the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Rutherford NJ, On Friday June 14, 2019, at approximately 9:30 am, the Rutherford Police Department responded to Washington School located at 89 Wood Street on a report of a student stabbing a teacher.
Officers Michael Merli and Thomas Steinel arrived on scene and took custody of the fourteen (14) year old male student suspect and the weapon, a folding knife.
The victim, the Union School Principal, was leading the Union School eighth (8th) grade class graduation rehearsal at the Washington School gymnasium. The assailant ran across the gym and proceeded to thrust the knife, striking the chest of the principal several times. The suspect then turned around, dropped the knife and placed his hands in the air. A teacher secured the knife and walked the attacker outside where PO Merli subsequently took him into custody.
At no time was anyone else attacked during the incident.
Rutherford Ambulance Corps responded and treated both the suspect and principal for non-life-threatening wounds.
Det. Sgt. Michael Garner is leading the ongoing investigation.
The juvenile was charged with:
• Aggravated Assault NJSA 2C:12-1.b. (1) 2nd Degree
• Aggravated Assault NJSA 2C:12-1.b. (2) 3rd Degree
• Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose NJSA 2C:39-4.d 3rd Degree
• Unlawful Possession of Weapon NJSA 2C:39-5.d 4th Degree
• Currently the juvenile is still in police custody.
Chief John R. Russo would like to thank the Rutherford Public School faculty for their actions and assistance in this matter.
The charges against the juvenile defendant are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Rutherford Police Department is confident there are no remaining threats to any students or faculty. However given today’s events the Rutherford Police Department will have a presence at Wednesday night’s graduation.