An ex-con running from Paterson police detectives tossed a loaded handgun that turned out to be stolen out of Englewood, authorities said.
A gun conviction would automatically send Daryl Rodriguez, 23, back to state prison, where he served 20 months for a drive-by city shooting before being released in July 2019, records show.
Detectives Mustafa Dombayci, Suquan Gary, Yamil Pimienta and Mohammad Bashir were "providing extra attention to the area of Oak and Beech Streets in the 5th Ward due to recent reports of shots fired in the area" when they spotted Rodriguez over the weekend, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.
He was "attempting to conceal a large handgun magazine, which was protruding from his sweatshirt pocket," Speziale said.
Rodriguez bolted when he saw the detectives coming, tossing the 9mm Glock in front of a Beech Street home as he ran, the director said.
They caught him in a Summer Street backyard a short time later, he said.
The detectives also recovered the gun, which Speziale said was loaded with more than two dozen rounds of ammunition. It had been reported stolen out of Englewood, he said.
Rodriguez was 20 years old when he was sent to state prison after authorities said he and a companion shot at a city man and his teenage niece from a moving car near Roberto Clemente Park exactly four years ago Monday.
He remained held in the Passaic County Jail on weapons charges, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as for possession of a high-capacity magazine, following Saturday night's arrest.
The gun, meanwhile, was submitted to New Jersey State Police for testing to determine whether it might have been used in a crime, Speziale said.
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