An Allendale ex-con with a violent history laid down on a railroad track, stopping NJ Transit service, before borough police arrested him following a struggle.
Alerted by transit officials, Officers Sean Hubbard and Jamie Hillgardner found Justinian Rocco, 24, stretched out in the right of way around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Police Chief George Scherb said.
NJ Transit had suspended service so they could address the problem.
Rocco, who was wanted for violating a Superior Court order, ran when he saw the officers, the chief said.
They caught up to Rocco, then subdued him after a struggle, Scherb said.
Rocco has tangled with police before, fighting furiously with officers in a waist-deep stream -- biting and kicking them -- after a local woman found him in her home last year, the chief said at the time.
They eventually had to tie him down to a portable stretcher “so they could lift and carry him up over an embankment and into an Allendale ambulance,” Scherb said.
Rocco served nearly two years in state prison for a string of Bergen County burglaries in 2016 and 2017. He also was convicted of peering into windows.
Police captured him after a manhunt and chase that included tracking dogs and a helicopter.
Among several arrests since then, he was captured twice by Allendale police last year following residential burglaries – one in which a resident was home.
He spent nearly 10 months in the Bergen County Jail for those incidents before being released a month ago.
Police this time charged Rocco this time with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, interfering with public transportation and trespassing, among other counts.
He was sent to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained held Friday.
An investigation into other incidents could lead to more charges, Scherb said.
Waldwick, Wyckoff and Saddle River police assisted Thursday’s arrest, the chief said.
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