YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Amid police protection outside his sister’s home, a Ho-Ho-Kus man this afternoon removed hateful comments about a dead Waldwick police officer from Facebook page.
Despite being a onetime child prodigy and chess master, George Grasser is “extremely” mentally ill, his sister, Elaine Blumenthal, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
“We’ve taken him in and done our best,” she said. “But he had a tragic childhood that directly affected him.
“He was 12 when he found our mother dead. He was raised by our father, who had issues of his own. He basically has the mentality of a child,” the sister said.
Blumental said she is grateful that Ho-Ho-Kus Police Chief John Wanamaker has stationed an officer outside the house out of concern for the family’s well-being.
“My posts have hurt a lot of people and I am sorry for that,” Grasser (photo, above) wrote on Facebook this afternoon. “I will take down my posts and not publish hurtful words again.” (CLICK HERE for George Grasser FACEBOOK page.)
The apology drew 350 or so responses, just about all of them angry.
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YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Authorities have arrested the tractor-trailer driver responsible for the overnight crash that killed Waldwick Police Officer Christopher Goodell on Route 17 and charged him with vehicular homicide. READ MORE….
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Grasser ignited the torrent of rage this morning with a Facebook post about Waldwick Police Officer Christopher Goodell, who was killed overnight when a tractor-trailer slammed into his police car on Route 17 during a radar detail.
Essentially, Grasser said that karma killed Goodell because he’d issued him a seatbelt summons. “RIP BUDDY!” the post also said.
Hundreds railed against Grasser in the comments thread after he shattered the bounds of decency and civility by railing against a dead hero.
“This was a man who served his country with honor and left a family behind,” wrote Ian Roberts of Broward County, Fla. “But you are just a clueless fool who blames others for your own actions. How dare you scoff at his death! And people trust you with kids?”
Another posted a photo of a child on a respirator, his face covered in blood and bruises, after a car crash.
“This is why police issue seatbelt tickets!” wrote Michael Prendergast of the Baltimore County (Md.) Police Department.
Those were far two of the tamest comments.
Blumenthal said she and her husband spoke with Grasser, explaining the implications of his comments.
“We told him words can hurt worse than anything and that actions have consequences,” she told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “We can only hope he understands.
“He is extremely intelligent. He was a chess master when he was a child,” said Blumenthal, who has a masters in psychology. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t deny the other piece of it.”
Grasser, a socialist who says he is disabled with a bladder disease, was permanently banned from the Lakeland, Fla., public library five years ago for continuing to solicit there despite repeated warnings to stop. Police said he was handing out business cards for free chess lessons for children. He also posted a YouTube video appealing for money.
Grasser also has an arrest record alleging at least two separate thefts, one when police said he was high on prescription medication. He is single and claims to be in a relationship with a woman who lives in Sri Lanka.
Grasser identifies himself as a participant and instructor for the “Midnight Chess Academy” at the Paramus Park Mall, which couldn’t immediately be verified. Parents, however, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon that they’ve seen him at the mall food court.
“I’m looking for Hasidic[SP] friends,” Grasser posted a few years ago. “I need 5 to 10 new Hasidic friends to help me annoy and get back at the libraries in Bergen County NJ. Comes with Free Chess Lesson and we might get kicked out and you could get to sue!”
Commenting on a Maryland insurance executive accused of conspiring to kill a judge, Grasser two days ago wrote: “What are you doing Mr. Cohen? Trying to fast-track your way on to my FaceBook friends list?”
“Every family has or knows a person like him,” his sister told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “I’m hoping people will understand.”
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UPDATE: Waldwick Police Officer Christopher Goodell was killed overnight when his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer during a radar detail on southbound Route 17. READ MORE….
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