On Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at approximately 4:37 p.m., the Mahwah Police Department received a report of a motor vehicle collision with a bicyclist down in the roadway in the area of the intersection of Ramapo Valley Road and North Railroad Avenue in Mahwah. Officers responding to the scene determined that Thomas RINALDI, who was operating a 1990 Dodge Ram pickup truck, had struck Francisco Perez, a 62 year old Suffern, New York man, who was riding a bicycle near the intersection. As a result of injuries suffered during the collision, Mr. Perez was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. Officers at the scene made observations that led them to believe that Mr. RINALDI was driving while intoxicated.
As a result of a cooperative investigation conducted by members of Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit (FAIU) and the Mahwah Police Department, it was determined that at approximately 4:37 p.m. on September 9, 2014, Mr. RINALDI was driving south on Ramapo Valley Road when he made a sharp left hand turn onto North Railroad Avenue. As a result of the way he executed the turn, Mr. RINALDI crossed into the northbound lane of travel and then cut into the oncoming lane of traffic on North Railroad Avenue. As he was turning, Mr. RINALDI struck Mr. Perez head-on. The collision caused Mr. Perez to fall from his bicycle and strike his head. A blood sample was taken from Mr. RINALDI, who appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the collision, and will be submitted for toxicological examination.
Thomas RINALDI was charged with one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), Assault by Auto While Driving in violation of R.S. 39:4-50 (DWI). The investigation is ongoing and Mr. RINALDI was also issued summonses for motor vehicle violations including Driving while Intoxicated and Reckless Driving. Mr. RINALDI was released on bail set at $25,000 with a 10% cash option by the Honorable Anthony J. Gianni, Jr., Mahwah Municipal Court Judge. His first appearance in Mahwah Municipal Court has been scheduled for 9:00 a.m., on September 11, 2014.
Prosecutor Molinelli states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and would also like to thank the Mahwah Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.
BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
DEFENDANT: Thomas Rinaldi DOB: 04/16/1950
LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: 26 Island Road, Mahwah, New Jersey
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Self Employed Handy Man
DATE OF ARREST: 9/9/2014
PLACE OF ARREST/TOWN: Mahwah, New Jersey
AGENCIES EFFECTING ARREST: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Major Crimes/FAIU
Mahwah Police Department
CHARGE AND STATUTE CITATIONS
One (1) Count of Assault by Auto While in Violation of R.S. 39:4-50 in Violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1C(2)- 3rd Degree Crime
39:4-50 – Driving While Intoxicated
39:4-96 – Reckless Driving
ARRAIGNMENT DATE: 9/11/14 at 9:00 a.m.
JUDGE: Judge Anthony J. Gianni, Jr., Mahwah Municipal Court
BAIL AMOUNT & CONDITIONS: $25,000.00, W/10%
PRESENT STATUS: Released on bail
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