FAIR LAWN, NJ – Residents in Fair Lawn, New Jersey were upset to find what appeared to be a noose hanging from a utility line in their town this week. According to police here, on Saturday,1 at 5:52 pm, officers responded to a residence on a report of a rope that was tied to a tree on their property that resembled a noose and opened an investigation.
“The rope in question was closer in size to twine (thinner than a shoelace) that is regularly used by utility companies to either tie cables together or to pull new cables from pole to pole,” the department found during their investigation. “This was confirmed when detectives spoke with representatives from multiple utility companies who stated that although they could not confirm who tied it or when the rope was tied to the cables, the rope that was found is consistent with a rope that is regularly used by those companies.”
The loop on the end of the twine, which was apparently formed by the twine having been twisted in the wind, was approximately the size of a silver dollar and the twine was tied to a branch that was approximately 1 1⁄2 inches thick.
Detectives were able to locate similar twine that was tying cables together near the residence. With assistance from the Fair Lawn Fire Department, the twine was cut, allowing the cables it was holding to separate and hang low to the ground.
The twine removed from the cables matched the twine that had been found tied to the tree. It appears that the twine, found tied to the tree, had been attached to twine found in the overhead cables. It appeared that the portion of the twine attached to the overhead cables had become detached, possibly during the windy conditions present on Saturday and had fallen, becoming entangled into the branches of the tree.
Based on the totality of the circumstances, Fair Lawn Police is confident that this was not a deliberate act. The resident, in a follow-up conversation with detectives, was satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and was relieved that this was not intentional.