It was a Wayne parking ticket that was John Felder’s demise.
The 76-year-old attempted and failed in his own plot to kidnap a Villanova resident for ransom on Wednesday, Nov. 11. By Saturday night he was in police custody and admitting to the aggravated assault charge against him.
Radnor Police said that Felder, of Miama, Fl., delivered flowers to a Villanova home under the guise of being a delivery man, and while at the door with the homeowner tried to Tase him. Only one prong of the Taser hit the man, and he closed the door on Felder.
Police were led to Felder on Saturday after he tried to buy a firearm at a gun show in the Poconos, where he had rented a place to keep his planned hostage. The motive, Radnor Police Superintendent Bill Colarulo said, was money.
Felder, who Colarulo said is “distraught, contrite, and wants to face the consequence of his actions,” has numerous cell phones, stolen license plates and surveillance cameras in his car.
“He was obviously watching this person and their comings and goings,” said Colarulo. Police say the victims requested that the location of their home not be revealed. Children were home at the time of the attack.
Mike Cowan, owner of Cowan’s Flowers, where Felder purchased the bouquet of flowers for his target, said it was “excellent” that he was caught. He said Felder ordered the flowers on Monday, Nov. 5, and came to pick them up after hours on Tuesday. Cowan said he was helping him when Felder asked if they would keep one more day, and he returned Wednesday.
He bought a large arrangement, Cowan told Radnor Patch. “If you want to gain entrance, you need something impressive to get people to open the door,” he said.
That's where the parking ticket from Radnor's meter inspector Jim Iaccavino came in. Felder got the ticket, which helped police find him, while he was in Cowan's.
Police found various notes and papers with “ramblings and things that need to be deciphered,” in Felder’s car, Colarulo said. He would have a daily to-do list that included taking his vitamins and a reminder to buy gloves and wipe down the crime scene.
Colarulo said the case is “very disturbing,” but came to a successful conclusion using “good old-fashioned police work.” Radnor Detectives Jim Santoliquito and Thomas Schreiver worked the case.