09/16/2007

4 N.J. officers injured in ''mob uprising''

The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY, N.J. Apropos of the words "Bullet Town" scrawled on a stone wall in the courtyard of the Booker T. Washington Housing Complex in Jersey City, a wild series of events at the complex on Thursday resulted in at least seven arrests, four police officers injured and an uprising against the Jersey City police.

"The string of incidents began in Jersey City Heights, after Ryan Harris was accused by his girlfriend of hitting her and taking her money, police spokesman Lt. Edgar Martinez said.

At 1 p.m., police found Harris at the housing complex with Travis Booker, 18, Martinez said.

Both men put up a fight when police officers attempted to arrest Harris, Martinez said.

At one point, Booker grabbed a gun from the holster of the one of the police officers, according to reports.

Harris was eventually subdued and charged with domestic violence, assault and possession of a weapon, Martinez said. But Booker escaped into the housing complex, apparently without the police weapon, according to reports,

The fight left one officer with knee and elbow injuries, another with injuries to the body and a third with head lacerations, reports said. They were all treated and released from Jersey City Medical Center, according to police.

At about 5:30 p.m., police returned to the housing complex because they heard Booker, known as "Fat Cat," was in an apartment, according to reports.

As some cops searched for "Fat Cat," other officers were met with an angry mob of 200 to 300 people, reports said.

The mob shoved, pushed, kicked and punched police, and shouted "Get the (expletive) out of here," reports said. One detective suffered a hyper-extended elbow, and officers recovered a handgun from the melee, Martinez said.

It couldn''t be determined yesterday from reports how many people were arrested in this incident.

Neither Martinez nor Jersey City Housing Authority Executive Director Maria Maio had an explanation for why the mob formed.

Earlier, officers arrested 20-year-old Jaquan Mixson and a 17-year-old. They were both charged for obstructing the police search for Booker.

Booker is wanted for aggravated assault of an officer, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct, Martinez said.

About 30 residents of the housing complex attended a meeting yesterday morning with Police Chief Tom Comey and East District Commander Brian McDonough, who said they would add police patrols at the complex, officials said.

Copyright 2007 The Jersey Journal

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