NJ officer with COVID-19 is town's first LE death in 125 years

Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts died after a weeks-long battle with coronavirus complications

Chris Franklin

GLEN RIDGE, N.J. — Glen Ridge police officer Charles “Rob” Roberts, a cop so popular in town that people called him “Mr. Glen Ridge” or the “unofficial mayor,” died Monday from the coronavirus. He was 45.

Roberts, a married father of three and sports coach, was taken from his home to Mountainside Hospital on April 21 after his fellow officers and an EMS squad performed life-saving measures after police said his heart stopped while battling the virus.

The next day, police and first responders held a vigil outside of the hospital.

“He isn’t just a police officer to people,” PBA Local 58 President and police officer Joe Uliano previously told NJ Advance Media. “Everybody knows him. He’s lived in Glen Ridge the entire time he’s worked here. He truly is Mr. Glen Ridge, he’s the unofficial mayor.”

“The NJIT PD is truly saddened by the passing of neighboring Glen Ridge PD Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts,” the New Jersey Institute of Technology Police Department wrote in an Instagram post. “Please keep Rob’s family, friends and the Glen Ridge PD in your thoughts and prayers during this unthinkable time.”

On Monday night, teachers and neighbors lit candles to support Alice and her children, mourning the town's first line-of-duty death in over a century.

"Rob was an active member of the police department and he served the residents of Glen Ridge with distinction and honor, he lived a beautiful life and had a positive impact on everyone he touched. Words cannot express how sad we are, please continue to pray for him, his family, friends, and colleagues," the Glen Ridge police department said.


PRESS RELEASE - 5/11/2020 It is with deep regret and sorrow that I, Chief Sheila Byron-Lagattuta and the entire Glen...

Posted by Glen Ridge Police Department on Tuesday, May 12, 2020


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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