In a neighborhood plagued by violence, Englewood police chased down a man who they said peppered a house with paintballs from what looked like a genuine weapon.
Responding Officer Adolfo Gutierrez spotted 18-year-old Sammuel Castillo running from the Mattlage Place home near Shepard Avenue after the shots were fired from a car that had pulled up there shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday, Deputy Police Chief Gregory Halstead said.
Castillo was carrying what looked like a long gun -- actually a paintball gun, Halstead said.
He tossed it alongside a house before being taken into custody, the deputy chief said, adding that Gutierrez recovered the weapon.
“The city of Englewood, as well as Hackensack, have experienced a spate of such incidents,” Halstead said. “Some of these weapons look incredibly realistic, are illegal for street usage and in the wrong hands can be dangerous.”
The deputy chief urged paintball gun owners to use venues dedicated to their safe and legal use.
Castillo remained held Tuesday in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing on weapons and evidence tampering charges.
Mattlage Place, which runs all of four blocks, and a few surrounding streets near the downtown commercial district have had several shootings in recent months.
Police were still trying to find whoever shot a woman in the foot and sent a bullet flying through the wall of a neighborhood home where several children were sleeping in April.
There have also been several drug arrests in the neighborhood.
Last August, police raided a Mattlage Place apartment where they said a couple with four children had crack and pot.
Three years ago, police arrested four people for torching a car behind a Mattlage Place home.
Englewood police encourage anyone who witnesses a crime or has information about one to reach out to CrimeStoppers group of Bergenfield, Bogota, Englewood, Teaneck & Hackensack, which offers cash rewards of up to $1,000. Tips can be made anonymously at www.bergencrimestoppers.org or by calling 844-466-6789 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Citizens also have the option of calling our detectives directly at (201) 568-4875 ,” Halstead said.
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