Police arrest man with imitation gun in School 25 playground | Paterson Times

Police arrest man with imitation gun in School 25 playground


City police officers arrested a pellet gun armed 51-year-old who was sitting in a bench inside the School 25 playground where young children were playing on Monday afternoon, said police director Jerry Speziale.

City resident Luis Munoz who resides at 100 Trenton Avenue, about six blocks from the school, was arrested at about 7:12 p.m. on Monday, when police responded to calls of an armed person dressed in all black on school property.

Police did not know the gun was an imitation until  Munoz  was arrested.

Police lieutenant George Vasquez was informed by an area resident that a man with a handgun was sitting down on a bench inside the school’s property by the tennis court. The resident told the lieutenant he was concerned about the children who filled the playground and were playing in the field.

The lieutenant said he instructed plainclothes officers William Neibank and Ryan Duffy to delicately handle the situation by sneaking up on the gunman. “As the officers were about to approach the suspect he bent over to put a beer down on the ground,” said Vasquez.

Neibank saw the handle of the revolver protruding from under the gunman’s shirt. Officers Duffy was alerted by Neibank of the gun. The two officers forcefully placed the suspect against the fence until the weapon was secured, said the director.

Speziale said the weapon turned out to be a Crossman 357 .177 caliber pellet handgun. Munoz, the suspect, was charged with unlawful possession of a pellet gun without a permit and possession of an imitation firearm on school property.

“Clearly, the officers acted in accordance with the information they were provided and removed a dangerous weapon from our streets,” said the director. “Subsequent investigation will be conducted as there have been a number of car windows shattered over the past month in the Trenton Avenue area.”