A Paterson police officer’s gun accidentally discharged during the arrest of a repeat offender from Sussex County after he led officers on a wild stolen car chase, authorities said.
It took three days for Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes to confirm the incident from Monday night, Jan. 9.
Members of the city’s Street Crimes Unit had tried to stop the vehicle around 9 p.m., but the driver kept going, Valdes said in a release.
They pursued the vehicle down Katz Avenue into Haledon and then back into Paterson, says the release, issued shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.
Officers pursued the vehicle down Katz Avenue, into Haledon, then back into Paterson, the prosecutor wrote.
The driver – identified as William Pollock, 38, of Stanhope -- steered the vehicle over curbs, across several walkways and along the front lawn of an apartment complex before the damage caused by the rough terrain disabled it, she said.
Officers were trying to remove him and a passenger when an officer’s gun went off, Valdes said.
No one was struck by the round, she said.
Two city officers were injured during a struggle, the prosecutor said, adding that the occupants weren’t.
Pollock has a history of drug-related history of arrests, including for an incident in March 2019 in which a good Samaritan boxed in his car, records show.
Police responding to the citizen’s 911 call reported finding 45 glassine folds of heroin, hypodermic syringes, and 16 Alprazolam pills in Pollock’s vehicle.
Pollocka was also arrested in Montville in August 2017 by police who said they found him carrying more than two dozen heroin folds after responding to another 911 call about an erratic driver on Route 46.
Pollock was charged this time with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, eluding, receiving stolen property and minor drug possession before being sent to the Passaic County Jail to await a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson, Valdes said.
His passenger wasn’t charged, she said.
The gun discharge was reported to the state Attorney General’s Office, which gave Valdes and her Shooting Response Team the authority to investigate it.
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