2 found with weapons, high capacity magazines in Bridgeport gang-related arrest
BRIDGEPORT — With an arrest Tuesday night, police said they blocked two men from escalating recent gang violence in the city.
“Our guys did a great job,” Police Chief Armando Perez said Wednesday. “These two men were out to shoot specific people that had been targeted.”
Perez said the arrests are part of an effort by the police department to end the violence that has already claimed two lives and injured several people.
“It is a mandate from my office to take these people off the street, Perez said.
Police said the violence apparently is related to a feud between groups of young men associated with the Trumbull Gardens, Greene Homes and P.T. Barnum housing projects.
Taron Pharr, 20, of uncertain address, and Jaylen Wilson, 21, of Bank Street, Derby, were taken into custody following a pursuit into the Trumbull Gardens housing project, police said.
Police said the sports utility vehicle the two men were in was found to contain three handguns with extended magazines and drugs.
Pharr and Wilson were charged with interfering with police, stealing a firearm, illegal possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, illegal possession of large capacity magazines and possession of narcotics.
During their arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti Jr. said both men posed a risk to the community by their alleged actions.
“They had high-capacity weapons to do a shooting,” the prosecutor said.
Pharr’s public defender argued that her client had been in the city to attend a family funeral.
Superior Court Judge Kevin Doyle ordered Pharr held in lieu of $500,000 bond and Wilson, $350,000 bond and continued the case to July 28.
According to police, on Tuesday, members of the department’s Tactical Narcotics Team received information that Pharr and Wilson were en route to the Trumbull Gardens housing project.
TNT members, along with Capt. Brian Fitzgerald, the supervisor of the detective bureau, went to the housing project and spotted the reported vehicle, a gray Mazda SUV with tinted windows, turning onto Trumbull Avenue, police said. They began to follow the Mazda, which sped up before abruptly turning into a parking lot on Trumbull Avenue.
Police said Pharr and Wilson jumped out of the SUV and began running into the housing project, a mix of multi-story buildings and two-story townhouses.
Police said the officers lost sight of the two men and called in a K-9 unit to track them. They said the dog, Uno, hugged the side of a group of townhouse buildings before making his way into the gated yard at one of the buildings.
Officers surrounded the building as, police said, Lt. John Cummings knocked on the door of the residence.
Police said the tenant answered the door but refused to allow the officers to come inside.
Police said officers waited outside and after a short time, Pharr and Wilson came out of the building and surrendered without incident.
Police said when they searched the SUV, they found the handguns loaded with extended magazines and bags containing crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana.