On 10/24/15 at 1:50a.m., Newton Police responded to the rear parking lot of Merriam Gateway Apartments located at 69-75 Sparta Avenue for a report of a fight in progress. Upon patrols arrival, witness interviews and investigation revealed that the physical altercation was between a 16 year old and a 19 year old, later identified to be Brandon Weller of Mt. View Street, Newton and they had been consuming alcohol together.
Both subjects were present at the scene, lying in the parking lot and complaining of pain as a direct result of the altercation with one another. As patrols approached them, a .357 magnum revolver was observed in the juvenile’s waistband. The loaded firearm was immediately seized and secured. Police later confirmed that the firearm was legally owned by the juvenile’s father and had been taken from a locked vault by the youth without his father’s knowledge or consent. The weapon was not displayed or used in the fight. Witnesses at the scene confirmed that both males were mutually fighting with each other prior to patrols arrival on scene and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.
As a result, Weller was arrested and charged with:
N.J.S. 2C:12-1a(1) Simple Assault (Petty Disorderly Persons Offense) and released.
The male juvenile was treated and released at Newton Medical Center, arrested and charged with the following offenses before being released into the custody of a parent.
N.J.S. 2C:20-2.1b Theft of a Firearm (3rd Degree)
N.J.S. 2C:39-5 Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (2nd Degree)
N.J.S. 2C:39-3f Possession of Prohibited Bullets (Hollow Points)
N.J.S. 2C:12-1a(1) Simple Assault (Petty Disorderly Persons)
Sgt. Scott King, Ptl. Michael Wolanski, Ptl. Jose Morales, DSG. Dean Coppolella