NJ prosecutors drop gun charges against armed security guard
ELIZABETH — Prosecutors are using their discretion to drop charges a week after Roselle Park police arrested an armed security guard for carrying a licensed handgun.
Roosevelt Twyne, a 25-year-old resident of Roselle and an armed Brinks guard with a license to carry a firearm for work, was pulled over Feb. 8.
Twyne told police that he had a loaded handgun in a holster that he was wearing.
Because his carry permit stated that he was allowed to carry a weapon while on duty for Brinks, police charged him with fourth-degree unlawful transportation of a firearm and possession of hollow-point bullets.
The hollow-point bullets charge was dismissed earlier this week after investigators realized that the ammunition in fact was not hollow but polymer-filled.
On Friday, prosecutors in Union County announced that they also would be dropping the remaining firearm charge because it was "not in the interests of justice to continue his prosecution."
Twyne's attorney, Evan Nappen, told New Jersey 101.5 earlier this week that the carry permit allowed Twyne to drive home from work with his weapon and that police were trying to turn a law-abiding citizen "into a felon overnight."
The Union County Prosecutor's Office, however, said Friday that probable cause existed to arrested to Twyne, and that he should have transported the weapon in a lockbox while driving to and from work.
"That investigation confirmed the limitations placed on Mr. Twyne’s carry permit, namely that Mr. Twyne was permitted to carry a weapon 'only while in the performance of duties during working hours at Brinks' and that 'Brink’s [sic.] will be responsible for the adequate safeguarding of the weapon during periods when employee is off duty,'" the prosecutor's office said.
Prosecutors said that Twyne, who was stopped about 15 minutes after he left his job, was cooperative with police and "responsibly reported the presence of his weapon to the officers involved."
"In light of that investigation, this office has concluded that, although probable cause existed to arrest and charge Mr. Twyne at the time of his arrest, it is not in the interests of justice to continue his prosecution," prosecutors said in a written statement released Friday.
"In particular, this office notes that the motor vehicle stop occurred shortly after Mr. Twyne had left work; that he possessed a gun box, which, if utilized, would have made it legal for him to transport the firearm home; that there is no evidence one way or another as to whether his failure to utilize the gun box was intentional; and that at no point during the motor vehicle stop did he pose any danger to the police officers involved."
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.