TRENTON, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man today admitted to assaulting with a dangerous weapon two people who were swimming in the Delaware River, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jeffrey A. Mulcahy, 58, of Wayne pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Sept. 2, 2019, two individuals (Victim 1 and Victim 2) were swimming in the Delaware River in the Kittatinny Point area of the Delaware Water Gap in Warren County, New Jersey. Mulcahy approached them and began speaking to them about fishing. After a few minutes, Mulcahy departed the area, returning approximately 15 minutes later, holding a can of beer. He continued to talk to Victim 1 and Victim 2 about fishing, however, Mulcahy appeared agitated. Victim 1 and Victim 2 had gotten out of the river and were standing near the riverbed. Mulcahy removed what appeared to be a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at Victim 2’s head. While pointing the gun at Victim 2, Mulcahy ordered Victims 1 and 2 to the ground. Mulcahy then pointed the gun at Victim 1 and stated that he was going to kill Victim 1 if Victim 1 did not listen to him. Mulcahy struck Victim 1 in the head and neck area with the handgun. Mulcahy then began pulling rope out of his pocket and attempted to get Victim 1’s hands behind Victim 1’s back. Victim 1 resisted and was able to take Mulcahy to the ground, where the two began a physical struggle. Mulcahy’s handgun fell to the ground and Victim 2 recovered it and left to contact law enforcement. After the brief physical altercation, Victim 1 ran off to a nearby picnic area to locate Victim 2. Mulcahy departed the area and was later apprehended by law enforcement officers in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Subsequent investigation of the handgun that Victim 2 recovered from Mulcahy revealed that it was a pellet gun.
The charge of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for March 4, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited park rangers of the U.S. National Park Service, under the direction of Chief Ranger Eric Lisnik, the Hackettstown Police Department, under the direction of Chief James A. Macaulay, and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in Newark.