YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: What Haworth police deemed a credible witness’ report of a man with a rifle near the Oradell Reservoir proved unfounded this afternoon after law enforcement officers from several agencies converged on the area.
The report came around the same time as it was learned that the NYPD was searching for a group of suspicious people who were spotted Friday morning on Staten Island with what appeared to be assault rifles in their hands — and driving a minivan and SUV with New Jersey license plates ( SEE PHOTOS, BELOW ).
Three dog walkers told Haworth police they saw a white man with a plaid shirt and blue jeans entering a wooded area with what they described as a long-barreled weapon and a bag that could have contained more weapons just before 3 p.m., Lt. Michael Gracey told CLIFFVIEW PILOT less than an hour later.
One of the walkers was “particularly credible” in how she described what they saw, he said.
Bergen County Sheriff’s officers joined their Haworth colleagues, along with police from Closter, Harrigton Park, New Milford and Oradell in establishing a perimeter and checking the Haworth County Club and United Water property, among other areas.
On Staten Island, a photo taken by a retired NYPC officer shows the group of four men and two women wearing hijabs and carrying weapons in the Midland Beach parking lot.
Descriptions of them and their vehicles matched those in recent paintball attacks in the city last weekend, while a license plate check showed one of the vehicles registered to a paintball company.
Law enforcement everywhere remained on high alert after an attack in which four U.S. Marines were killed yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.