Outrage: Park Police Ticketed Volunteers Searching The Area Where Sontag Was Found

NYStateParkPoliceHarriman State Park -  Volunteers attempting to search the area of Seven Lakes Drive in the Bear Mountains section of Harriman State Park were ticketed by officers of the New York State Parks Police for trespassing and illegally parked vehicles, sources told JP.

More than 30 such tickets were issued to volunteers by 2 officers of the Park Police.

This is the exact location where the vehicle with the body of Peretz Sontag was later discovered.

Volunteers of United Search and Rescue have told JP that last week Monday and again on Thursday they attempted to search the exact area where Mr. Sontag was found, but they were turned away by the Park Police.

The sources noted, that when the organizers of the volunteers search efforts reached out to the Park Police to assist with the search, they refused to take part in the search, claiming that they do not have enough resources. However, for some reason, they found resources to issue tickets.

Town of Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman sent out the following message on twitter:

Councilman Friedman told JP that any volunteer ticketed while participating in the search should directly email him at FriedmanD@Ramapo-ny.gov and he will appeal to the NYS Police to have all these tickets dismissed.

Related: Missing Monsey Man Peretz Sontag Found Dead

Related: Parks Police Defends its Ticketing of Sontag Volunteers; Offers Better Outreach for the Future

Ticket 1 Ticket 2 Ticket 03 Ticket 04 Ticket 05 Ticket 06 Ticket 07

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  1. Moe Ginsburg

    Why wasn’t the area searched earlier?

  2. They tried, the park police didn’t let

  3. BD”E

    Peretz you will be missed by Klall Yisroel world wide, the tremendous Chasodim you have done on this world are coming along with you to Shomayim they should be an everlasting Zechus for you and your family! You will be missed by all of us!!!

  4. The police in Rockland county is the biggest joke having experienced dealing with them first hand they are not to concerned with the frum oilam only concerned with trying to see how many tickets they can give to orthodox jews before yom tov

    • jony applesead

      In an unrelated case I know of there was a missing person, the rockland county police dragged their feet for days untill they finaly made any effort to search for a high risk person !
      shame on them for the terrible action they have caused!!!

      • jony applesead

        * Harriman park rangers

        • It’s so easy to lay blame, isn’t it? Peretz wanted to kill himself and he succeeded. Stop the insane and stupid blame game. Police, Orthodox Jews, etc etc.

          • so easy to be ignorant , isn’t it?
            he didn’t want to leave his family, and he thanked hashem for every day that he had on this earth, so plse stop spewing your poison, and try to be a mentsch, to these people, who have lost a loved one.

          • And is it so easy to be in denial? He didn’t want to leave his family?
            It’s fact that he made statements which pointed to his wanting to
            kill himself which would remove himself physically
            from his family.

        • jony applesead

          The park rangers were out of line giving tickets .Perhaps instead of giving Tickets u could have searched for him in the area you prevented able and willing volunteers from entering !!!

          • You incorrectly assume that I represent anyone or that I’m a civil servant. I’m not. Ironically, though, I AM someone who devoted a day to searching – — and I have 20 fliers still in my car – copies made at Staples right by the highway leading to Harriman. All of this is probably moot, since time of death hasn’t been determined. Can’t we just let him rest in peace?

  5. Police or Robots?

    This is where the law does not serve its people. There is something wrong with policing if Policemen are thus trained.

  6. This is all BS. The last pings from his phone were from the Harriman Park area. This begs the question why this wasn’t designated as Ground Zero to begin with. I don’t buy the argument about the park police. He wanted to kill himself and he succeeded. Everyone did their best.

    • anonymous friend

      Seems to me the police themselves look a bit guilty… were they covering something up? strange coincidence that the ONLY place not allowed to be searched was exactly where he was found. If the police did such a good job catching trespassers, how did they miss seeing that car that was posted all over the place ??

      • I know first hand that, with grief, comes blame – on oneself, perhaps, as in “what more could I have done?” or on others. This man was determined to leave. Perhaps those who were intimately involved with Peretz and the reasons for his depression in the first place can shed some light on the truth.

    • It has nothing to do with their best according to some sources they had originally had gone near the location but the Park Rangers would not allow them to search there -had they let them go earlier they would have found him there earlier
      I heard first hand from volunteer spouses and neighbors that some of the police gave the volunteers a hard time the police didnt even want to look for mr sontag they felt it was a waste of time
      Those police should be investigated by internal affairs and have their uniforms stripped as they r an embarrassment to the uniform they wear! To the few members who did the right thing THANK YOU! Klal Yisroel YOU ARE AMAZING!!! The achdus and care shown by am yisroel brings tears to my eyes! To the other people who volunteered may G-d bless you and thank you for your selflessness!

      • Oh really? Why did your community NOT search yesterday as they did last Saturday? Explain THAT before you go gossip and blame others.

