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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Paterson Officers Seize Loaded Gun In Fierce Struggle

Paterson police
Paterson police Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO: Boyd A. Loving

A struggle over a pistol-grip rifle loaded with nearly two dozen rounds ended with a Paterson driver in custody, authorities said.

Officers Mark Alvarez and Fernando Saint-Hilaire, responding to a report of a dangerous situation on Warren Street, found Kwame Morrison asleep in the driver's seat of a 2020 Honda Accord LX that was double-parked with its headlights on and engine running around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

The officers knocked on the windows in a failed effort to wake him, Speziale said.

They opened the driver's side door and finally roused Morrison, 29, who said he was taking a nap in front of his girlfriend's home, the director said.

The officers asked Morrison to step out of the vehicle and provide ID, but he hunched himself over, his hands inside the pockets of a hooded sweatshirt, Speziale said.

Refusing orders to step out and show his hands, Morrison turned toward them -- with the muzzle of the gun sticking out of his waistband, the director said.

"The officers took a safety position and provided loud clear verbal commands for Mr. Morrison to 'show his hands' and 'not to move,' " he said.

Morrison, instead, put his hands on the weapon and began lifting his sweatshirt, Speziale said.

At that point, he said, Alvarez grabbed Morrison while Saint-Hilaire cut a weapons sling from around his shoulder.

The officers secured the .22-caliber Mossberg International 715P, which was loaded with 23 rounds thanks to a magazine, Speziale said.

They got Morrison out of the car and into handcuffs and brought him to headquarters without incident, the director said.

Police charged Morrison with weapons offenses that include having an illegal large-capacity magazine. They then sent him to the Passaic County Jail to await a detention hearing.

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