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Crime & Safety Local News

Second Sunday Shooting Reported. Easter Weekend Violence Leaves 6 Men Injured

PATERSON, NJ – A 21-year-old Paterson man is in critical but stable condition at Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center after being shot multiple times Sunday. The incident, that law enforcement officials said took place at approximately 9:37 p.m in the array of 18th Avenue, came just hours after a 22-year-old man was shot in the area of Park Avenue.

A total of four shootings, leaving six men injured, took place over the East weekend, including one where three men were struck at an incident in the area of Grand Street Saturday and one Friday that led to the arrest of Wayne A. Smith, 37, Paterson.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about any of these incidents to contact them on their tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org or to contact the Paterson Police Ceasefire Unit at 973-321-1342.

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Local News

State Police Operation Nabs Four Paterson Fugitives

PATERSON, NJ – Four fugitives wanted for violent crimes, including two recent shooting incidents in the city, were nabbed by New Jersey State Police, according to authorities.

“We are grateful for the support of the New Jersey State Police and all other law enforcement agencies that want to help make our streets safer, we know that combating crime is a collaborative effort,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said following the operation. “Fugitives should be on alert that there is no safe haven for them in Paterson.”

During the operation, detectives from the state police Fugitive Unit worked with officers from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and Paterson Police Department to target recidivist violent offenders.

As a result of their efforts, four men – including three known gang members – were identified based upon “their involvement in recent violent criminal activity within Paterson,” state police said.

On July 31, a task force made up of local, county, state and federal law enforcement officers arrested, according to state police:

  • Warlin Castillo, 19, of Paterson: A known Trinatarios gang member wanted for robbery and allegedly shooting a man on July 11 in Paterson
  • Rhajhson Hawkins, 19, of Paterson: a known member of the Crips gang wanted in connection with a shooting that occurred in the city on July 11.
  • Eugeonce Coleman, 28, of Paterson: A known Bloods gang member wanted for committing various crimes around the city.
  • Larry Cox, 55, of Paterson: Wanted by the New Jersey State Parole Board for parole violation.

In a statement announcing the arrests, State Police Col. Patrick Callahan said, ““Operations like these play a critical role in diminishing violent crimes by targeting recidivist violent offenders who recklessly endanger the safety of our residents.”

He added: “We are committed to working with our partners to seek out and remove violent offenders from the streets of Paterson.”

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Crime & Safety Local News

Clifton Police Car Goes Airborne During Chase, Knocks Down Signs, Pole In Garfield

The officer tried stopping a motorist on Ackermann Avenue near Route 21 for careless driving shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.

He ended up pursuing the driver after the sedan sped off onto northbound Route 21, he said.

The chase continued on River Road to Outwater Lane, with the fleeing motorist turning off his lights and driving recklessly, the lieutenant said.

They crossed the railroad tracks near Plauderville Station next to Columbus Park when the police vehicle became airborne, Bracken said.

It overturned, knocking down a couple of signs and snapping a utility pole at Eberhard Lane, he said.

The officer was treated at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and released, Bracken said.

Meanwhile, police continued to search for the sedan.

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Local News

Three-alarm fire destroys house in Paterson as residents evacuate

A three alarm-fire near 12th Avenue destroyed a home early Sunday morning on William Street in Paterson.

The one-and-a-half story home with a wood frame caught fire shortly after midnight. The structure was unreliable and fully involved with fire, Deputy Chief Orlando Rodriguez said.

There were no injuries reported, however, the fire did extend to a nearby building on East 22nd Street, where there was exterior damage and multiple residents evacuated using the fire escape. The building is behind the home that caught fire.

The fire spread quickly because of gas, and both the gas and electricity were shut off on the street. “A crew had to come and dig up the street to shut off the gas in the building,” Rodriguez said.

The fire took about two hours to control, and the Paterson Fire Department as well as Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office responded.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Wayne Driver Was Drunk, High In Crash That Seriously Injured Paterson Motorist, Authorities Say

A 23-year-old Wayne man was both drunk and high when he ran a red light 16 months ago and crashed his sedan into another in Paterson, seriously injuring the other driver,  authorities charged.

A lengthy investigation led to Friday’s arrest of Ibrahim Sumrein on assault by auto and DWI charges, they said.

Sumrein was driving a 2012 Honda Accord that blew the light and collided with a 1994 Toyota Corolla driven by a 31-year-old Paterson resident on Dec. 21, 2019, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint announcement.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for serious injuries, responders said at the time.

Sumrein was “under the combined influence of alcohol and narcotics at the time of the crash,” Valdes and Baycora said Friday.

Prosecutor’s detectives charged Sumrein on a summons and released him pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson, they said.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Paterson Detectives Nab Ex-Con In Hail Of Gunfire That Wounded Teen, Damaged Cars, Building

Paterson detectives nabbed an ex-con who they said unloaded no fewer than 20 shots on a local street corner, wounding a city man, damaging vehicles and shattering a store window.

At 25, Michael Deas has spent most of his adult life behind bars, records show.

