WYCKOFF, N.J. -- A rookie Wyckoff police officer on patrol for less than two weeks took an illegal gun off the streets during a routine traffic stop.
Patrolman Joseph Fullam clocked a vehicle speeding on Monroe Avenue around 11 a.m. on Saturday and pulled it over on Russell Avenue near Helena Avenue, Police Chief Benjamin C. Fox said Monday.
As he approached the car, Fox said, Fullam spotted the driver "reaching under the area of the console."
As they spoke, the office noticed the smell of marijuana, he said.
Sgt. Daniel Kellogg and Officer Robert Schlossberg arrived, and the driver -- identified as 22-year-old old Mickel K. Morgan of Paterson -- "began to be argumentative with the officers," Fox said.
They ordered him out of the car, patted him down -- and found a fully-loaded .38-caliber handgun in a jacket pocket, the chief said.
In the car they found a 17-inch machete that Morgan "said he carried for protection," Fox said.
Morgan was taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center under police guard after a judge ordered him held on $25,000 bail, charged with a variety of weapons offenses.
The incident "is an example of the dangers that police officers everywhere face each and every day," Fox said. "If not for the good work of the officers involved with this, it could have very easily turned into a very bad situation."
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