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DV Pilot police & fire

Driver who killed Gabrielle Reuveni arrested the next day — after another crash

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YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The former volunteer firefighter whose pickup truck struck and killed 20-year-old Gabrielle Reuveni of Paramus in the Poconos this weekend has a history of emotional trouble that has led to several recent arrests — including one less than 36 hours after the horrific tragedy, when his car struck a utility pole in Morris County, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Philip Cise (left: CBS NEWS)

In addition to waving an ax at a McDonalds drive-through earlier this month, Philip Cise staged what authorities said was a bogus fundraiser for the families of 9/11 victims.

This came after he claimed to be a third-generation firefighter who heard about the plane crashes on 9/11 and raced 22 miles into the city — asserations that authorities have said are bogus.

Parsippany police confirmed that Cise, 48, of Dover, was behind the wheel of a vehicle that hit a pole in Lake Hiawatha around 8:30 Sunday night.

He wasn’t hurt, they said. But a computer check turned up an outstanding warrant out of Bedminster.

Cise was free Sunday night because police in Palmyra, Pa., said they were awaiting the results of a blood test to determine what charges to bring in the death of Reuveni, who was out jogging near her family’s lakeview summer retreat when she was struck around 12:30 Saturday afternoon — 32 hours earlier.

Although police in Palmyra are reserving comment until the blood-test results are in, Reuveni’s father said Cise was drunk and “lost control of his car at high speed.”


Cise was arrested following Sunday night’s other crash and turned over to Bedminster Township police after the warrant turned up.

He was being held in the Somerset County Jail, charged with contempt, defiant trespassing and offensive touching in connection with a pair of harassment incidents involving security guards at Trump National Golf Club, is reporting.

As CLIFFVIEW PILOT first reported exclusively over the weekend, Philip Cise has a criminal history that stretches back more than a decade — and includes two arrests in one week earlier this month ( The site later learned about the Bedminster incidents).

On July 2, police said, Cise swung an ax in front of a customer’s car at a McDonalds drive-through in Rockaway after employees refused his request for free food.

Then on July 7 he was arrested again and charged with stealing a truck from the owner’s driveway in Jefferson Township, records show.

But there’s more:

Cise was arrested in November 2001 after police said he purported to be a fireman collecting donations for a memorial for 9/11 victims and then threatened an officer who challenged his claims.

The charges apparently were dropped, a source with knowledge of the incident told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.

Records show that Cise — who spent some time as a volunteer with the Summit Fire Department —  got off with probation in 2002.

CBS News later pulled a segment it aired about the man who dubbed himself “Firefighter Phil” and what he described as efforts to have a memorial built on five acres of donated land in Allamuchy Township, just off Route 80.

It would be called “Remembrance Park,” said Cise, who originally claimed to have been at Ground Zero by using a photograph of another firefighter wearing an air mask but, according to officials, wasn’t really there .

Cise was oddly dressed in oversized firefighter’s pants and suspenders when he did the Channel 2 interview, explaining how he’d been working with a since-deceased painter from Tewksburywho created a portrait he said would become the memorial’s centerpiece.

The artist, Mari Watts Hitchcock, later severed her ties with Cise after discovering that his “Firefighter Phil Foundation” didn’t exist.

The most recent employment found for Cise online is with a defunct tree-cutting service out of Sparta that was created in 1960. Hitchcock apparently contacted him about a tree on her property that she thought needed attention. Soon after, he enlisted her in the purported memorial project.

Just last month Cise was in Tennessee, where he told a local newspaper he was working on a book about 9/11.

Cise was driving south on Route 507 in Palmyra Township, Pa., Saturday afternoon when his Chevy Colorado pickup crossed the double-yellow line onto the shoulder several times before hitting Reuveni, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

“My sorrow to the family for such a horrific event,” a friend of Cise’s told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight. However, he said, Cise “is a mentally ill man suffering from [s]chizophrenia and [b]ipolar disorder.

“For many years after 911 hit, Phil lost his mind and had several battles to keep himself in good standing,” the friend said. “It is very hard for these kinds of people. It is a mental disorder and depression doesn’t help it.

“He actually was a firefighter and ran his own tree service for over 20 years until he got sick.”

An employee at a Rockaway Township business offered a differing opinion.

“He came into the store just to chat and was very strange, weird,” she told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight. “I didn’t feel like I was talking to a ‘normal’ person and was sort of humoring him..

“I Google’d his name from the article and saw more pictures of him and realized it was the same person. On a few occasions I saw him outside the store and I didn’t want to talk to him,” the worker said, “so I quickly locked the door and went in the back so he didn’t see me.

“He didn’t scare me I just didn’t want to talk to him, he was weird.”

“She was the purest beauty, but not the common kind. She had a way about her, that made you feel alive. And for a moment, she made the world stand still.”
We Own the Night , Lady Antebellum (with thanks to Kelsey Revicki)

FROM: In Memory of Gabby Reuveni

Gabrielle Beth, born on February 1, 1992. A beautiful, loving, angel who always saw the best in others. She took the world by storm. Gabrielle grew up in Paramus, attended the Paramus school system. She was the Paramus High School valedictorian 2010. Captain of the cross country and track teams, president of the National Honor Society. She attended Washington University in St. Louis. She was a member of their track and cross country team, tour guide of the school, Alpha Phi sorority member. She had many friends and touched everyone that she came in contact with. She wanted to make the world better for all. She studied international affairs, concentrating on regional sustainability with a minor in Spanish.

(from her obituary)

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The horrific, heartbreaking news is spreading this afternoon: 20-year-old Gabrielle Reuveni, the valedictorian of Paramus High School’s Class of 2010, a member of a college national championship track and field team and a Miss New Jersey contestant died after being struck by a car Saturday morning. READ MORE….

Funeral services for Gabrielle Beth “Gabby” Reuveni are scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert Schoem Menorah Chapel, 150 West Route 4 in Paramus.

Burial is in Beth-El Cemetery in Washington Township.

Besides her father and mother,
Jacqueline Reuveni, a former Paramus Board of Education member, Gabrielle is survived by a sister, Jessica, 18, a brother, Zachary, 16, and paternal grandparents Ofra and Abraham Reuveni of Reseda, Calif.

CLICK HERE to send remembrances of Gabrielle:

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