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Port Authority Police Rappel Team Plucks Fugitive From Fort Lee Cliffs

Anthony Lora. Port Authority EMS rescuers Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: PIP PD / IMAGE: PAPD PD
Port Authority EMS rescuers. Photo Credit: COURTESY: PAPD
Port Authority Police EMS rescuers. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority PD

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A Port Authority Police rappel team corralled a Bronx man wanted for armed robbery from the Palisades in Fort Lee following an undercover drug buy Monday night, authorities said.

Anthony Lora, 22, was "clinging dangerously" to a tree about 50 feet above the Hudson River when a PAPD Emergency Services Unit (photo above) got to him, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo told Daily Voice early Tuesday.

He threatened to jump from the cliffs, but PAPD rescue officers talked with Lora for 20 minutes, "eventually gaining his trust and getting him to comply -- all while hanging from their lines," he said.

Colleagues from the Palisades Interstate Parkway were involved in a "controlled buy" on a stairway off Hudson Terrace just after 5 p.m. when Lora, of the Bronx, bolted into a wooded area just north of the George Washington Bridge overlooking the river, PIP Police Chief Michael Coppola said.

They began chasing him, while summoning Fort Lee and Port Authority police, he said.

Lora crossed over the fenceline and began scaling down the cliffs before becoming stuck in a tree -- leaving him "unable to move and unable to be reached," the chief said.

Port Authority officers who arrived soon after "set up a lowering and hauling system for a two-officer team," the authority's Pentangelo said.

"The two-officer team was lowered to a safe position to make contact with the suspect, who was threatening to jump from the cliff," Pentangelo said. 

The rescue officers negotiated with Lora for about 20 minutes before he agreed to surrender, he said.

They then secured him in a harness and were raised to the top of the clifftop by a rigging team.

PIP police charged Lora with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and Ecstasy and resisting arrest, among other counts. Additional charges were pending, Coppola said.

Lora was also wanted on armed robbery charges from the NYPD, he said.

He remained held in the Bergen County Jail pending extradition to New York, the chief said.

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