Fairfield, NJ

Aggravated Assault on Fairfield, NJ, Police Officers Leads to Two Arrests

Carolyne Volpe Curley / West Essex Now

Fairfield Police DepartmentFairfield Police Department

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

This morning, Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna announced that two arrests have been made in connection to an incident that took place in the Willowbrook Mall parking lot on Sunday night. Robert R. Piel Jr., 23, of Bayonne and Madeline Rodriguez, 25, of Jersey City, have both been charged in the case.

INCIDENT: Sunday, Oct. 17

  • Sunday night, Fairfield officers Corporal Jeffrey Dean and David DeCarlo were alerted to look for a silver Nissan with a likely stolen license plate traveling east on Route 46.


  • Dean saw a car matching the description pulling off Route 46 onto the Willowbrook Mall exit and turning into the mall parking lot.
  • He noted that there was extensive damage on the driver’s side of the Nissan.

11: 24pm

Jennifer Decker
  • Dean and DeCarlo located the car in the vicinity of Dave and Busters but the driver continued to move on.
  • The two Fairfield cars attempted to block the Nissan’s movement.
  • DeCarlo got out of his patrol car to order the driver out of the vehicle.
  • Fairfield Police later determined the car to be a 2005 gray Nissan Altima.

11: 25pm

  • It was at that point that the driver, described as a white male sitting next to a female passenger, reportedly struck Dean’s police car and then backed up towards DeCarlo and also hit DeCarlo’s vehicle.
“It is alleged that Piel revved the engine of the Nissan and shot forward at a high rate of speed and deliberately struck Corporal Dean’s police vehicle. The Nissan then reversed, at a high rate of speed almost hitting Officer DeCarlo. It then struck Officer DeCarlo’s police vehicle. In doing so, it made enough space to allow the Nissan to now flee the scene onto Route 46 East with the officers in pursuit.” ~ Chief Anthony Manna


  • The officers requested backup from Wayne Police as the Nissan, now with front-end damage, took off through the Willowbrook lot and drove up the Service Road and onto Route 46 East.


Google Maps
  • The two Fairfield officers followed the car as it drove at high rates of speed along 46 until it passed Lower Notch Road, Little Falls, and other local officers took over the pursuit while the Fairfield officers were able to return to town.

ARRESTS: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

  • Robert R. Piel Jr., 23, of Bayonne
  • Madeline Rodriguez, 25, of Jersey City
“As a result of further investigation by Fairfield police detectives, Piel was positively identified as the driver and a warrant for his arrest was issued. It was also determined that Piel already had active warrants for his arrest issued by the New Jersey State Police.” ~ Chief Anthony Manna


  • The Essex County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Task Force located the Nissan on 15th Avenue in Irvington and Fairfield detectives were notified.
  • The Fairfield officers responded to the location to assist with searching for Piel to serve the arrest warrant and located him in an apartment near where the Nissan was located.
“As officers executed the warrant, it is alleged that Piel attempted to flee from them by jumping out of a window. He was ultimately arrested and then taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained after jumping out the window.” ~ Chief Anthony Manna
  • Rodriguez, who Fairfield officers identified as the female passenger in the car, was also present in the apartment; she was placed under arrest.


Robert R. Piel Jr., of Bayonne, NJ was charged with multiple criminal charges which include:

  • Aggravated assault on a police officer (2 counts)
  • Eluding police
  • Possession of a weapon (the vehicle)
  • Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (the vehicle)
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Hindering apprehension

Madeline Rodriguez, of Jersey City, was charged with:

  • Hindering apprehension
  • Joyriding

The case is now being referred to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution.


  • Fairfield detectives are continuing to investigate how Piel obtained the Nissan.


Follow on Newsbreak
Thank you for reading.
To receive notifications:

  • Create an Account, and Follow


Other recent Fairfield, NJ, news you may have missed:

For further information:

Fairfield Police Department
Anthony G. Manna, Police Chief
230 Fairfield Road, Fairfield NJ 07004

“We, the members of the Fairfield Police Department, are committed to delivering quality services in response to our community's diverse needs. We recognize the need to take a leadership role in the areas of law enforcement, education, domestic preparedness, emergency medical services and address quality of life issues. We seek to build partnerships with all the members of our community in an effort to maintain order while affording dignity and respect to every individual. With faith in our society and honor in our work ethic, we will strive to protect and serve with excellence.”

Comments / 0

Published by

Carolyne Volpe Curley, a Certified New Jersey Press Journalist since 2012, has appeared on nationally televised productions and interviewed by the international press. Volpe Curley publishes West Essex NOW, a hyperlocal news site covering Essex County, NJ. Volpe Curley graduated from Lafayette College in 1986, with a BA in both English and Government, and a minor in Women Studies and Religion.

Essex County, NJ

More from Carolyne Volpe Curley / West Essex Now

Comments / 0