FAIR LAWN — A rope resembling a noose found in a resident's tree was apparently left behind by a utility company, and was not a deliberate act, police said Tuesday.
According to police, detectives spoke with multiple utility companies, which told them that the rope was consistent with what is regularly used by the companies. The utilities could not say who tied it or when it was left behind.
The rope was discovered on Saturday afternoon by a homeowner in the Warren Point section of the borough. Kelli McCloud was starting to walk her son to a friend's house when the rope caught her attention. They had not been outside of the house often because of the pandemic.
When they got back home, McCloud inspected the rope more closely, trying to recall whether it was perhaps a Halloween decoration that was mistakenly left hanging.
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McCloud said she goes 'all out' in her front yard for the holiday, but 'it didn’t match any of the twines that I had in my house, and it was up at a height where I couldn’t just reach it without grabbing a step stool.'
The rope was a type of twine and thinner than a shoelace, police said.
After checking with neighbors, and posting to a private Facebook group to see if other residents had found anything similar in their yards, McCloud called the police.
'I honestly didn’t know what it was when I saw it,' she said. It was the loop that made her uneasy.
The silver-dollar-size loop formed at the end of the rope was possibly a result of the twine being twisted in the wind, police said.
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'I remember joking with one of my friends. I was like: You know what, whoever did it, if they did it intentionally, they obviously didn’t go to Boy Scouts and learn how to make knots,' McCloud said.
She has two young children and said that with all that is going on in the world, she wanted to be sure her family was not being targeted.
The Fair Lawn Fire Department removed twine from the overhead cables, and it matched the twine found in McCloud's tree, suggesting that the twine at some point was detached from the cables above and fell into the tree.© Fair Lawn Police Department A Fair Lawn resident found a rope that resembles a noose in a tree on their lawn. The Fair Lawn police department concludes that it is not a deliberate act
Mayor Kurt Peluso said he had spoken with utility companies, which told him the twine does not match what they would use. According to Peluso, he showed the pictures to Verizon and Altice/Optimum workers.
'I don’t think it is coincidental that the rope was found on a Black woman’s front lawn, who also has a Black Lives Matter sign on her lawn,' Peluso said, 'It's interesting when you look at what home it is on.'
McCloud has no idea how long the rope was in the tree. If a utility worker purposely tied it in that manner and left it on her tree, that is a 'whole different ballgame,' she said.
McCloud takes solace in the way the town has rallied around her family. Calls and text messages from neighbors poured in, with some even offering to sleep on her front lawn to make sure no incident like that occurs again. The superintendent and principal of her children's schools also reached out.
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'One thing I can say for this town is that they definitely rally around their own, between the mayor and the council and just members of the community,' McCloud said.
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Shaylah Brown is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Fair Lawn police say the 'noose' found in a resident's tree was not deliberate