Man found dead from knife wounds in Union City, 79-year-old arrested and charged

On Friday, July 13, 2018, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Union City Police Officers received a report of an injured or possibly dead man in the area of 3rd Street and Manhattan Avenue in Union City. Upon arrival, responding officers found a male victim by the makeshift homes near 3rd Street and Manhattan Avenue as reported.

The man, who has not been positively identified, was unresponsive with multiple wounds to his upper torso. He was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center at approximately 8:55 p.m. The Medical Examiner has determined the cause of death to be sharp force wounds to the torso and manner of death to be homicide.

Following a preliminary investigation, Verdejo Cruz, age 79, of Union City, who was located at the scene, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S. 2C: 11- 4, a first-degree crime; Possession of a Weapon (Knife) for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-4, a third-degree crime; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Knife) in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-5, a fourth-degree crime.

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit and the Union City Police Department for the arrest.

The Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit continues to investigate this case with assistance from the Union City Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office website at All information will be kept confidential.

The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).