Emily GirschJul 11, 2018, 2:15 pmJul 11, 2018, 4:40 pm

Paterson expands it’s curfew in wake of recent violence

Store owner: ‘My customers are afraid.’

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PATERSON – The city of Paterson is expanding its curfew to the corner of Main and Weiss streets and in a school zone, after reports of the spike in crime. Businesses in the area will now be ordered to close at midnight, or the owners will receive summonses. Four non-fatal gunfights erupted in the area in the last eight months.

"No citizen in Paterson should live in fear and today we are letting students and parents and school 8 know that enough is enough and we are including main and Weiss in the commercial curfew," Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said.

The announcement was made in front of one liquor store where police have received numerous calls for service. Many of the liquor stores have remained open until as late as 3 a.m. in the past.

"In one of these establishments, somebody got into a fight, hit someone in the head with a firearm, the firearm went off where 40 people were inside, accidentally, and the gunshot went through and luckily didn't hit someone," Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said.

Nearby shop owners said the corner has become a hotbed for gunfights.

"Almost every night you hear something and it's always in that corner," Waitress Tracy Ramirez said.

Sam Scorpo, who ones a restaurant equipment store at the end of the block, said he closes at 7 p.m. now because it becomes too dangerous after dark.

"This corner's been a problem for the past 22 years I’ve been here," Scorpo said. "My customers are afraid to come in here because of the situation. I've complained hundreds and hundreds of times to the police."

Paterson police said they've seen a 79 percent decrease in crime in other corridors they selected during a 2014 ordinance.

"This is going to help us to curb crime, to make a safer Paterson. That's what this is all about," Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said.

Officials said banquet and catering halls will not be included in the curfew.

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