ROCKAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The first victim in an alleged one-man crime spree that ended with the death of a former Paramus High School valedictorian is speaking out.
An encounter with an out-of-control customer at the Rockaway McDonald’s drive-thru last month still haunts 50-year-old nurse Renee Rosenberg.
Rosenberg said 48-year-old Phillip Cise threatened, terrorized and attacked her with an ax.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
Cise appeared angry and disturbed as he shouted at McDonald’s employees through the drive-thru window, Rosenberg told reporter Steve Sandberg in an interview first heard on 1010 WINS.
When she tried to drive around him to get away, Rosenberg said Cise blocked her in with his truck.
“He quickly pulled around me and trapped me where the pick-up window is,” Rosenberg said.
Cise then allegedly grabbed an ax, got out his car and began striking the roof of her Jeep with the weapon.
“I made the mistake of rolling the window down and yelling, ‘You’re crazy, get away from my car’ and then he got even more irate and swinging the ax more,” Rosenberg said.
She then locked the windows and laid in on the horn until Cise allegedly ran inside the store armed where he allegedly threatened more customers and demanded free food from the employees.
Police soon arrived to the defuse the situation.
Rosenberg said officers spoke to Cise but never arrested him.
Cise is the same man who is accused of striking and killing 20-year-old Gabrielle Reuveni, of Paramus, a week later as she jogged near her Poconos vacation home.
Rosenberg said if police locked him up right away, Reuveni would still be alive.
“He would’ve been incarcerated and he wouldn’t have been out and about to kill her,” Rosenberg said. “There were so many things that happened that week after my incident that I don’t know how they could possibly have let him go on his own.”
In the days between the McDonald’s incident and Reuveni’s death, Cise is also accused of stealing a truck in Jefferson Township and harassing employees at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster.
Police said he was in another car crash in Parsippany, 24 hours after allegedly running down Reuveni.
Charges are still pending in the Pennsylvania crash as police await the results of toxicology tests.
Cise faces a charge of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in the McDonald’s incident.
He is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation in a state hospital.
“He shouldn’t be amongst us,” Rosenberg said. “He’s going to hurt someone else if they let him out again. He will hurt someone.”
Messages left for the Rockaway Borough Police have not been returned.