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Gun-busting cop of the month

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Two patrol cops doing a routine car stop got more than they bargained for, and in doing so received “Cop of the Month” certificates at the recent 70th Precinct Community Council meeting.

The incident unfolded at about 9:20 p.m. May 14 when patrol officers Aaron Lucas and Gladstone Haynes observed a car running a red light at Avenue N and East 21st Street.

Upon approaching the vehicle, Lucas observed a black handgun on the floor in the rear of the vehicle, and discreetly alerted Haynes of his observation, according to police.

Then the two, acting upon their police training, quickly arrested the perpetrator without incident.

Upon further search of the vehicle, police recovered three black pellet guns, three knives and two bags of marijuana from the vehicle.

Inspector Ralph Monteforte, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, said that considering the weapons recovered it is possible the perpetrator could be responsible for several robberies and other crimes in the area.

Monteforte also noted the inherent danger for police in making car stops. It was a car stop that resulted in the shooting death of Officer Russel Timoshenko -- the last police officer killed in the line of duty.

“Car stops are very dangerous and police doing them have to be tactically sound. Whatever they were taught in the academy has to be brought back into the street,” said Monteforte.

Haynes, originally from Guyana, has been a New York City cop for the past three years, and he follows in the footsteps of his father who was in the Guyanese police force.

Lucas is originally from California and has been a member of the NYPD for less than two years.

“I came out here because my significant other had a job in New York City,” said Lucas, adding that he was in the technology industry before changing careers and becoming a cop.

“I always wanted to be a cop. My father and uncle are police officers in Riverside outside of L.A. [Los Angeles],” said Lucas.

Both Lucas and Haynes said in making car stops they rely on their police tactics, instincts and trusting each other.

“The biggest misconception [about police] is how long it takes and how much paper work it takes to get things done,” said Lucas.

“You watch a one-hour cop show and they arrest all kinds of people in an hour, and it doesn’t work like that. It’s a very long process,” he added.

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