NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Early Wednesday morning, North Plainfield police officer Jesus Medina noticed two men walking down the middle of Watchung Avenue. Medina was suspicious, and got out of his patrol car to confront the two men who fled and tried to hide behind a dumpster.
Despite ordering them to come out peacefully, the two men took off running and one of the men tossed an AR-15 assault rifle onto the street. The other man, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor, also had a long gun in his hands that he kept with him. After tossing the assault rifle the two men split up.
Medina, with the assistance of North Plainfield officer Rick Dow, caught the man who had discarded the weapon just over the border in Plainfield, and he also had in his possession a full magazine for the rifle. The suspect was identified as Cheo Amilcar Billups of Plainfield, who was arrested for unlawful possession of an assault weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and possession of a high capacity magazine.
Plainfield police and the South Plainfield K-9 unit assisted in searching for the second man, who was not captured. However, the search did turn up a 12-gauge shotgun on Pearl Street where the man had fled.
At this time prosecutors and police have not reported any motive or goal for the two men carrying heavy weaponry through a residential neighborhood at 1 a.m.
Police continue to seek information on the second man, who was reportedly wearing a white hoodie. Anyone with information should call the North Plainfield Police non-emergency line at (908) 769-2937. Anonymous tips can also be placed online at: www.scpo.net, www.somersetcountycrimestoppers.org