He spent five years in state prison before being released this past November for a pair of Passaic County armed robberies in 2013 and 2014.

Paterson detectives arrested Deas on Friday for last Sunday’s shooting at the corner of Straight and Essex streets.

A wounded 19-year-old victim arrived at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center via private vehicle soon after. He was treated and survived his injuries, authorities said.

Police later reported recovering 18 shell casings and two live rounds from the scene.

One of the bullets smashed through the window of a medical insurance company. Three parked vehicles also were struck.

Dean remained held in the Passaic County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and various weapons counts, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Feds: Imprisoned Paterson Dealer Admits Selling Heroin That Killed User From Warwick, NY

A twice-imprisoned drug dealer from Paterson admitted he sold the heroin that killed a user from Orange County, NY.

Shameik “Homeboy” Byrd, 31, who’s currently serving a state prison sentence, told a federal judge via videoconference in Newark that the death of 25-year-old Kean Cabral of Warwick was caused by heroin from the batch of “Trap Queen” that he’d been selling.

State authorities tried to prosecute Byrd and a couple who they said bought the drugs from him and sold some to Cabral in April 2016.

They were over-ruled, however, by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which said they didn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute someone for a drug-induced death that occurred in another state.

Federal authorities can. So they took the case.

It all began when Cabral was found dead of an overdose at his Warwick home the morning of April 3, 2016.

Three days later, detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office – alerted by Warwick police — set up surveillance in Paterson on April 6, 2019.

The investigators stopped Anthony Potts and his girlfriend, Noel Ferguson, after seeing them buy heroin on East 34th Street, authorities said at the time.

Ferguson turned over 50 or so folds of the “Trap Queen” they’d bought, authorities said.

Investigators found that Potts and Ferguson had previously sold several folds of the same heroin to Cabral after getting it from Byrd in Paterson, they said.

Byrd previously served 4 ½ years in state prison for robbery, drug dealing and resisting arrest before being released in October 2014, records show.

He was back behind bars less than two years later and has been imprisoned since September 2016 following convictions for drug dealing and leading police on a dangerous pursuit, among other offenses.

Byrd is scheduled to be released from the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown this August, records show. He’s then expected to go into federal custody.

Rather than face a federal trial, Byrd pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing and distributing the heroin that led to Cabral’s death, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachael A. Honig said.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and Warwick Police Department with the investigation leading to the guilty plea secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill of her Health Care Fraud Unit.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Paterson Man, 21, Shot On City Street Corner

A 21-year-old shooting victim ducked into a Paterson grocery store and called police after being shot on Friday, authorities said.

The victim, a city resident, was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center with a bullet wound in his ankle after responding officers found him in the store at the corner of 10th Avenue and East 28th Street shortly before 5 p.m.

He’d apparently been shot a block or so away, responders said.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora didn’t say whether the shooter had been caught or identified.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Authorities: Passaic Man Sexually Assaulted Pre-Teen

A Passaic man sexually assaulted a pre-teen at least twice over the past few months, authorities charged.

Quirino Rojas, 37, remained held Monday in the Passaic County Jail on two counts each of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment.

Special Victims Unit detectives interviewed the youngster after city police were called on Saturday, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Passaic Police Chief Louis A. Guzman said in a joint announcement Monday.

“The victim reported being sexually abused by [Rojas] on multiple occasions between the ages of 12 and 13 years old at a residence in Passaic between January and April of 2021,” their release says.

Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Alyssa DiSturco will ask a judge during a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson to order that Rojas remain held pending trial, they said.

Authorities warn parents that those who rape, molest or otherwise sexually assault young children are often known to the family — and at times exhibit warning signs that such behavior is possible.

They urge parents or guardians to never leave their youngsters with any adult in whom they don’t have 100% trust and confidence.

They also remind loved ones to always remain attentive to indications from their children of discomfort with a particular adult — or signs that they may have been abused.

If you suspect that anyone has harmed your child, contact authorities immediately.

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Crime & Safety Local News

Authorities: Fleeing Paterson Pair Crash After Stabbing One Man, Hitting Another With Tire Iron

Two Paterson residents who stabbed one young man in the neck and hit another in the head with a tire iron were caught after they crashed their car into a house while fleeing, authorities said Tuesday.

Officers seized Maisara Mousa, 22, at the scene of the crash near the corner of Paxton Street and 6th Avenue shortly before midnight Monday.

Amer Mousa, 20, fled the scene and was at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where he’d gone for treatment, arrested shortly before 7:30 a.m. Monday authorities said.

The pair crashed a Ford Mustang after assaulting two 20-year-old city men, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint release without disclosing a possible motive.

Those victims were hospitalized with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, they said.

Maisara Mousa is charged with first-degree attempted murder and weapons offenses. He remained held Tuesday in the Passaic County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.

Amer Mousa is charged with aggravated assault and weapons offenses. He was being released Tuesday afternoon, with conditions, under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law, Valdes and Baycora said.