An Uber driver helped Paterson police recover a weapon from a passenger late Sunday afternoon, according to public safety director Jerry Speziale.
Andrew Mendez, 29, of Fort Lee, got on an Uber vehicle from Palisades Park for his destination at Pearl Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard in Paterson. He allegedly had a handgun in his possession, police said. The woman Uber driver noticed the handgun.
Mendez allegedly told her the weapon was for his protection once he gets to Paterson. He arrived at Pearl Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard, exited the vehicle, and then re-entered. He allegedly threatened the woman and wanted to engage in oral sex, police said.
“It’s either that or your life,” Mendez allegedly told the woman, police said. Fearing for her life, the woman told Mendez she needed something to drink first. She drove to the store at 104 Park Avenue at around 5:53 p.m. and called police.
Police arrived at the scene and took Mendez out of the vehicle. A 9mm blank firing gun model Lady K by Kimar company was seized. The weapon had one blank round. No police rounds, police said. Police charged Mendez with weapons offenses, terroristic threats, and aggravated assault.
“The quick thinking by the female and the responding officers was what led to the safe conclusion and arrest,” Speziale said.