Police break down Paterson councilman Luis Velez’s door | Paterson Times

Police break down Paterson councilman Luis Velez’s door


The police broke down the door of councilman Luis Velez’s house on Southard Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Velez said he was not home when police breached the door of his house. Police responded to the house little after 4:30 p.m.

“I was a little bit upset,” said Velez. He had been out of Paterson on a retreat in Long Island. His vehicle was parked near the house. “They wanted to know if I was okay.”

Someone called police and told them a person was at the location in distress.

Police thought Velez, who has diabetes and recently survived Covid-19, was in danger inside the house. Officials briefed on the incident said police suspected Velez was possibly engaged in self-harm inside the house.

Police knocked on the door, but received no answer.

Velez said he learned about the incident from his sister. He immediately called the police in Paterson, but did not get an adequate answer.

Public safety director Jerry Speziale said police responded to a possible “medical emergency” at the location.

“They breached entry under the emergency aid doctrine,” said Speziale. Under the emergency aid doctrine, police are able to conduct an warrantless search to provide “immediate assistance to protect or preserve life.”

Police tried to obtain a key to Velez’s apartment, said prominent developer Charles Florio, who rents the house to Velez. Florio said police visited his office to try to get a key.

Velez said he will seek the advice of an attorney over the incident. Velez and police chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora have been at odds with each other.

Velez has publicly criticized the police chief over the past year.

“I don’t want to get into speculation,” said Velez when asked if he thought he was being retaliated against.

Baycora declined to comment.

Mayor Andre Sayegh did not respond to multiple calls for comments.

“If people were worried about someone’s well-being and if they’re worried about somebody being in a coma, or a heart attack, or some sort of medical emergency, would you want the police to walk away or the fire department to walk away? And then God forbid, you’re lying there saying, ‘help, help, help.’”

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  • J. Brown.

    Then why didn't his "Master "Florio give them the key?

  • Plumber

    Let that sink in florio rents an apartment to Velez a councilman in paterson. Things that make you go hum follow the money


      Florio owns him and Mayor McCheese.

    • HankMorgan

      Such a great neighborhood, too!

  • john craze

    Has anyone on the Council or has the Mayor taken into consideration what all the new constructed "Florio apartments" being rented to families, is doing to the Paterson Public Schools? They are overcrowded now, with classroom rosters increasing as the number of teachers being hired decreases! How can a teacher effectively instruct 30 students
    (at different learning levels) in one room?
    Anyone applying to construct apartment buildings in the City, should be required to give money to the school district before granted permission by the Paterson government officials!

    • Resident41

      All those new apartments have bought great people to Paterson. People from Newark, Arlington and Camden are now paterson residents. Why do you think the crime rate is up 1000x since the new administration came in.


        Yet South Paterson is the only part of the shithole with a police substation. Gee I wonder why…………

    • Yogi Zuna

      When I went to school over 40 years ago, classes of 30 kids or more kids were the norm, even for smart college prep classes like 7-2 or 8-1. We had about 33 kids in 8-1.

  • Paterson Resident

    They probably planted bugs in his house. Thats what he should be worried about.

    • Yogi Zuna

      He can get a bug detector on line to protect himself,

  • John

    Smells fishy here. And If.this isn't a conflict of interest with Velez renting from Florio then the term conflict of interest should be elicited from law school.

  • John

    More news will come out of this.

  • John

    Did you know all of these new bldgs have bought $0 tax dollars to Paterson. Yet more police and schooling are.needrd. Not to mention all the other services or issues.