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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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  • Northern Highlands
    serves Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River & Waldwick
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    serves Oradell, Paramus & River Edge
DV Pilot police & fire

PVHS Shelters In Place As Police Chase Parolee Through Woods

Richard L. Coquel
Richard L. Coquel Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy HILLSDALE PD
The shelter-in-place was lifted after police seized the suspect.
The shelter-in-place was lifted after police seized the suspect. Photo Credit: GoogleMaps

HILLSDALE, N.J. -- Pascack Valley High School briefly went into a shelter-in-place Thursday morning while police searched the nearby woods for a parolee wanted on warrants who took off from Hillsdale officers who stopped him moments earlier.

Richard L. Coquel, 38, eventually was tracked down and taken into custody without further incident, Detective William Diedtrich said.

Officers responding to a 10:30 a.m. call of a panhandler outside the Shop Rite found a white SUV with New York State license plates parked outside the Oritani Bank on Broadway in Woodcliff Lake, Diedtrich said.

Officer Brian Considine approached Coquel, who was behind the wheel, and discovered that he had two outstanding warrants from Paramus and one from the county, he said.

Coquel also is known to area police -- having spent a year in prison, before being released in October 2014, for aggravated assault and other convictions out of Bergen County.

When Considine asked him to step out of the car, Coquel hit the gas and fled the lot, Diedtrich said.

Officers from Woodcliff Lake and Park Ridge joined the subsequent search within moments.

At one point, a Woodcliff Lake officer spotted the SUV on Kinderkamack Road, but Coquel sped off, eventually stopping on King’s Court, the detective said.

He then got out and bolted into the woods, he said.

The high school was put into a precautionary shelter-in-place during the search and arrest of Coquel, who was charged with eluding, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice by Hillsdale police. Their Woodcliff Lake colleagues charged him with criminal mischief, eluding and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A judge ordered Coquel held in the Bergen County Jail without bail pending an initial appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

Hillsdale Police Chief Robert Francaviglia thanked officers from Woodcliff Lake, Park Ridge and River Vale, along with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, for a quick response that helped “bring this incident to a quick resolution.”

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