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Charges pending against man who fell 100 feet from Palisades in Englewood Cliffs

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Trespassing charges are pending against a 45-year-old man who was rescued last night after falling more than 10 stories from the Palisades at the Rockefeller Lookout in Englewood Cliffs, authorities said Monday morning.

Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department got a 911 call from a relative just before 6:30 Sunday night.

PIP officers “conducted a cliff top canvas of the area” and found the Erwin Villacorta of Chestnut Ridge, who was “alert and conscious at the time and reported to family that he was north of the lookout when he fell,” said Acting PIP Chief Michael J. Coppola.

“Using verbal communication from above, we were able to pinpoint the victim’s location to an area just north of the lookout itself,” Coppola said.

Among the local emergency workers who responded were Englewood Cliffs firefighters, the East Bergen Rappel Team, Closter Rescue and Englewood Medical Center EMS and paramedics.

Rappel teams operated for close to three hours before recovering the victim near the base of the cliff and turning him over to paramedics and EMTs, Coppola said.

He was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition with several non-life threatening traumatic injuries, the acting chief said.

Coppola said the Villacorta walked east from the marked trail about 50 feet “through heavy brush and trees until he reached a point where he lost his balance and fell from the ledge.”

He traveled 25 feet, struck a landing area and then plunged another 75 feet, the acting chief said.

It’s unclear why he fell, however, the acting chief said.

“No one else is believed to be involved at this time other than the victim acting on his own,” he added.

Charges were pending against Villacorta, who apparently went to a restricted area of the cliffs to get a better look at boats on the Hudson, Coppola said.

“[R]escue workers needed to cut away at the foliage to reach the area where Mr. Villacorta had fallen from,” he noted.

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