PARAMUS, NJ – Authorities are seeking the public’s help identifying a man accused of threatening a fellow jitney bus passenger with a box cutter, calling him a terrorist and forcing him off the bus last week as it traveled along Route 4.
The man sought in connection with the May 2 incident, which Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said is being investigated as a bias crime, is described as a Hispanic man between the ages of 40 and 50 who was wearing an orange shirt, camouflage pants, sunglasses and a black sweatshirt with the words “NYC Carpenter’s Union Political Action Team” on it.
According to the man boarded a Spanish Transportation Enterprise jitney bus around 3:30 p.m. that day on Broadway in Paterson near a White Castle restaurant. About 15 minutes later, the victim got onto the bus in Fair Lawn, on Broadway and as he walked passed the suspect, the alleged attacker stomped on the man’s foot, the chief said,
When the victim sat down, the suspect moved his seat closer to him and began harassing the man, Ehrenberg said.
“The suspect asked the victim if he was Indian, he then stated that the victim’s family had killed the suspect’s father and that the victim was a terrorist and responsible for the 9/11 attacks,” the chief said.
The attacker also spit on the victim, then brandished a box cutter and began making slashing motions, which struck the victim’s backpack, the chief said.
While on Route 4 east, the suspect reportedly demanded the driver stop the bus and told the victim to get off or he’d kill him. Once the victim exited the bus, he contacted Paramus police to report what happened, which launched an investigation into the incident.
The suspect got off the jitney bus at the next stop, which is located on Route 4 near Main Street on the River Edge-Hackensack border, Ehrenberg said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Paramus Det. Sal Cosentino 201-262-3400 ext. 1415 or use the department’s anonymous TIPS app located at www.paramuspolice.org.