A 19-year-old Newark man was taken into custody after allegedly shooting gel bullets at a passerby in Lyndhurst, Det. Lt. Vincent Auteri tells The Observer.
While on patrol in the area of Valley Brook Avenue and Grant Avenue on Aug. 3, around 9:30 p.m., Auteri says Officer Vincent Dorio was approached by a man riding a bicycle.
The man advised Officer Dorio that while riding his bike along Ridge Road he had been struck in the face by a pellet.
The victim, a 24-year-old resident of Lyndhurst, further informed Officer Dorio a man sitting in the passenger seat of a white commercial-style van had shot the pellets at him from a pellet gun.
The victim immediately pointed out the van to Officer Dorio.
Officer Dorio immediately broadcasted a description of the van and seconds later, and within close proximity to where the incident occurred, Officer Dorio and Sgt. Charles Giangeruso observed it, which matched the description, park in front of house on a nearby residential street.
As both Officer Dorio and Sgt. Giangeruso approached the van, two men exited the vehicle.
One of them matched the description of the shooter and admitted to firing gel pellets upon the victim.
A search of the vehicle uncovered a “Gel Blaster” plastic handgun and a package of water-based gel pellets.
Officer Dorio then placed Polanco under arrest.
The victim was evaluated by EMS and released.
Damian Polanco was charged with possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes, simple assault, disorderly conduct and released with an Aug. 23 court date.
The driver was not charged.
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