FAIR LAWN, NJ - A noose found in a front yard tree of a resident's home has been determined non-deliberate, placed there through utility work to prop-up low-hanging wires, according to a police report put out in the last hour.
Fair Lawn Police said they are "confident this was not a deliberate act."
The noose, which homeowner Kelli McCloud shared on her Facebook page early Sunday morning, caused a stir in the borough with individuals trying to figure out how it got there and who was responsible for putting it there, and whether it was meant to be a noose at this particular place of residence.
Fair Lawn Police are now calling it an "alleged 'noose' found tied to a tree," and have declared it not a deliberate act, blaming utility work and the wind for twisting it into a noose-like contraption tied to a tree.
Police said they responded to the household on Jan. 16, Saturday prior to 6 p.m. when the homeowner called them in to determine what happened and report the incident.
"The rope in question was closer in size to twine (thinner than a shoe lace) that is regularly used by utility companies to either tie cables together or to pull new cables from pole to pole," the police report says.
"This was confirmed when detectives spoke with representatives from multiple utility companies who stated that although they could not confirm who tied it or when the rope was tied to the cables, the rope that was found is consistent with rope that is regularly used by those companies," police said.
Mayor Kurt Peluso, in his own research, yesterday said the utility companies, including Altice/Optimum, PSE&G and Verizon, "confirmed they did not put up the rope."
Police went on to state in a report that "The loop on the end of the twine, that was apparently formed by the twine having been twisted in the wind, was approximately the size of a silver dollar and the twine was tied to a branch that was approximately 1 ½ inches thick."
Police said detectives were able to locate similar twine that was tying cables together near the residence.
"With assistance from the Fair Lawn Fire Department, the twine was cut, allowing the cables it was holding to separate and hang low to the ground," police said. "The twine removed from the cables matched the twine that had been found tied to the tree.
"It appears that the twine, found tied to the tree, had been attached to twine found in the overhead cables. It appeared that the portion of the twine attached to the overhead cables had become detached, possibly during the windy conditions present on Saturday and had fallen, becoming entangled into the branches of the tree," police said.
Police conclusion? "Based on the totality of the circumstances, Fair Lawn Police is confident that this was not a deliberate act. The resident, in a follow-up conversation with detectives, was satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and was relieved that this was not intentional."