A Teaneck police sergeant confronted by a disturbed man on a Bergenfield street was surprised when the stranger pulled out a large knife.
"Kill me! Shoot!" the Portuguese native shouted in broken English to Sgt. Ronald Boswell and backup officers from both towns who rushed to the scene, Teaneck Police Chief Glenn O'Reilly said.
The tense noontime drama played out on New Bridge Road, across from Veterans Memorial Park in Bergenfield, beginning shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The unidentified man had walked in front of Boswell's car, so the sergeant stopped and got out, O'Reilly said.
The man then lifted his shirt and grabbed the knife from his waistband, the chief said.
Boswell summoned backups, then tried to communicate with him.
Facing a language barrier, the sergeant showed his hands, shook his head and said "No," O'Reilly said.
The man eventually sat down on the side of the road with the knife still in his hand, he said.
Teaneck Detective Antherson Ramirez tried speaking to him in Spanish, O'Reilly said. Police later learned that the man spoke Portuguese, he said.
They nonetheless convinced him to toss the knife after about 15 minutes, the chief said. He was immediately taken into custody and brought to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus for a psychological evaluation.
"I am proud of all the officers on scene for showing great restraint and patience, which allowed for this emotionally disturbed person to be disarmed," O'Reilly said.
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