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Fair Lawn police arrest resident, 22, in bogus biological weapon threat

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Fair Lawn police this morning confirmed earlier CLIFFVIEW PILOT reports that a 22-year-old resident was arrested and taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center after his unfounded threats of having a biological weapon prompted an evacuation last night.

John R. Edwards was being held on $15,000 bail at the hospital, charged with causing a false public alarm and threatening to commit a crime.

The report of an “agitated” High Street resident who possibly had weapons led to the evacuation of more than 50 residents from the Radburn area neighborhood following Edwards’ call to authorities around 6:15 p.m.

“Local police have a history with this person, so all precautions were taken,” Bergen County Police Chief Brian Higgins told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Edwards came out of his second-floor, garden apartment unit and was arrested soon after Fair Lawn police arrived. He was taken by ambulance to BRMC.

Meanwhile, a search by the Bergen County Police Bomb Squad turned up no weapons, chemicals or devices of any kind, Higgins told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Residents began returning to their homes soon after.

Fair Lawn EMS, Heavy Rescue and OEM members, as well as Bergen County Sheriff’s officers, were among the responders.

The FLPD confirmed the earlier CLIFFVIEW PILOT accounts in this mid-morning release:

“On 9-28-2014 at 6:45pm, Fair Lawn Police responded to a multi-unit residence on High Street after receiving a 911 call reporting a ‘biological weapon’ was located inside his apartment. P.O. Luis Vasquez and P.O. Eric Eleshewich entered the complex to begin evacuating residents when they observed John Edwards 3rd, age 22 of Fair Lawn, leave the apartment where the alleged weapon was located. While being detained by police, he stated again that a ‘biological weapon’ was located in his kitchen. Approximately 50 residents were evacuated from the area. The Bergen County Police Bomb Squad responded to the scene. They searched the apartment but found no weapons or material that could be used to make a weapon.”

PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving

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