PATERSON, NJ - Mayor Andre Sayegh reiterated that the Paterson Police Department is “relentlessly removing guns from our streets” after police officers engaged in a foot chase that resulted in the arrest of one man and the confiscation of a loaded handgun that has been determined to have been stolen from South Carolina.
The arrest of Jacim Pitts, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said, came while police officers on routine patrol in the area of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Putnam Street Sunday and observed a large group of men “walking into traffic, smoking, drinking, and playing loud music.”
One man in particular, the report stated, drew the officer’s attention due to what appeared to be “alarm” with regard to the presence of the police vehicle. As the police car drove past the group the suspect is said to have begun walking away the group while keeping focused by “turning his head to keep an observation as to the officers locations and actions.”
Observing what he believed to be a weapon, and after the suspect turned and began walking in the opposite direction, Officer M. Bashir rolled down his window and asked Pitts to speak with him. When Bashir opened his door to exit the vehicle, the report continued, the suspect fled on foot holding what the officer believed to be a gun against his body.
Bashir, joined by Officer J. Dabal, pursued Pitts, who is said to have discard a black handgun over the fence at 96 Lyon Street, until they lost sight of him.
With the search continuing a concerned citizen reported that Pitts had scaled a gate and was in the yard at 99 Lyon Street, where officers found the suspect and, despite his resistance, was taken into custody.
After receiving treatment for minor injuries at St. Joseph’s Hospital Pitts was transported to Paterson Police Headquarters where he was formally charged with several crimes including resisting arrest, unlawful possession of a weapon, and receiving stolen property.
Police also recovered the discarded gun which was found to be loaded with four rounds in the magazine as well as one in the chamber.