City police officers patrolling the vicinity of Slater Street caught two alleged drug dealers who were armed with handguns, said police director Jerry Speziale.
Jeremy Rodriguez, 19, and a boy, 17 were arrested on weapons and drug charges at about 9:26 a.m. on Sunday, according to police.
Police officers D. Pent and J. Bustios were on patrol of Slater and Marshall Streets when they observed the two teens.
Upon seeing the officers, the 17-year-old discarded two bundles of heroin and both suspects fled from police.
Pent and Bustios chased the suspects down Slater Street towards Main Street yelling: “Police! Stop! Police!”
As the chase continued, the 17-year-old was observed discarding a handgun – 380 caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point ammunition — in middle of the road on Main and Slater Streets which was immediately recovered by Bustios. He allegedly resisted arrest by force, but was subdued and taken into police custody.
The 17-year-old had a bag of marijuana and two bags of crack-cocaine on his person, according to police.
Police broadcasted a description of Rodriguez while noting his direction of flight – ran towards Grand Street. Other units quickly responded to the area and with the help of a New Jersey Transit bus driver who told officers of the direction and location of the individual police caught Rodriguez inside a restaurant at 358 Grand Street.
Rodriguez resisted with force, but was overcome and put into a police vehicle. He had a loaded .22 caliber handgun on his waist. He also had 92 oxycodone pills, one brick – 50 packs – of heroin stamped: “Route 20.”
Both teens were charged with resisting arrest, various drugs and weapons offenses, and for having hollow-point ammunition, according to the director.
“These officers did a tremendous job in keeping calm and working with the community and other officers to make sure that no one escaped with two dangerous weapons,” said Speziale. “As we enter the new year will continue to put the pressure on anyone involved in gun violence or drug distribution.”