        • What gossip – I am from Monsey btw have lived there for over the past 20 yrs.I know plenty of ppl that went to search for him and I know the difficulties they faced in finding him.If you read my post instead of being a hater- I thanked those police who DID their job- I was talking abt the other police that gave the volunteers a hard time and those who said that searching for him was a waste of time and refused to do anything- This was first hand not some gossip – I never said all police r bad u took what I said out of context.There were some I repeat SOME law enforcement ppl that were out of line and that needs to be investigated!

  7. Stop the lies

    This article is hopelessly slanted. The police assisted last week with a search for the car, in which the subject was last seen. The park roads and parking lots were searched by police and volunteers with no luck. The body was found IN HIS VEHICLE in an area off the roadway totally obscured from view unless you walked within an inch of the guardrail. The volunteers were actually assigned by police to search the EXACT area where the subject was found. Apparently the volunteers walked right by him. NO ONE was issued tickets for being anywhere near where this man was found. He wanted to kill himself and he was successful. End of story.

    • I agree with you with you with the part to the story doesn’t add up but the fact is that they did give tickets for volunteers that were just trying to help

    • "Stop the lies" is uninformed

      You are uninformed my friend

    • stop the lies please

      what are you talking about?? there were several tickets issued right near there. I was there, and received 3. were you there?

    • yakkov was there

      it was the Rimanover rebbe shlita from brooklyn who directed and initiated the new search that restarted on sunday after he sketched this location to search and after visiting the family on thursday nite gave his promise that he will be found dead or alive shortly ! and that is what occurred he said ‘search now after what i did and now he will be found ”

    • Police hater

      The state park police are no better than communists

  8. Daniel Rosenthal

    Time to file a class action law suit against the Palisades Interstate Park Police. they are all Anti-Semitic. I personally have been subjected to their abusive behavior in the past.

    • What an inflammatory and idiotic remark. Interesting that we don’t have official time and cause of death … And body is being whisked away. I suggest the COVER UP is the real story behind why he really killed himself, if he did, and why religious rules dictate no autopsy to shed light on the truth. Hope a savvy reporter digs for that truth.

      • There is no cover up firstly Jewish people r not allowed to do an autopsy
        Secondly the family knows what happened based on the way the police found him.They don’t have to grief more by sharing those private and painful details with the public!

        • Your statement “Jewish people are not allowed to do an autopsy” is false and misleading. Anyone who can Google can figure that out. So don’t propagate a false premise. Secondly, the park and normal
          Police depts are funded by PUBLIC monies – taxpayers monies. It’s the public’s right to know official cause and time of death. How is this going to cause more grief and suffering to the family? Your argument is specious.

          • Ur argument is pathetic.If you even bothered to read my post before getting all fired up u would have read that the family knows exactly what happened to their dad and they choose not to share it.They have that right. This is not about your right as someone who pays taxes..I also pay a lot of money in taxes they are entitled to mourn in private they don’t have to put themselves through more hell to satisfy your curiosity! I am sure that as soon as they can someone will come out and make a statement. So get off your high horse as this is not about YOU this is about 7 ORPHANS and a WIDOW that is suffering- a little sympathy would be more appropriate!

          • A. Herskowitz

            The Ramapo police have the body it was their investigation. Not the Park police. We should be blaming them. I was issued a ticket as well but it was because I was in an area where I shouldn’t have been. It was clearly marked closed to public. And some of you were driving your cars around a walking path loaded with people, of course you got ticketed. And where he was found we never searched, at least I didn’t. And nobody threw us out of anywhere. The medical examiner will do an autopsy if the family wants it. Not the police, they have nothing to do with autopsy they just guard the scene while the medical examiner takes the body. I searched like crazy for poor Peretz, you all need to stop blaming the police just because you are upset. Most of you were just there for the $30,000 reward anyway. I know that will make some angry comments but you know who you are.

          • Your rants don’t affect me and your suppositions that I have no sympathy or that this is about me are baseless. I happened to search as well, not for the reward, as many others did. So, for me, and for discussion on how changes in the way the park police and volunteers searched, i’m merely proposing that knowing the time of death – and approximately how long that car was in the ravine, would shed some light on whether or not there was still time to find Peretz after they discovered the ping from the cell phone radio tower. Period. End of story.

          • A. Herskowitz

            Investigations take time. The time of death and cause will be given after the autopsy, if the family allows one. There is no way of knowing unless one is done. Rabbi said he was starting to rot so I’m sure he’d been dead since the first day he said he was going to do it.

          • There wasn’t an autopsy, yes, I know. Time to let
            the man rest in peace. And for all this post mortem discussion to come to an end. B’shalom.

  9. whiteaglesoaring

    Perhaps it’s time for wholesale citizen arrest of police for interfering in responsible citizen’s duty to search and rescue when a life is threatened.

  10. Why were these tickets issued to begin with? Is there some kind of stupid test you need to pass to become a cop?

  11. Nerdpatriot1776

    wow.. big’ol commie star right there in the open on a ticket.

  12. police are a joke

  13. Larry Morrison

    Searching does not bring in revenue, ticketing does.

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