PATERSON, NJ - The Paterson Police Department’s COVID Compliance Units have “ratcheted up their efforts and have made a major arrest,” Mayor Andre Sayegh announced Sunday. “Their vigilance prevented another shooting from taking place last night and I commend them for their swift action.”

According to a statement issued by Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, the incident unfolded at approximately 10:50 p.m. Saturday when police on patrol in the area of East 16th and Lafayette Streets observed a black Mercedes Benz sedan with a temporary NJ Registration traveling north on Lafayette Street.

Recognizing the vehicle matched the description of a vehicle police were seeking in relation to a previous investigation, Sergeant Christopher Ravallese and Detective Salvatore Marotta activated their emergency lights and siren to conduct a motor vehicle stop.

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Refusing to comply with an order to pull over, the driver attempted to flee by placing the vehicle in reverse on East 16th Street. After striking an occupied vehicle three individuals fled from the vehicle on foot.

During the foot pursuit Detective Luis Fernandez observed one of the individuals, identified as Deremy Colon, discard a firearm, and he was immediately taken to the ground thereafter. The discarded handgun was immediately recovered, and was identified as a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, previously reported stolen from the state of Florida.

While in pursuit of the third suspect, later identified as a 15-year-old juvenile male, Detective Salvatore Marotta observed that he was holding a handgun in his hand while running, which he later discarded. The discarded firearm was recovered and identified as a .38 caliber revolver.

All three individuals were transported to Paterson police headquarters for processing, and will be detained pending initial judicial hearings.

In total Paterson police arrested nine suspects in four separate incidents since Thursday, leading to the recovery of five weapons, including a juvenile who was in possession of a Glock .40 semi-automatic weapon reported stolen out of North Carolina and the apprehension of four suspects said to be involved in drugs transactions, one of whom, also a juvenile, was in possession of a loaded .32 caliber revolver.

On Thursday members of the Paterson Police Department's Street Crimes Unit were investigating an ealrier incident when they heard gunshots in the area of North 11th and Clinton Street and arrested suspect Shamel Wilkins who was said to be in possession of a loaded handgun.

The weapons recovered will be submitted to the New Jersey State Police Laboratory for further examination related to their potential use in other incidents.

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