HAZLET – On Wednesday at 3:16 p.m., Hazlet Police said they received a call from a concerned Holmdel woman that her 44-year old friend staying at the Best Western Hazlet Inn was suicidal, and possibly armed with a handgun or a rifle.
At the scene, police said they determined the Freehold Township man was depressed, and they arranged transport to Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel for a psychiatric evaluation.
While they were at the Route 35 hotel with the man, police said they discovered he was in possession of a loaded handgun and an unloaded M4 carbine rifle.
The pistol had seven hollow point .40 caliber bullets, which is illegal to have, and it had a 12-round capacity magazine, according to the police report.
Under a new law passed by Gov. Phil Murphy on June 13, all magazines that carry more than ten rounds are banned except for current and retired law enforcement. Existing higher capacity magazines must be either rendered to hold no more than 10 rounds, or disposed of by the end of the 180-day grace period, which was Dec. 10, 2018. “He was probably one of the first to be charged with this new law,” said Hazlet Police Lt. Scott Mura.
The man admitted to having the handgun, which was loaded and right next to him, but denied having the rifle, which was found hidden in the room, according to Mura.
Both guns were registered to the owner, but neither guns nor ammunition were properly stored in separate locked cases, Mura said.
After the suicide check, Hazlet Ptl. Douglas Centrone placed the man under arrest. After consultation with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Hazlet Police charged the man with possession of hollow point bullets, a prohibited large capacity ammo magazine, and unlawful possession of the unsecured handgun and rifle. They are indictable offenses, according to the police report.
The man was processed and fingerprinted and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institute without incident at 5:05 p.m., according to Ptl. Carbone. A Feb. 12, 2019 court date was set in Superior Court, Freehold.