UPDATE: A Wayne man must spend more than a year and a half in federal prison for an assault and fierce struggle that occurred after he pulled a pellet gun on a couple who'd been swimming at the Delaware Water Gap.
Jeffrey A. Mulcahy, 59, must serve just about all of the 21-month sentence he received Tuesday because there’s no parole in the federal prison system.
Mulcahy took a deal from the government rather than face trial, admitting last fall that he assaulted the couple in the Kittatinny Point area on the New Jersey side of the river in September 2019.
Mulcahy initially walked off after talking with the swimmers, then returned holding a can of beer and acting agitated, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
He pulled a pellet gun from his waistband, pointed it at the man’s head and ordered both to the ground, she said.
Murphy threatened to kill the man, then hit him in the head and neck with the gun, Honig said.
He then pulled a length of rope from his pocket and tried to tie him up, but the man fought back -- tackling Mulcahy and knocking the gun to the ground, the U.S. attorney said.
The man's girlfriend grabbed it and ran to find help as Mulcahy fled.
A little over a half-hour later, an off-duty firefighter spotted Mulcahy's car, called 911 and began following it.
Hackettstown police captured Mulcahy on eastbound Route 46 in Warren County's Independence Township moments later. An officer reported smelling alcohol on his breath and spotting an open can of Budweiser on the center console, authorities said.
Mulcahy was charged locally before being handed over to federal authorities, who have jurisdiction over the national park.
Mulcahy pleaded guilty via video conference in federal court in Trenton last October to assault with a dangerous weapon with the intent to do bodily harm.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp sentenced Mulcahy to three years of supervised release and fined him $2,000.
Honig credited Hackettstown police, New Jersey State Police and park rangers of the U.S. National Park Service with the arrest and investigation leading to the plea and sentence, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo, the deputy chief of her Criminal Division in Newark.
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