And The Band Played On: ‘Knucklehead’ Coronavirus Crimes Continue, NJ Authorities Report

They've come in all ages, from young teens to middle-age adults, and continue being either arrested or ticketed for coronavirus-related crimes, New Jersey authorities say.

police car
police car Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

In what has become a daily rundown, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal released back-to-back lists of offenders in a span of less than 48 hours Sunday and Monday.

They included a 16-year-old Wegmans customer who deliberately coughed on a woman more than three times her age and a 54-year-old musician playing Pink Floyd covers for a crowd gathered on his lawn.

Here are the latest:

Terrance Edwards, 34, of New Brunswick, was naked and armed with a knife when he burglarized one home, was caught by police trying to break into another and shouted at them that he had the coronavirus, Grewal said. They charged him with burglary, weapons counts and violating the governor’s executive orders, he said.

A repeat offender from Teaneck spit a mouthful of water on two Englewood police officers, coughed at them and claimed she has the coronavirus after they arrested her for violating a temporary restraining order, Grewal said.

SEE: Teaneck Woman Spits Water At, Coughs On Englewood Police, Claims She Has COVID-19

Rumson musician John Maldjian, 54, was charged with various offenses after police found 30 or so people in their 40s and 50s gathered on lawn chairs and drinking alcohol Saturday night on his lawn – some of whom cursed at police and shouted “Welcome to Nazi Germany” – while he and another man played "Wish You Were Here" and other Pink Floyd cover songs, Grewal said. Charges against others were expected, as well, the attorney general said.

SEE: 'Welcome To Nazi Germany,' Cursing Concertgoers Reportedly Tell Rumson Police

A 16-year-old girl was issued a delinquency complaint after she pulled down a face mask she was wearing, claimed she had COVID-19 and coughed on a 52-year-old woman who asked her to step back because she was too close to her at the Wegman’s in West Windsor, Grewal said. She wasn't identified because of her age.

Saul Rosen, 52, of Toms River, was charged with violating the emergency orders by holding gathering in his backyard with more than 20 people, the attorney general said.

Dennis Steward, 52, of Valley Stream, Long Island was charged with making terroristic threats, among other offenses, after he was hospitalized in a DWI crash and “became aggressive and spat on hospital security guards, two Hamilton police officers, and a nurse” at St. Francis Hospital in Trenton, Grewal said. Steward “claimed he had Covid-19 and had just come back from visiting someone in the Bronx who died from the virus,” the AG said.

Rita A Lacis, 61, of Parsippany, was charged with violating the governor’s order by continuing to operate her dog-grooming service even after Rockaway police told her to stop. The first time, she “claimed that she misunderstood the order requiring closure of all non-essential businesses,” Grewal said. “She was charged when officer saw two customers drop off a dog a short time later.”

Luke Shuscavage, 27, of Princeton, was charged with violating the emergency orders for bringing five youths from a youth shelter to Lenape Park in Raritan Township to play basketball, the attorney general said.

Marco Costa, 28, of Harrison, was charged with making terroristic threats during an emergency, among other counts, after he said he had COVID-19 and then coughed on police who found him burglarizing vehicles.

Derrick E. Hughes II, 32, of Woolwich, was charged with similar crimes while being booked for violating a temporary restraining order when he spat at officers and breathed on one of them, saying he had COVID-19 and hoped the officers caught it, Grewal said.

Anekia Dawkins, 35, of Morristown, was charged by local police with violating the executive orders for holding a party at her residence with more than 10 people, the attorney general said.

Tyeashia Henderson, 20, of Hillside, was charged by police with violating the executive orders for holding a party at her house with 20 or so guests, he said.

Steven Nunez, 22, of Clifton, Tiffany Colon, 21, of Clifton, and Valerie Saez, 22, of Passaic, were charged with violating the emergency orders after a West Milford police officer found them parked in a vehicle at the Clinton Road Reservoir boat launch after hours.


ANY FROM YOUR TOWN? With growing numbers of violators getting more brazen, police in New Jersey have been criminally charging more people committing coronavirus-related offenses. Here's an updated list.


Meanwhile, Newark police issued 206 more summonses to people violating an executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy by gathering illegally and closed 15 more non-essential businesses who’d been ordered to remain closed.

"Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis,” Grewal said. “Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work.

“Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law,” the attorney general said. “Make no mistake: We will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”

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