Darren Drake Act, named for North Jersey terror victim, is signed into law by Biden Darren Drake Act, named for North Jersey terror victim, is signed into law by Biden

By Philip DeVencentis

NEW MILFORD — A bipartisan law aimed at stopping lone-wolf terrorism was enacted on Friday, more than five years after the attack in which its namesake, Darren Drake, and seven others were killed in New York City.

The Darren Drake Act, named after a 32-year-old borough man, was signed by President Joe Biden as part of a national defense bill that sets policy for the Pentagon and authorizes $857.9 billion for military spending.

The law was sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, 47, a Democrat representing the state’s 5th Congressional District. It directs the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to come up with best practices for car rental agencies to report suspicious behavior to law enforcement at the point of sale to prevent vehicles from being used as weapons of war.

The congressman called it “commonsense legislation” and a key piece of the nation’s arsenal to eradicate threats of terror.

“Today is a loss for the terrorists,” the congressman said, “and a win for freedom and democracy.”

Darren was fatally injured on Halloween in 2017 when Sayfullo Saipov, now 34, an Uzbek national from Paterson, allegedly drove a rented pickup along a walkway near the Hudson River.

Darren was riding a bicycle on the path during a break from his job as a project manager for Moody’s Investors Service when the attack occurred.

Gottheimer met on Wednesday with Darren’s parents, Barbara and James Drake, for a press conference on the front lawn of the New Milford borough hall to announce the long-awaited signing of the law. Also on hand were local elected officials, including Mayor Michael Putrino, and first responders.

James Drake called the law an “early Christmas gift to the country,” adding that it will save lives from “people who want to do nothing but hurt and kill.”

In the years since the attack, the Drakes have honored their son by unveiling a monument on his birthday at the borough hall and establishing a foundation that gives scholarships to those pursuing ­careers in skilled trades.

Philip DeVencentis is a local reporter for For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.