PATERSON, NJ- An illegal hookah bar that was the scene of a January 6 shooting was raided at the direction of Mayor Andre Sayegh by the Paterson Police Department, with the assistance of the Paterson Fire Department, in the early hours of Saturday.
According to a statement by Police Director Jerry Speziale, law enforcement and fire officials found several ignited hookahs in the Besan Cafe, located at 201 East Railway Avenue, when they entered at approximately 1:25 a.m.
Detectives and investigators encountered the establishment’s owner, Faid Abouawad, who was found to be carrying $1,154 in cash, and have another $503 in a cash register, all believed to be proceeds from the sale of illegal hookah.
69 hookahs and various accessories were also seized.
Abouwad was arrested for his role in running the operation as well as for illegal possession of two weapons that were recovered at the scene, a BB gun and a machete with a 16 inch blade.
As 6th Ward Councilman, Sayegh was instrumental in closing the Lava Lounge, a notoriously problematic late night establishment that has now been transformed into a daycare center.
“We will no longer tolerate this lawless behavior in our city,” Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson. “Others who may be running their own illegal operations, or not complying fully with the law, should consider notice that closing time is coming.”
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