A horrific crime that resulted in the murder of Paul Garofalo, an Orange business owner and 80-year-old grandfather from Caldwell, took place around the corner from the Orange police station and not far from Baristanet reader’s fave pizza haunt, Star Tavern. From the Star Ledger…
Garofalo, 80, — a former television repairman who became a video and DVD merchant and ran Suburban Video — was found by police about 1:20 a.m. Sunday on the back-room floor of his store.
He was sprawled, bleeding from the forehead, and unresponsive, said investigators, who responded after a passerby reported the front door of the business was unlocked.
“There was a hammer next to his head,” according to an Orange police incident report of the homicide. “The cash register was found open. There was no cash in it, except for some coins.”
Garofalo, in business for 52 years, had once been a frequent critic at city council meetings, where he complained about loitering, littering, drug trafficking and the need for walking police patrols along the lower Main Street area.
In the past year, he had started advertising a sell-off of his VHS tape and DVD inventory so he could retire. The business is around the corner from police headquarters on Park Street.
Cordell Aarons, a retired letter carrier and friend of Garofalo’s since 1958-59, said he is in disbelief about the violence that claimed his friend’s life.
“Everybody knew this guy. They loved him. Now he’s gone, after all he’s done,” said Aarons, a resident of nearby William Street. “He hired people from the neighborhood, even after many of the white merchants left the area, following the (1967 Newark) riots,” said Aarons, who is African-American, about Garofalo, who is white. “He definitely gave back to the community. He had such a good rapport with customers.”