The 21-year-old New Jersey man taken into custody earlier this week after a standoff with police led to officers finding his dead grandfather in a house has been charged with first-degree felony murder and other crimes, officials said Thursday.
Jason Vicari, also charged with burglary and weapon possession, was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending an initial court appearance in Hackensack. Information on a possible attorney for him wasn't immediately available.
Police responding to a 911 call about an incident at the Beechwood Avenue home of the grandfather, 81-year-old Ronald Vicari, in Elmwood Park around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday were told that someone was hurt and someone was barricaded inside.
The Bergen County Regional SWAT team, along with the County Regional Crisis Negotiation Team, responded and eventually got Jason Vicari out of the home. Officers went inside and found Ronald Vicari dead on his own bathroom floor.
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An ensuing investigation revealed that Jason Vicari, who lives in Wyckoff, allegedly killed his grandfather while burglarizing the grandfather's home, prosecutors say. The method by which the grandfather was killed wasn't immediately clear.
Neighbor Lizardo Valenzuea said that the elder Vicari, a one-time Elmwood Park planning board member, lived in the home with his wife for decades. Valenzuela said he had never seen Jason Vicari before.
Other neighbors described an intense sense as SWAT officers descended on the area.
"We saw like three officers by the house with big guns, and we just kept watching until the guy came out with his hands up," said a neighbor who did not wish to be identified. "I didn't see any weapons or anything on him. And the cops were there, like three cops that went around him and the SWAT team swarmed into the house."