenses that include a sexual assault on an underage victim. He pleaded guilty to the crime, served time and was returned to prison after violating parole twice, according to court records.
He's had several violations, among other petty crimes, since then, court records show.
Frate also sued Dunkin Donuts in 2016 for what he said was overcharging customers in New Jersey and New York through sales taxes on bottled water and pre-packaged coffee.
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