Female Driver Wanted For Menacing With Gun Caught With 2 Firearms, Wanted Passenger: Haledon PD

A fleeing driver who wielded a firearm during an argument had a gun under her seat and another under her passenger's -- both loaded -- when she was stopped by Haledon police, authorities said.

Eshan McQueen, Leah Ruggerio

Eshan McQueen, Leah Ruggerio

Photo Credit: HALEDON PD

Leah Ruggerio, 29, "brandished a handgun and aimed it at another" during an unspecified dispute in the area of North 4th Street and Haledon Avenue in Paterson, Capt. George Guzman said.

Ruggerio, accompanied by a male passenger, then sped north on Haledon Avenue in a silver Hyundai, he said.

Haledon Officer Nasir Mora moments later saw Ruggerio abruptly turn the speeding vehicle left onto Harris Avenue, the captain said.

Mora pulled her over as backups Sgt. Jessica Funes, Officer Edar Merza and Special Officers Euclides Cardona and Brandon Vanderveen arrived.

Ruggiero's passenger, ex-con Eshan McQueen, 32, also of Haledon, was wanted on a local warrant, Guzman said.

Questioned by police, Ruggiero admitted there was a gun in the car, he noted.

There were two -- both loaded 9mm Taurus handguns, he said. One carried hollow-point ammo.

Ruggierio was charged with a pair of illegal weapons counts. 

McQueen was charged with related offenses, as well, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of hollow-point bullets and possession of a high-capacity magazine.

Both were sent to the Passaic County Jail to await the filing of charges by Paterson police and first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.

Meanwhile, police were having the weapons tested to determine whether they may have been fired in crimes.

"Our officers should be lauded for their tremendous attention to detail, vigilance, and steadfast bravery," Haledon Police Chief Angelo J. Daniele said. "Through their great professionalism and cohesive teamwork, they successfully apprehended the suspects without incident and removed these firearms off our streets."

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