A Connecticut passenger pointed a handgun at a New Jersey State Police trooper during a pursuit on Route 287, authorities said Monday.
The pursuit, which began in Boonton, ended in a Mahwah park with the gunman and driver in custody and four weapons seized, NJSP Trooper Charles Marchan said.
A trooper tried to stop the Jeep Cherokee for a traffic violation on northbound Route 287 in Boonton Township shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday, Marchan said.
The driver, identified as ex-con Theron Brown, 22, of Bridgeport, CT, hit the gas instead and sped off, he said.
At one point during the subsequent pursuit, Tyree Newell, 20, also of Bridgeport, “leaned out of the passenger-side window and pointed a handgun directly at the trooper,” Marchan said.
“The trooper took evasive action, striking the concrete barrier in the center median but continued to pursue the suspects,” he said.
Newell tossed the gun from the Jeep and the chase continued onto Route 17 and then Route 202/Ramapo Valley Road, Marchan said.
The pair bailed out of the vehicle, which had a front blown tire, after it got wedged between two trees in Continental Soldier Field, a local police officer said.
"The park was occupied with people and all this is happening," the officer said.
A State Police chopper swooped overhead as trooper and a Mahwah police lieutenant and officer captured Newell and Brown near Lake Henry.
Newell tossed a 9mm handgun during the foot chase, Marchan said. A trooper and Mahwah officer later recovered it in the woods, he said.
Montville police recovered a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine at milepost 66.5 on Route 287. Troopers recovered two additional 9mm handguns in the area of the Routes 287/17 interchange.
Newell was charged with aggravated assault, hindering, weapons offenses and possession of hollow-point ammunition and a high-capacity magazine.
Brown was charged with weapons offenses – including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm – as well as possession of hollow-point ammo and a high-capacity magazine.
Both were diverted to the Hudson County Jail pending a first court appearance.
The case is being investigated by the New Jersey State Police Major Crimes North Unit and is being prosecuted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Marchan said.
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