UPDATE: What began as a local traffic stop produced the arrest of a fugitive ex-con wanted for shooting two men in Paterson late last summer, authorities said.
Police in Pequannock who stopped Johnny Rodriguez, 33, of Paterson near the corner of Van Dyk Place and West Parkway around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday summoned their city colleagues after discovering an outstanding warrant.
Authorities said he and fellow ex-con Christopher Rodriguez-Mejia, 25, wounded two city men in a shooting in the area of Paterson Avenue and Liberty Street last Sept. 8.
The victims – one 32, the other 19 – survived their injuries, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora and Pequannock Township Police Chief Daniel Comune said in a joint announcement.
Christopher Rodriguez-Mejia was arrested on Dixon Avenue in Paterson on Sept. 11, three days after the shooting.
Johnny Rodriguez – who recently served 32 months in state prison in separate stints for assault and weapons convictions, among other offenses – remained in the wind, authorities said.
That was until this week, they said, praising the work of Pequannock police.
Rodriguez and Mejia are both charged with attempted murder and various weapons offenses, including being convicted felons in possession of firearms. Both remained held in the Passaic County Jail pending further court action.
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