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Paterson Police Recover Fourth Gun in Four Days During Saturday Arrest

PATERSON, NJ – For the fourth time in as many days members of the Paterson Police Department made an arrest that led to the removal of a loaded weapon off the streets.

According to Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, at approximately 10:50 p.m. on Saturday, Detectives Brian Culmone and Mohammed Bashir, assigned to the city’s Special Investigation Division, were traveling eastbound on Market Street when they observed a group of males on the porch of a multi-family residence near the intersection.

The location, Speziale said, has been the source of recent complaints of groups who do not reside in the building congregating there consuming alcohol and creating a disturbance. There has also been a recent uptick of “shots fired” incidents in the Pennington Street area in recent weeks, he reported.

The Detectives circled the block, and returned to the location with the intent of issuing city ordinance violations to the group. They exited their vehicle and approached the group, advising them to remain where they were, and that they were going to be issued violations.

At that time, the detectives said, one of the individuals, later identified as Dariel Mercedes, 25, fled on foot off of the porch eastbound on Market Street, ignoring commands to stop. Mercedes subsequently lost his footing, and as he fell to the ground, a black handgun fell from his clothing, and skidded across the pavement.

The weapon, which will be submitted to the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Laboratory for further examination, was recovered by Detective Culmone, and Mercedes was taken into custody after attempting to flee again.

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