Grand jury clears Paterson police officer in Martin Street shooting | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Grand jury clears Paterson police officer in Martin Street shooting

By Jonathan Greene
Published: May 5, 2017

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A city police officer was justified in wounding a man who fired at five police officer responding to a domestic violence incident inside the third-floor apartment of a Martin Street apartment complex determined a grand jury, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Jonathan Bustios’s use of force was justified when he fired at Dereen Wofford, 38, of Paterson. Bustios and other officers were met by an armed Wofford when responding to the domestic violence incident call at 1 p.m. on December 30, 2016 at Martin Street and 21st Avenue, authorities said.

Wofford Dereen being held at the Passaic County Jail | Photo Courtesy of Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik

Wofford Dereen being held at the Passaic County Jail | Photo Courtesy of Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik

Inside the apartment complex, the officers encountered Wofford who refused to exit or let anyone into the apartment. He then allegedly fired a handgun towards the five officers and pointed the handgun at one or more of the officers entering the apartment complex, authorities said.

Bustios fired his department-issued handgun at Wofford wounding him in his left arm and both legs. Wofford was taken to hospital and provided treatment.

No civilians or officers were injured. Authorities recovered the handgun used by Wofford at the scene.

Bustios fired two rounds at Wofford, authorities said. He joined the Paterson police force in 2014 and has helped to take a number of guns off the street from dangerous individuals, according to numerous news reports published in the Paterson Times and other outlets.

Bustios has received praise for exercising restraint in an October 2016 incident. A man with a gun in hand walked towards him outside of 21 North 4th Street. Bustios did not fire, but held the suspect at gunpoint and disarmed him.

A separate grand jury indicted Wofford on five counts of attempted murder and weapons charges for shooting at the five police officer, authorities said on Friday.

The five attempted murder charges alone carry a maximum of 100 years in prison, authorities said.


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