Fair Haven beat cops got two guns off the street in two incidents during the same shift.
The two officers—Louis DeCrescenzo and Martin Feliciano (pictured; read about them here)—were joined by Officer Jeremy Cordero in the first instance, which took place on Lombard Street Sunday around 6:30 p.m.
Here’s what happened, according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman.
While on patrol, the three cops “spotted a familiar face emerging from a backyard crack deal. They stopped the man who gave up his recent purchase. The man would later be arrested by Officer Feliciano. First the man told the cops who had sold him the crack; he agreed to join them to track the dealer down.
He drove with them to Clay and Poplar, where he “pointed to a white Isuzu Amigo. The Officers pulled over the car and its four occupants.” A 20-year-old woman in the back seat “stuff[ed] something in to her waistband. That would eventually turn out to be crack cocaine (A second bag of crack would later be recovered from her pants while being booked in the detention facility).
“The driver .. didn’t hesitate in giving up the marijuana he had in his pants pocket. When the officers asked if there were any more drugs or possibly a weapon in the car, they saw the front seat passenger ... clutching her purse.” Inside, the officers could see “an ‘ATM’ .380 handgun, loaded with six hollow-point rounds.” The police arrested the whole bunch on various “drugs and weapons charges.”
The second incident occurred soon after 1 a.m. Monday, during the same shift. Earlier in the evening a 14-year-old boy had reported being shot in the shoulder while he was waiting for a bus in Newhallville, so Feliciano and DeCrescenzo moved their patrol to that neighborhood.
“While driving down Shelton Avenue, the officers spotted a parking violation. A Chevrolet Impala was blocking the driveway at 365 Shelton Avenue. The window tints were too dark for the officers to see if anyone was inside the car. As they approached it, the driver’s door was opened by” a 27-year-old Hamden man, Hartfman reported.
“The officers could smell the odor of burning marijuana from within the car and saw [the driver] fidgeting with something in his jacket pocket as he sat in his seat. They asked him if he had drugs in the car. [The driver] replied he did not. The answer was the same when they asked him if he had any weapons.”
The officers handcuffed the driver when “he refused orders” to take his hands from his pants, according to Hartman. “Even handcuffed, [the driver] tried to break free from his detention. He also tried retrieving the loaded ‘Charter Arms’ .38 special that Officer DeCrescenzo took from his pocket.”
“It’s for my protection,” the driver exclaimed.
“The officers then relieved him of nine bags of marijuana and six capsules of methamphetamine,” according to Hartman. “The gun’s identifying numbers had been altered or removed. [The driver], who has no gun permit, was charged with committing ten crimes including three for weapons violations.”