Man Missing From Newark Found Miles Away

24 12 2008

Newark N.J.- Tuesday evening at about 6 pm the calls arrived. An emotionally disturbed Chassidishe man in his early 60s had many hours earlier wandered off from his job in Newark, New Jersey in frigid temperatures without taking his coat. This man was known to walk for hours on-end when distraught, and his family members were concerned for his safety in the cold, and in the dangerous neighborhoods of Newark.

Rabbi Moshe Leib Witriol, the director of Kiryas Joel Public Safety, and a Newark Police Chaplain, got in touch with a Newark Police captain, who sent down Newark’s “mobile precinct” truck, a detective and several officers. He also arranged for a helicopter to join the search.

Newark Police brought down its K-9 unit (a.k.a. a.dog) to sniff for the scent of the missing person. Due to the cold and the wind, however, the dog was unable to track the scent.

Hatzolahs of North Jersey and Union City responded with volunteers, and began coordinating a searching of the local streets and in the nearby park. Hatzolah of North Jersey volunteers borrowed a heat-sensing thermal imager from Rabbi Witriol, in order to search for heat in the park and in cluttered parts of the warehouses where the man worked.

The Kiryas Joel, and Misaskim command centers arrived and set up at the staging area, and coordinated the search together with coordinators from North Jersey and Union City Hatzolahs, and Boro Park Shomrim.

As it got later, more volunteers from Chaveirim, Shomrim, Hatzolah, as well as non-affiliated people showed up to assist with the search. At about 10:00 pm, some searchers at a laundromat a few miles away were told that a “Hasidic man” had been seen there several hours before, but no one had seen where he had gone.

At 11:03 pm, someone received a call that the missing man had been found walking near the Goethals Bridge. It was hard to get the details because the person calling was not the person who had the missing man. The caller stated that someone had the man in a car in an Exxon Station right at the foot of the Goethals Bridge.

The ambulances from Union City and North Jersey Hatzolahs raced over to the gas station, which was a 9 mile drive from Newark. The missing man was found in good condition in the car of a middle-aged non-Jewish couple, Bob and Susan Streit.

The couple explained that they had been driving in the area, when the Susan spotted a “Hasidic man” walking in the cold without a coat. She told Bob, who turned the car around and asked the man to come in the car. He seemed not-well, so they asked him where he was from, and he told them from Boro Park. The husband knew a frum person from Boro Park, Heshy Deutch, whom he did business with, and called him and told him he had found a “Hasidic man.” walking without a coat.

Mr. Deutch told him that that was amazing, because not less than 10 minutes before, he had received a text message about a search for a missing man in Newark. Mr. Deutch then called someone who was at the search. The couple was very humble about their role, and insisted it was what anyone should have done.

The missing person was checked out by Hatzolah of Union City, and was taken back to the police “mobile precinct” where the police finished their report, and the man who was just cold, but in stable condition was taken home by family members.

(News Source: The Yeshivah World North Jersey Desk)

Inside The KJ OEM Command Center

Inside The KJ OEM Command Center

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