A man wearing a white hoodie walked up to a silver Honda Accord outside the Caraballo’s Liquor Shop on Market Street late Friday night. He handed dollar bills to the driver and received a clear small plastic bag as police officers Rene Alicea and Christopher Polonkay watched the drug transaction.
Alicea and Polonkay activated the lights of their marked patrol car at about 10 p.m. and quickly got out to approach the Honda.
Jose R. Espinal-Henriquez, 23, of Paterson, became startled. As the two officers approached the front driver’s side of the vehicle and lit the interior with a flashlight, Espinal-Henriquez was seen fiddling with his waistband trying to hide a handgun inside his pants.
Both vigilant officers suspected a handgun. Alicea and Polonkay pulled the unlocked driver side door and removed Espinal-Henriquez from the car.
Espinal-Henriquez was frisked. A handgun was felt in his front waistband. A silver Smith & Wesson .40 cal. handgun, reported stolen out of Columbia, South Carolina, fell down his pants to his ankle, said police director Jerry Speziale. His pants