Three men accused of shooting off a 9-mm handgun along Broadway in the early morning hours of Sept. 8 face additional and more serious charges after a bullet was found lodged into the bedpost of a sleeping man near 30th Street.
Although police originally believed the person sleeping was a 15-year-old, a later report said that one of five shots fired along Broadway at about 4 a.m. went through the wall of the second floor apartment of a 22-year-old man and struck the bed, prompting police to increase the charges to aggravated assault.
Originally charged with property damage charges when a bullet was found lodged in a mirror of a parked car on Broadway, police upgraded the charges against Tyrell Matos, 19, of First Street, Frederick Gonzales, 20, of West Ninth Street, and Philip Gonzalez, 21, of First Street.
“We later found bullet found in bed post of a sleeping 22-year-old man.” – Robert Kubert
The police arrested the three men, believed to be members of the One Time gang, shortly after five shots were reported fired on Broadway. The alleged gang members were stopped while driving away from the scene in a Dodge Caravan, in which police later found a loaded 9-mm handgun on the passenger side floor. Police said the weapon was still warm, indicating it had been recently fired.
Gunshots in the night
Kubert said a police patrol in the area of Broadway and 32nd Street responded when the officer heard five shots fired.
Police Sgt. Anthony Gonzales began to pursue the white van speeding down 34th Street, which allegedly ran the stop light at Kennedy Boulevard. The police sergeant pulled the van over at Avenue A and Lincoln Boulevard, where two other officers joined him.
The police said one of the passengers in the front seat seemed to reach for something on the floor, at which point the police order the occupants out of the car, and then saw the gun on the floor loaded with two hollow point bullets – one in the chamber ready to be fired.
“There were two hollow point bullets still in the gun and one in the chamber,” Kubert said.
Later, police detectives found five expended bullet casings near Broadway and 33rd Street.
“Our detectives found the first bullet lodged in the mirror of a parked vehicle on Broadway and shell casings nearby,” Kubert said. “We later found a bullet in the bedpost of a sleeping 22-year-old man. The shot apparently went through the wall of the [Broadway] apartment. This is the reason we upgraded the charges to aggravated assault. The bullet hit less than 12 inches from the man.”
The suspects, Kubert said, were sent to Hudson County Central Judicial Processing Court, where bail was set at $75,000 originally. Matos was the only one to make bail.
While a number of police officers were involved in the arrest, Kubert said Gonzalez was key since he saw the suspects leaving the area.
“He made the initial stop,” Kubert said. “I have to commend Sgt. Gonzales for his vigilance in removing three dangerous suspects from the street.”
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.