Jhazir N. Smith’s failure to signal during a turn on East 19th Street early Saturday morning attracted the attention of police. He saw police lights and brought his 2007 Honda Accord to a halt only to open the door with a semi-automatic handgun in his right hand, according to police director Jerry Speziale.
Smith ran with officers chasing behind him at about 2:03 a.m. He darted into the driveway of 434 East 19th Street and continued towards the rear yard ignoring the officers’ order to stop. Police said he tried to discard a black Springfield Armory U.S.A. XD-9 9mm by tossing it into the air.
The weapon struck an iron fence on the second-floor deck of the house and fell back into the driveway in front of the officers. One officer recovered the weapon while the second continued chasing the suspect.
Smith, 20, of Elmwood Park, tripped and fell ending the chase.
Police confiscated 490 glassines of heroin from the inside of Smith’s left front pants pocket. $1,448 in drug money was taken out of his right front pocket, said police.
The defaced handgun was loaded with 1 round in the chamber and 15 inside the high capacity magazine, said police.
Smith was charged with four weapons offenses, resisting arrest, and heroin possession, said police.
Police officers Brian Culmone and Alberto Sanabria conducted the vehicle stop that led to the gun and drugs.
“The officers dedication in pursuit of justice is indicative of the men and women of Paterson’s Finest,” said Speziale.