Car stabbing 74-year-old woman charged after a standoff with police

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Manchester Twp, NJ – Manchester police on Monday confronted a 74-year-old woman accused of stabbing a car with a kitchen knife and heading to confront a nearby family member.

On Monday, May 24, 2021at approximately 1245 pm, members of the Manchester Police Department responded to the area of Nevada Drive and Louisiana Way in the Cedar Glen Lakes section of the township for the report of a female walking in the street holding a knife.   

While officers were in the process of responding to the scene, police dispatch received additional information that the female was actively stabbing the hood of an occupied vehicle. 

Ptl. Anthony Iliadis was the first officer to arrive and was directed to the knife wielding female’s location by a resident who was in the immediate area.  Ptl. Iliadis quickly located and made contact with the female, later identified as 74-year-old Margaret Dennis, of Whiting NJ.  Ms. Dennis was observed by Ptl. Iliadis walking down the middle of Arizona Drive holding a large kitchen knife.  Ptl. Iliadis initiated communication with Ms. Dennis and asked her several times to drop the knife but she refused to comply.

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While Ms. Dennis was distracted and actively engaged in conversation with Ptl. Iliadis, Ptl. Arthur Cronk approached her undetected from the rear.  Ptl. Cronk was able to successfully disarm her by grabbing her hand and removing the weapon without injury to himself or Ms. Dennis. 

Ms. Dennis was placed under arrest and transported to Manchester Police Headquarters where she was charged with possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, and criminal mischief.

During the investigation, it was learned that Ms. Dennis had stabbed a random passerby’s vehicle and was in the process of walking to a local family member’s residence to cause a confrontation.  Ms. Dennis was subsequently transported to Community Medical Center for treatment and evaluation.   

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