Police: Man with fake IDs, ammo at home tried to get into secure area of GW Bridge
By ANTHONY G. ATTRINO | NJ Advance Media Group | Published: October 8, 2019
(Tribune News Service) — Police found high-capacity ammunition magazines in the home of a former soldier who tried to get into a secure area of the George Washington Bridge with fake identification, according to police and court documents released Tuesday.
Daniel Czerepak, 29, a former soldier from Wallington, New Jersey, was arrested Sept. 19 when he presented himself as a subcontractor for Skanska Construction and tried “to access a secure location” on the bridge, according to Lenis Rodrigues, spokeswoman for the Port Authority Police.
At a court hearing in Bergen County on Monday, prosecutors accused Czerepak of gathering security intelligence and alleged that toll records showed Czerepak had recently driven to the Lincoln Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, according to NorthJersey.com.
Czerepak’s vehicle “had fraudulent magnetic ‘Skanska Construction’ signs affixed to both front doors,” Rodrigues said in an email.
“The suspect was found to be in possession of numerous fraudulent placards from numerous companies,” Rodrigues said. “Additionally, an altered Verizon employee identification card and uniform shirt were in the suspect’s possession. The suspect has no known affiliation to any of these companies.”
Police arrested Czerepak and charged him with forgery for the construction placards, criminal trespass and theft of services for trying to drive onto the bridge without paying the toll, according to a complaint filed in Fort Lee Municipal Court.
“He was not employed by and has no legitimate connection to Skanska,” police wrote in a complaint.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Czerepak told Port Authority officers that he had driven up the ramp leading to the secure area before. He showed a security guard a construction company placard that was on his dashboard, according to the affidavit.
The area Czerepak tried to access is known as “T-2” and is where contractors have been refurbishing the bridge, according to the affidavit.
Later on Sept. 19, Port Authority Police police obtained a search warrant for Czerepak’s car and found two license plates they later learned were stolen from a vehicle parked at Liberty Marina in Jersey City, according to the affidavit.
Police also obtained a search warrant for Czerepak’s home on Hathaway Street in Wallington and found five 30-round rifle ammunition magazines and one 15-round pistol magazine, according to an affidavit.
Also inside the home, police said they found a bag containing 15 golf clubs with a tag affixed containing the name of a woman who had reported the clubs stolen from her vehicle at the state park in Jersey City, according to a complaint charging Czerepak with theft and receiving stolen property.
NorthJersey.com quoted Czerepak’s family as saying the ammo magazines were empty and were items related to his service in the Army. Family members said Czerepak was discharged in January after attaining the rank of captain, according to the report.
Czerepak is being held at the Bergen County Jail without bond pending an Oct. 15 court appearance, jail records show.