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police & fire

Three-Time Mahwah Masturbator Chose Particular Place And Time, Police Say

John Sfugaras
John Sfugaras Photo Credit: COURTESY: Mahwah PD

MAHWAH, N.J. -- A Wyckoff man deliberately chose the same time of day to masturbate in his car three different times outside the Sheraton Crossroads, Mahwah police said Wednesday.

At least one of those times, 33-year-old John Sfugaras "motioned to a victim to approach his vehicle to see what he was doing" in the hotel parking garage just off Routes 17 and 287, Police Chief James Batelli told Daily Voice.

"The timing in the late afternoon of these incidents coincided when the parking garage would have a high volume of foot traffic, with people leaving their place of business and heading to their vehicles," Batelli said.

In the first two incidents -- at 6:20 p.m. July 30 and 5:15 p.m. last Wednesday -- Sfugaras immediately drove off after being spotted, the chief said.

This time, undercover detectives and uniformed officers set up surveillance in the parking garage.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, they spotted a Jeep driven by Sfugaras "moving to parking spots at different locations in the garage," Batelli said.

A woman walked by the vehicle and Sfugaras masturbated in front of her, the chief said.

Detectives and officers moved in, the emergency lights of their cruisers activated.

Sfugaras tried to flee, "nearly striking a police vehicle that had to swerve out of the way," Batelli said.

He drove a bit further before stopping and surrendering, the chief said.

Sfugaras was processed and released pending an initial appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on three counts of lewdness ("exposing himself in a manner where he was likely to be seen") and attempting to elude police.

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