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Mahwah Police Charge Three At Ramapo In Knife Fight Over Cigarette Smoking

Nicholas Caramica
Nicholas Caramica Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. -- An argument over cigarette smoking outside a Ramapo College dorm escalated late Saturday, leaving two men with minor knife wounds and three charged altogether, authorities said.

It began Nicholas Caramica, a student from Wyckoff, confronted fellow student Alexander Irasek and Simon Petrov, who doesn't attend the college, Police Chief James Batelli told Daily Voice.

Caramica "complained about them smoking cigarettes outside of the [Redwood] dorms because the smoke would get into the dorm area," he said.

The trio, all 22 years old, got into a brief argument and Caramica left, the chief said.

He returned about an hour later, found them smoking and resumed the argument -- while pulling a Leatherman hunting knife, according to witnesses, Batelli said.

Caramica went back inside the dorm and was followed by Petrov and Irasek followed, "where more words were exchanged and the altercation became physical and violent," he said.

"Other students tried to separate the students until Ramapo College Public Safety officers and Mahwah police responded," the chief said.

Caramica sustained knife wounds on his face and hand, Batelli said.

Petrov, an exchange student, had cuts on cuts on his forearm and left bicep, he said.

Neither required treatment being what they received at the scene, the chief said.

Police retrieved the knife and interviewed several witnesses at police headquarters, he said.

Caramica was charged with aggravated assault and two weapons offenses. Petrov and Irasek, of Arlington, Va., were each charged with simple assault.

All were released without bail pending a court hearing.

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