WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. (WPIX)—He was once responsible for protecting the people, but tonight Scott Smith is being protected from the people as he sits in the Bergen County jail, charged the the stabbing death of his long-time friend John Amendola.
The 33 year old former Hasbrouck Heights police officer is accused of repeatedly stabbing his 39 year old friend during an argument that ensued in Amendola's house on Union Avenue in Wood-Ridge early Sunday morning.
The murder on such a quiet suburban street left neighbors in a state of shock. One resident told me the most police activity he ever saw there was years ago when police chased a speeding driver. Wood-Ridge prides itself as a safe community and the Mayor called the murder "a very isolated incident."
Mary Chirichella, called Amendola "a friend and good neighbor." She said he liked to walk his dogs and was a peaceful and friendly man. Police have not revealed whether or not they have determined a motive for the stabbing. Chirichella wasn't sure there's any connection, but she recalled being told by
Amendola that he had a problem a couple of years ago with a "policeman slash friend who he rented a house from. There were noise and other complaints and he had to leave," she remembered him relating. However, she did not know if the man involved then was the same man charged with the stabbing. Amendola and Smith were said be be friends for almost 20 years.
Smith, a police officer for 8 years, was currently unemployed. He's been charged with 1st degree murder, and 2nd degree possession of a weapon. He's being held at the Bergen County jail in lieu of 2 million dollars bail. He's due back in court Thursday.