RIDGEFIELD, N.J. ( UPDATE ) -- Authorities on Monday charged a 40-year-old North Bergen cab driver in the overnight beating death of a 27-year-old Palisades Park man whose body was found Sunday behind the Ridgefield post office.
Juan Tacilla, a 5-foot-2-inch, 140-pound Peruvian immigrant, was ordered held on $500,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with reckless manslaughter.
The beating apparently began in the 700 block of Broad Avenue, about a block and a half from the post office, a witness told Daily Voice.
"I saw I the victim getting beat up by a cab driver at 12:55 a.m.," John Lopez said.
Lopez said he "confronted the cab driver [who] was fighting with the victim in the rain."I pulled my car up and yelled at the cab driver. At that point the cab driver asked me to call 911, so I drove one block up to buy cigarettes and called 911.
"I drove quickly back but the cab and victim was gone and the police were there to take my statement," he added. "Then at 6:30 a.m. they rang my bell to identify the body to see if that was the guy getting beat up."
A postal worker arriving for work discovered the body of Lucas Teletor in the rear parking lot of the post office a block and a half away around 6 a.m., Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said late Monday afternoon.
Responding police officers found the victim with no pulse -- and signs of assault, responders said.
Teletor and an acquaintance had gotten the cab ride from an establishment in North Bergen to Palisades Park, Grewal said.
Teletor and Tacilla got into an argument and the driver pulled over in front of 729 Broad Avenue, he said.
Both got out and began fighting, with Tacilla hitting Teletor several times, the prosecutor said.. on November 23, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. before Judge Steele in Courtroom 412.
Tacilla was scheduled for an initial court appearance Wednesday in state Superior Court in Hackensack, Grewal said.