On February 23rd, a suspicious person was seen photographing houses on the dead end block of Aschoff Place. A nearby resident snapped a few photos and forwarded them to the home owner. The incident was forgotten about until someone attempted to break into the owner’s home a week later.
The very next day, the same photo was used on social media by user named “Frank D’Angelo” and indicated that the same person in the photograph had stalked and assaulted his stepdaughter.
“…he’s out to cause trouble that’s a sword on his back people he attacked my stepdaughter this afternoon,” writes D’Angelo. “There were several pics taken a man took some that the person tried to break into the home on 50 something street and there are also pics from a video cam by the bakery it's the same person some people are saying it was a girl but the person that attacked me wasn't a girl.”
The speculation of a sword was recirculated by HudsonTV’s Jillian Risberg. In a brief posting titled “MAN WITH A SWORD!” the article questions whether the posting was a hoax.
“I can tell you for a fact that there were no sword attacks in North Bergen,” confidently says Sgt. Querio. “We can not verify the claims [of Frank D’Angelo]. No victims have come forward.”
The North Bergen Police Department even went as far as taking a comparison photo to dispel the "sword" rumor.
The story was traced back to post on a Facebook Group called “New Jersey Online yard sale” by a user named ‘Victoria Colon’. “My friend (personally) was attacked by this man today!! At 1130 am at 6 corners in north Bergen…” says her post.
When HudPost reached out to the Victoria and she claims “that man tried to break into a house on 51st and Tonnelle Ave. And [there’s] video running after attacking my friend today on the bakery (Six Corners Cafe) camera.”
North Bergen Police also verifies no assaults were reported in the midtown area that day —with or without a sword.
““I think I would’ve noticed a sword,” says the photographer of the picture, who wishes to remain anonymous. “I’m more concerned about why she was here and if she’s connected to an attempt break-in.”
The police Chief verified that the suspect in the photo did not commit a crime by photographing houses, but has been reached out to for questioning.
“But at no time did they attempt to enter the property and from what we can tell, there was no crime committed,” Police Chief Robert Dowd says.
Sgt. Querio confirmed that the investigation of the suspect in the photo is still active. The original attempted break-in is also under investigation.