YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An intoxicated man who Fair Lawn police said was demanding to be arrested this afternoon turned out to be a suspect wanted for a carjacking out of Rochelle Park several hours earlier, authorities said. Police also recovered the vehicle, which was found still running outside a Ridgewood bank.
Steven Garfield, 59, of Fair Lawn, who has an arrest record dating back nearly a decade, was charged with first-degree carjacking and fourth-degree impersonating a police officer. He was being held on $150,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
“It was nice work by our detectives and people on the road and by our friends in Fair Lawn and Ridgewood,” Rochelle Park Police Chief Robert Flannelly told CLIFFVIEW PILOT late this afternoon. “But we also have to give credit to the lieutenant from Englewood Cliffs who did the sketch.”
Lt. Brian Murphy “came right over after” after detectives called Englewood Cliffs Police Chief Michael Cioffi,” the chief said. “The lieutenant even skipped an FBI class to do it. The [sketch] wasn’t out 10 minutes before they caught the guy.”
Fair Lawn Police Lt. Derrick Bastinck credited Nicholas Magarelli, a records clerk and chief of the Fair Lawn Auxiliary Police, who saw the sketch almost immediately after Rochelle Park detectives it was sent to area departments at 3 o’clock.
At just about the same time, he heard a call from officers at River Road and Manor Avenue who were dealing with an intoxicatedman who “was yelling hat he wanted to be arrested,” Bastinck told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Magarelli went straight to Bastinck.
“It was too much of a good match,” said the lieutenant, who alerted his officers in the field and called Rochelle Park police.
“Sometimes you just get lucky,” Bastinck said.
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Garfield has an extensive criminal history dating back nearly a decade, involving robbery, burglary, assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct, records show.
Although he didn’t remember quite where he left the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, Garfield gave a detailed enough description to lead Rochelle Park police to the Connect One Bank on Ridgewood Avenue, several officers told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. The car was parked outside, its engine still running and most of the woman’s belongings still inside, they said.
It was removed by flatbed tow truck to be processed for evidence.
The victim told police she was in the parking lot of the Rochelle Avenue Dunkin Donuts at 7:30 a.m. when the disheveled-looking Garfield opened her car door and ordered her out, the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
“Police! Police!” she said he yelled. “Get out!”
Garfield took off with the car and her purse, Flannelly said.
The woman, who wasn’t harmed, described the robber as white, in his 50s to 60s, about 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, with “heavy facial scruff,” gray hair, light eyes and wearing a leather jacket, a ski cap and dark clothing.
Detectives Jim DePreta and Chris Bermudez immediately began working the case. Then Murphy arrived.
Garfield was taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center for detoxification, under New Jersey’s Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation Act (ATRA), while Flannelly’s detectives prepared charges.
A few hours later, he was brought to Rochelle Park police headquarters for processing.
MUGSHOTS/SKETCH: Courtesy ROCHELLE PARK PD