Detectives and uniformed Paterson police converged on a local home where an investigator watching a surveillance monitor from headquarters saw a man stash what turned out to be an assault rifle under a stairway, authorities said.
Detectives assigned to the Special Investigation Division Street Crime Unit were at roll call to start their shifts Thursday evening when the “ShotSpotter” – a system that alerts them to shots fired -- was activated at 12th Avenue and East 23rd Street, Police Director Jerry Speziale said.
Detective James Jenkins rushed to a monitor that showed a surveillance camera image of a man later identified as Samuel Lesane “walking toward a parked vehicle in the 300 block of 12th Avenue,” Speziale said.
Jenkins saw Lesane “stop at the rear of the vehicle, crouch down, and pick up a rifle type firearm from the area behind [it],” the director said.
Lesane “then walked to the front of a residence on that same block and [hid] the weapon under a stairway,” he said.
Detective Sgt. Rick LaTrecchia joined Jenkins at the monitor and relayed the information to patrol units in the area.
Officer Tyseme Holmes found the loaded American Tactical AR-15 assault rifle, while other units searched for Lesane, Speziale said.
A short time later, Officers Gabriel Spallacci and Sterluis Castillo of the Emergency Services Unit found him standing in front of a store on 12th Avenue, he said.
Lesane was arrested on charges of possessing an assault rifle and a high-capacity magazine.
The rifle was being submitted to the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Laboratory to determine whether it had been used in any crimes..
“The timely efforts and ability to utilize all the tools in their toolbox by those involved was outstanding and removed a dangerous individual and weapon from our streets,” Speziale said.
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