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Four indicted in Cliffside Park pot sale rip-off

Photo Credit: Courtesy CLIFFSIDE PARK PD

EXCLUSIVE: Four men have been indicted in what authorities called a comical but potentially deadly caper in which a Cliffside Park man was pistol-whipped with his accomplice’s gun and then knocked down by his victim’s car while fleeing through borough streets with a stolen pound of pot.

The series of events began the night of July 21 when two Cliffside Park men — Chris Taliaferro, 21, and Keshon Brown, 19 — climbed into the back seat of a 2005 Ford Escape driven by 19-year-old Arad Terjanian of Fairview, authorities said at the time.

Brown (above, right ) had arranged to buy a pound of pot from Terjanian but actually had other plans, then-Cliffside Park Police Chief Donald Keane told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“It was a rip-off,” he said.

Terjanian ( above, left ) had the marijuana on the front seat when he asked Brown for the money, Keane said.

Brown said it was in his shoe.

When he reached down, however, Terjanian saw the glint of a handgun and nearly jumped into the backseat, wresting the gun away from him, Keane said.

Brown scampered out of the SUV as Terjanian beat Taliaferro ( above, left ) with the butt end of the gun, the chief said.

Then he went after Brown.

As the two struggled, Brown shouted to Taliaferro: “Get the weed!” So he grabbed the bag, Keane said.

Meanwhile, Terjanian dropped the gun into his passenger’s lap. He then tossed it onto a nearby lawn, the chief said.

Police later found the 9mm Big Bear Arms firearm. It wasn’t loaded, they said. They said they also found Taliafero’s bloody t-shirt on nearby Oakdene Avenue.

After Taliafero and Brown ran off, Terjanian and an unidentified companion got back into the SUV and went looking for them, Keane said.

Arriving officers saw Taliaferro running with the marijuana near the corner of Palisade Avenue and Oakdene when the SUV clipped him, sending him sprawling, the chief said. As the vehicle sped off, Taliaferro picked up the pot and kept running, he said.

Two officers — one in uniform and the other off-duty — caught Taliaferro soon after. He was taken to Palisades Medical Center with injuries sustained in the fight, along with road rash from when the SUV knocked him down, Keane said.

Brown was spotted and arrested while walking nearby.

Through interviews, Cliffside Park detectives identified Terjanian and later arrested him, Keane said.

“Fortunately nobody got seriously injured,” the chief said.

The 19-count indictment names a fourth man, 42-year-old Nicholas Hroncich of Brick Township. All of the counts related to robbery, theft, possession and distribution of drugs.


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