Paterson Police Chase, Apprehend Armed Elmwood Park Man

A police foot pursuit that occurred in Paterson led to the alleged discovery of drugs and a weapon on an Elmwood Park man in Paterson.

According to Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale, on Saturday at around 2:03 a.m., officers were on routine patrol in the 10th Avenue and East 19th Street vicinity when the officers observed a 2007 Honda Accord traveling on 10th Avenue.

Director Speziale said the vehicle failed to signal for a turn onto East 19th Street when the officers activated their emergency equipment to conduct a traffic stop opposite 434 East 19th Street.

"As soon as the vehicle came to a stop, the driver opened the door and began to flee on foot while holding a black semi-automatic handgun in his right hand," Director Speziale said.

Officers immediately notified headquarters over the radio that they were involved in a foot pursuit of a male who was armed with a handgun. Police said the suspect entered the driveway of 434 East 19th Street continuing to flee into the rear yard ignoring the officer’s commands to stop.

The suspect then attempted to discard the handgun by throwing it in the air when the weapon struck an iron fence on the 2nd floor rear deck of a house in the 400 block of East 19th Street and fell back into the driveway in front of the officers.

Director Speziale said an officer recovered the weapon while the other continued to chase the individual. During the chase, police caught the suspect after he tripped and fell.

A search of the suspect’s right front pants pocket was $1,488.00 in US currency, which was seized as proceeds.

The handgun, the suspect allegedly threw, was a black Springfield Armory U.S.A. XD-9 9mm. Police said the weapon had 1 WMA 9mm ball round in the chamber and 15 WMA 9mm ball rounds inside the magazine.

Director Speziale said the magazine was a high-capacity magazine, which can hold 16 rounds. The serial number on the frame of the gun was defaced, although the handgun still had serial numbers on the slide and the barrel that weren't defaced.

A check of the handgun showed the gun came back not on file, negative stolen Director Speziale said.

Police identified the suspect as Mr. Jhazir N. Smith, 20, Elmwood Park,.

Police charged Smith with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, possession of a defaced firearm, possession of a large capacity magazine, resisting arrest by flight, possession of heroin.

“The officer's dedication in pursuit of justice is indicative of the men and women of Paterson’s Finest’ Director Speziale said.