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Port Authority police cite ‘unruly’ Fort Lee situation in Marine gun trial

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! That’s my brother,” U.S. Marine MP Hisashi Pompey shouted at a trio of Port Authority police officers who said they saw a man with him throw a high-caliber handgun beneath a pickup truck during a melee behind the agency’s administration building near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.

Details of the Dec. 26, 2011 incident emerged during the first day of Pompey’s trial in Superior Court in Hackensack on charges of illegal weapons possession.

The three authority officers testified to what happened after Fort Lee police summoned them on a mutual aid call to the parking lot between Lemoine and Center avenues.

Before it was over, they said, Pompey and his friend, Isaiah Wilson, were in custody.

PAPD Officer Christopher Hicks testified that he saw Wilson throw the .40-cal. Glock handgun under the truck after first disobeying orders to hand it over, dropping a bullet into the chamber and then trying to run away.

Five officers grabbed Hicks moment later.

“It was a loud, drunk crowd,” PAPD Officer Daniel Espinosa testified, agreeing with defense attorney John Carbone that it involved “a lot of people” and was “a bad situation.”

He was supported by fellow Officer David Rodriguez, who said they responded to “a large crowd, a fight, and an unruly situation.”

“Oh my God – that man has a gun!” a woman at the scene shouted, Rodriguez said.

He and his colleagues unholstered their service weapons, he said.

“It got pretty chaotic,” Rodriguez testified. “People were running in every direction.”

Both Hicks and Espinosa said they saw Wilson with the gun and that he “chambered” a round.

At no point, they said, did Pompey have the gun.

Instead, they said, he interfered by shouting at them.

“He told me ‘I’m an MP. I’m a Marine. That’s my weapon’,” Espinosa testified. “I said: ‘Are you f*cking kidding me?  You better have some ID.”

Pompey, a onetime Paterson resident who now lives in Quantico, Va., is being tried on charges of having the gun without a New Jersey permit.

He and Wilson, a friend from years back in Paterson, were out for some holiday relaxation when they ran into some trouble at a Lemoine Avenue nighclub.

Hicks says that Wilson was struck in the head during the fight and had a gash severe enough that an ambulance had to take him to the hospital.

Wilson struck a deal late yesterday afternoon with Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Edward Burke, pleading guilty to weapons possession, for which he must serve a three-year state prison sentence with no parole eligibility.

Carbone told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that Pompey rejected a similar deal in an effort to avoid jail time, which most likely would end his client’s Marine Corps career.

The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow until mid-day, when Superior Court Judge Edward S. Jerejian said it will be adjourned until next Wednesday.

STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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