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Man Charged With Beating Father With Hammer In New Jersey

ESSEX FELLS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A man was arrested and charged with beating his father with a hammer in Essex Fells, N.J., early Sunday, after police found the suspect with a knife to his own throat.

Police responded to a residence on Fellscrest Road in Essex Fells and found John Mekeel Jr., 46, threatening suicide as he held the knife to his throat, police said. Officers got Mekeel to put the knife down, and he then told officers his father was in need of help inside the house, police said.

Officers went inside and found John Mekeel Sr. lying on the kitchen floor with severe head trauma. A bloody hammer was found nearby, police said.

Mekeel Sr. was taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital, where he was reported in critical condition.

The younger was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon, police said. Police and the Essex County Prosecutor's office continued to investigate Sunday night, and said the incident appeared to be domestic in nature.

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