MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - Keyport resident Kevin Smith entered his place of employment - Visions Gentlemen's Club on Route 35 - this Tuesday armed for battle and carrying an AK-47. He was arrested by the Sayreville police after he fled the scene.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief John Zebrowski of the On September 11, 2018, at 4:04 pm, police were dispatched to the “Visions Gentlemen’s Club,” located on Rt. 35 in the Melrose section of Sayreville after receiving a call that an employee was inside with a firearm.
Kevin Smith, AKA Kevin Papalia, 32, of Keyport, was subsequently identified as the person possessing the firearm at the establishment. Police observed Smith quickly exit the building and drive away. At the time, Smith was wearing a ballistic vest, military style helmet, and was carrying a firearm.
Smith was stopped a short distance from the club where he surrendered. During the arrest, a black tactical ballistic vest was removed from the defendant’s body, and police recovered a helmet, and an AK-47 style firearm, along with a loaded magazine for that weapon.
After being taken into custody, Smith was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy. Traffic on Rt. 35 at the Victory Bridge was diverted during the investigation.
After securing the scene, officers recovered a second tactical vest and several loaded, large capacity magazines from inside the manager’s office of “Visions Gentlemen’s Club.”
Furthermore, officers also additionally recovered a rifle, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and body armor from Smith’s residence in Keyport.
“On 9/11, a day in America’s history where, we show our support for our first responders, we are indebted to the police officers involved in this matter for their extraordinary efforts to preserve life and keep the community safe.” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.
Chief Zebrowski commended the actions of his officers saying, “This incident quickly unfolded and the decision not to immediately confront this individual was the right choice. The restraint utilized by the responding officers defused a potentially tragic confrontation.”
Smith was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of Large Capacity Magazines, and Unlawful use of a Body Vest.
“Furthermore, I would like to thank the Keyport Police Department for their assistance and cooperation in this matter.” Prosecutor Carey said.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Captain Jack Fitzsimmons, Division Commander, of the Sayreville Police Department at 732-525-5409.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Smith are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.