A Passaic man was charged with killing his 82-year-old father during a struggle in their home.
Police and fireman went to the Terhune Avenue home on a welfare check shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a “concerned party” had been unable to contact Vincent Sullivan or his father, Gerard, for several days.
They initially received no response at the home, then eventually contacted the younger Sullivan, 49, who “allowed first responders to enter the home,” Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes and Passaic Police Chief Luis A. Guzman said.
They discovered a lifeless Gerard Sullivan on his bedroom floor, they said.
He’d suffered “significant blunt force injuries” and was pronounced dead at the scene, the victim of patricide, Valdes and Guzman said.
There were also “signs of a struggle in the bedroom and abrasions and minor injuries on Vincent Sullivan’s hands,” they said in a brief release.
Mayor Hector Carlos Lora said the incident underscores the need for genuine assistance for those with mental health issues -- and those directly around them.
"This pandemic has created many serious challenges among them are how we are dealing with mental health patients and their love ones especially in regards to their counseling sessions and treatments as well as access to assistance and resources for their families and caregivers," Lora said.
"This is a tragedy that should not have happened," the mayor added, "but I fear if we do not figure something out regarding services and support for vulnerable family members required to stay at home with their love ones that face mental health challenges then this, unfortunately, will not be the last tragic story we read about."
Vincent Sullivan was being held pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson on charges that include murder, they said.
Valdes and Guzman didn’t say whether they believe he used his fists or an object.
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