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Westwood father, son, get brief jail terms after brawl with cops

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON THE PILOT: A Westwood man and his son were led out of a Hackensack courtroom in handcuffs today to begin short jail terms for getting into a brawl with police from several towns.

Superior Court Judge Edward Jerejian sentenced Nicholas R. Verastegui, 20, to 180 days and his father, 46-year-old Fred E. Verastegui, to 60 days in the Bergen County Jail. Their sentences were to begin immediately.

Both men took plea deals in connection with the May 27, 2012 melee, which brought reinforcements from River Vale, Emerson, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

Westwood police responded to an apparent domestic violence incident at a 4th Avenue home where they ran into the father and son. Both became combative, they said.

“There was punching, pepper spray, etc.,” one officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time. “Several officers had swollen faces, cut heads and other bruises. A female officer took a punch to the head, so she’ll probably have a headache, at the very least. [Another officer] got cut on the bridge of the nose.”

Also injured were both men, who were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

The father remained in the hospital overnight with injuries before being transferred to the county jail to join his son.

Westwood police arrested Nicholas Verastegui in February of that year and charged him with using his car to hit a jogger after an argument.

The two began fighting after crossing paths at the corner of Kinderkamack Road and Palm Street, Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino said at the time. After the jogger ran off, Verastegui picked up his father, he said.

Spotting the runner a couple blocks away on Lexington Avenue, the elder Verastegui reportedly got out of the car and continued the argument, the chief said.

As the man began to run again, Regino said, Nicholas Verastegui hit the gas. The silver Honda crossed the sidewalk at a driveway, hitting the jogger, who fell across the hood and onto a front lawn, he said.

The elder Verastegui got back in and they drove off, the chief said.

The jogger was hospitalized with a broken collarbone, in addition to bruises and scratches.

Arrests were made within a week.

Both men were free on bail in connection with that case when the brawl broke out three months later.

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