RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One man was slashed and another was facing charges in an incident at the Rutherford train station.
911 callers described a man carrying a box cutter -- later identified as Kenneth Reneau, 46, Hackensack -- running between cars as another man chased him through the parking lot at Station Square around 10:30 p.m. Friday.
Officer Scott Ahearn was met on Orient Way south of the station by a 56-year-old Jersey City man who was bleeding from a chest wound and "screaming that he'd been stabbed," Capt. Patrick Feliciano told Daily Voice
Ahearn called for an ambulance, which took the man to St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, Feliciano said Monday.
The wound wasn't life-threatening, the captain said, adding that the victim appeared intoxicated.
Ahearn then headed into an alley on Orient Way where the man said his assailant had run.
There he found Reneau.
Ahearn ordered him to the ground and took him into custody without incident, Feliciano said.
The officer also seized a backpack that contained a black-handled box cutter, the captain said.
Reneau claimed that the victim "walked up and punched him in the face and was yelling and cursing at him for no reason," Feliciano said. "He said he resorted to the box cutter for self-defense. Then he said he ran."
Although witnesses confirmed that Reneau was being pursued, it didn't give him the right to slash someone, the captain said.
"You're allowed by law to defend yourself," Feliciano said, "but you cannot use weapons like that.
"A foot higher than his chest and things could've gone real bad."
New Jersey law 2C-3-4(a) carries two important qualifiers for acting in self defense.
- "Duty to retreat": If there is a way for you to retreat and escape harm, the law says you must choose this option rather than using force;
- The force you use to defend yourself must be proportional to -- and not greater than -- the force used or threatened against you. If someone slaps you across the face, you cannot pull a gun.
Reneau was charged with aggravated assault and weapons possession and released under New Jersey's 2017 Bail Reform & Speedy Trial Act.
An investigation was continuing, Feliciano said.
The captain praised Ahearn's work and thanked Rutherford First Aid-Ambulance Corp., as well as East Rutherford police, who also responded.
WANT MORE NEWS? Sign up for free news alerts or follow Daily Voice on Facebook.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.