Ridgewood ‘Knife’ Man Had Violent History
The knife-wielding Ridgewood man, Zachary Blingert, who was shot to death last week by police had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, along with a history of domestic violence, law enforcement sources said.
Blingert had a history of threatening to hurt his mother, the sources said. In fact, Blingert lived in his car because his mother refused to allow him into the family home on Shaler Avenue.
“He lived in a car since his mother took out a restraining order against him,” the sources said. “But she felt sorry for him when the weather turned cold and let him back into the house.”
Police said the mother called 911 for help on December 22 after Zachary went into a rage and threatened her with a knife.
Two police officers and a sergeant from the nearby 104th Precinct responded to the call, entering a darkened room at the home where Zachary was waving the knife, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The cops yelled, “Don’t move! Don’t move!” as Zachary drew closer to them, Kelly said.
Zachary lunged at the cops, slashing the sergeant in the arm and flailing it violently at the two officers, Kelly said.
After he ignored repeated orders to drop the weapon and kept waving the knife, the cops fired at Blingert, striking him eight times in the torso and once in the head, Kelly said. Blingert, 21, was declared dead at the scene.
Several of Blingert’s friends came forward and told police he had been drinking heavily and popping Xanax pills shortly before last week’s incident, police sources said.
“The friends said he had been struggling with his own demons and he just lost it,” the sources said.
Police said they were called to the home on a number of occasions when Zachary threatened to harm his mother.
“In one incident last July, he escaped through a window to avoid arrest,” a source close to the case said. “His mother called police for help at least three times since July.”
A neighbor living on Shaler Avenue told reporters he stayed far away from Blingert, fearing that he would become angry and turn violent.
“I had one encounter with him and that was enough,” the neighbor said. “I steered clear of him after that because you could never be sure what he would do.”