NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A man armed with an assault rifle and wearing a helmet and bullet-proof vest was arrested Tuesday moments after he left a strip club where he worked on Route 35 in Sayreville, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.
Kevin Smith, 32, of Keyport, was arrested on Sept. 11, after leaving the Visions Gentlemen's Club on Route 35 in the Melrose section of Sayreville, Carey said in a joint statement with Sayreville police Chief John Zebrowski.
They said officers later searched Smith's home where they found a second assault rifle and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
They said Smith, also known as Kevin Papalia, had an AK-47 Style weapon, and was wearing a miltiary-style helmet and bullet-resistant vest, when he left the club..
Authorities said that 4:04 p.m., police received a call that an employee, identified as Smith, was inside with a firearm.
Officers went to the club and saw Smith, leave the building and drive away, the prosecutor said.
He said police followed Smith and stopped him 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, authorities said.
Following the arrest, Smith was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, and traffic on Route 35 at the Victory Bridge was diverted during the investigation, the prosecutor said.
He said officers also recovered a second tactical vest and several loaded, large capacity magazines from inside the manager’s office of “Visions Gentlemen’s Club.”
Officers then went to Smith's Keyport home and recovered a second rifle, the ammunition, and more body armor.
Carey praised the officers involved, saying that, “On 9/11, a day in America’s history when 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.”
Zebrowsky also lauded the officers for making the quick decision not to confront Smith inside the club.
"The restraint utilized by the responding officers defused a potentially tragic confrontation," Zebrowsky said.
Smith was charged with weapons offenses, unlawful possession of large capacity magazines, and unlawful use of a body vest.
Authorities gave no details of what occurred inside the club or if there was a confrontation.
They asked that anybody with information in this case call Sayreville police Capt. Jack Fitzsimmons at (732) 525-5409. Carey said Keyport also assisted in the investigation.