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Northern Highlands Daily Voice serves Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River & Waldwick

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Suspects fighting cops increase danger, risk

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Maybe it’s the heat, or a lack of intelligence — or even a bit of both — but it seems more dirt bags are taking swings at cops, creating unnecessary danger for our public servants and, in some cases, leaving some departments understaffed.


The latest occurred after a traffic stop on Route 17 in Mahwah this morning in which authorities said a beefy biker tried to take a cop‘s gun.

“Fortunately, we haven’t had to deal with Dr. Summeroff yet,” one police chief said, half-jokingly. “Most of the guys go right back to work.”

Unfortunately, an incident early this morning sent a Mahwah lieutenant to the hospital — with a bite mark.

Officer Timothy Lange was on patrol just after 2 a.m. when he spotted a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic on Route 17 south, Police Chief James Batelli said.

Lange pulled over the cyclist — identified as 45-year-old Dennis A. Jones of New Milford — in Upper Saddle River, Batlelli said. While asking Jones for his credentials, the officer said, he noticed alcohol on his breath. So he directed the unemployed electrician to begin taking a field sobriety test.

Batelli said the 225-pound Jones then charged Lange and they began to struggle on the shoulder of the highway. Within moments, Lt. Philip Tangel arrived and joined the fray.

Dennis Jones COURTESY MAHWAH PD


At one point, Jones tried to take Lange’s gun, Batelli said. The chief said he also bit Tangel on the forearm.

A third officer, Kevin Tielemans, finally helped get Jones in cuffs.

Tangel was later treated at Valley Hospital and released, Batelli said.

Jones, who has a criminal history that includes assaulting a cop, is charged with trying to take Lange’s service weapon, as well as aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, among a host of counts.

He’s being held on $100,000 cash bail at the Bergen County Jail.

Meanwhile, police officials who’ve had to cope with drastic cutbacks are wondering whether they’ve got enough numbers to deal with the growing onslaught.

In New Milford, for instance, six of Chief Frank Papapietro’s officers were assaulted within a week. Two of them ended up tangling with the same guy in different places.

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