ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- A 20-year-old Elmwood Park man carrying nearly 500 bags of heroin hurled a gun that nearly landed at the feet of two Paterson police officers who were chasing him, authorities said.
It began when a pair of Paterson police officers stopped a 2007 Honda Accord just after 2 a.m. Saturday because the driver, Jhazir N. Smith, failed to signal for a turn onto East 19th Street from 10th Avenue, Police Director Jerry Speziale said.
"As soon as the vehicle came to a stop, the driver opened the door and began to flee on foot while holding a black semi-automatic handgun in his right hand," Speziale said.
The officers notified headquarters and chased Smith into a rear yard, repeatedly ordering him to stop, the director said.
Smith kept going, then tossed the gun, which hit an iron fence on the second-floor rear deck of a 19th Street home and fell back into a driveway in front of the officers, he said.
Smith tripped and fell moments later and was taken into custody, Speziale said.
A search turned up 490 bags of heroin in his left pants pocket -- and nearly $1,500 in suspected drug proceeds in his right, the director said.
The gun turned out to be a 9mm Springfield Armory U.S.A. XD-9, with a ball round in the chamber and 15 more in a high-capacity magazine, Speziale said.
Smith remained held without bail Tuesday in the Passaic County Jail, chaged with various weapons offenses, resisting arrest and heroin possession.
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