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Overpeck Park woman and baby menaced by elderly man with knife

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Bergen County Police arrested a knife-carrying 79-year-old Wyckoff man moments after a woman told them he waved the weapon and threatened to slash her tires because she left her car running while she ate lunch with her infant son in Overpeck Park.

Renato Pellegrini is charged with illegal weapons possession and harassment, Bergen County Police Chief Brian Higgins said this afternoon.

Higgins said Bergen County Communications in Mahwah got the 911 call around 12:30 Friday afternoon.

The woman said a man “began threatening to slash the tires of her vehicle” and then “retrieved a large knife … and was brandishing it.

“The man was yelling at her and irate over the fact that she had left her vehicle idling while she was parked, she said. [He] then fled in his vehicle when she [called police].”

Within seconds of her call, an alert was broadcast and Bergen County Police Officer Jay Morgan — who was directing traffic around the construction going on along nearby Fort Lee Road — immediately spotted and stopped the vehicle described by the woman a short distance away in the Leonia park.

Inside the car, Higgins said, Morgan saw the knife in plain view on the front passenger seat.

“Pellegrini made a spontaneous admission to the officers at the scene” and was arrested, the chief said.

He was later released on his own recognizance pending a Municipal Court hearing in Leonia.

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