Paterson police officers tackle drunk suspect to seize loaded handgun | Paterson Times

Paterson police officers tackle drunk suspect to seize loaded handgun


Police officers had to subdue an armed and intoxicated 22-year-old city man during a traffic stop on 12th Avenue early Thursday morning to secure a loaded handgun he had in his hooded shirt pocket, said police director Jerry Speziale.

Khalif Cooper was sitting in the backseat on the driver side of a Ford Fusion bearing Pennsylvania plates that was pulled over by police officers Joehan Suarez and Salvatore Marotta outside of 129 12th Avenue at about 5:11 a.m.

Police officers noticed Cooper kicked an open bottle of alcohol to hide it from view. He was asked to exit the vehicle at which point Suarez saw the butt end of a handgun protruding from Cooper’s hooded shirt pocket.

Suarez yelled “Gun!” Cooper ran, but the officer grabbed him by the t-shirt and dragged him to the ground.

Marotta and Suarez tackled Cooper as he resisted being handcuffed. He laid on his left hand making it impossible for officers to handcuff him. Both officers used force to handcuff Cooper.

Police seized a defaced black Sig Sauer P239 9mm handgun which was loaded with 1 bullet in the chamber and a 3 round magazine.

The vehicle was Pennsylvania plates was occupied by three men. When the car was pulled over the driver, Mazeik Lawson, got out of the car until police officers ordered him to get back into his vehicle.

Lawson admitted he did not have a driver’s license. He did have a $750 outstanding warrant out of the city. Police placed him under arrest.

The front passenger was released after a negative warrant check.

“The officers were able to see the situation for what it was and in the face of danger handled the scene removing a weapon from our streets,” said Speziale.