Rutgers cops saw accused murderer with ax weeks before he killed grandpa, students say
The young man accused of killing his grandfather with an ax this month is a Rutgers Unversity student who threatened his roommate with an ax, weeks before his relative’s murder, as reported by the university’s student-run newspaper.
Rutgers University Police Department had taken an ax from 21-year-old Jason Vicari’s car and escorted his roommate on Cook campus in New Brunswick to a new residence following a reported incident on Sept. 19, according to The Daily Targum.
A month later, 81-year-old Ronald Vicari was found in his Elmwood Park home after the younger Vicari had briefly barricaded himself in the residence in a police stand-off.
"Rutgers’ highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students, and all University policies and procedures were followed in responding to concerns from some students about Mr. Vicari,” a school spokesperson said in response to New Jersey 101.5 Tuesday, when asked whether Vicari was facing any charges, including weapons possession, for the campus incident.
“We have no further statement at this time given the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office ongoing investigation and University privacy policies," the spokesperson added.
Some fellow students who reported Vacari’s erratic behavior then told university police that he had picked up a new ax and was on the New Brunswick campus at least three times in October, even as school residence officials said he had not been seen there since the month earlier.
At least two of Jason Vicari’s roommates moved permanently to different campuses, while a handful of other students he had been acquainted with also tried to move out of concern for his behavior, according to the same Targum report.
They told the paper that he would not be displaced from his apartment as it was a mental health issue.
Following the Elmwood Park standoff and Jason Vicari’s arrest at his grandfather’s home, a member of the Bergen County SWAT team told investigators that he heard Vicari say "God told me to do it,” while sitting in the back of an ambulance.