A new officer, just three weeks into his training, helped subdue a man with a a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Barnegat Police say the incident began as members of the Crime Reduction Unit were conducting an investigation Tuesday evening. They witnessed a Jeep driving recklessly, nearly striking several other vehicles.

Police pulled over the vehicle, driven by Hakeem Smith, 31, of Barnegat. Smith was uncooperative and had to be removed from the vehicle. As a struggle took place, police found and took custody of the handgun, that Smith had concealed on his body.

Barnegat Police Chief Chief Keith A. Germain praised his officers: "This is yet another example of our officers-- who in this case included one of our new officers in just his third week of training-- demonstrating outstanding police work to safely resolve a highly volatile situation."

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Smith has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail and faces numerous charges, including unlawful possession of a handgun (2nd degree), certain persons not to possess a firearm (4th degree), possession of hollow point ammunition (4th degree), eluding (3rd degree), resisting arrest (3rd degree), and possession of cocaine (3rd degree).

The case remains under investigation.



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