Paterson man traps would-be robber in ATM vestibule

A Paterson man was able to trap a would-be robber inside this ATM vestibule on Market Street.

A Paterson man was able to trap a would-be robber inside this ATM vestibule on Market Street. (8/11/16)

PATERSON - A quick-thinking Paterson resident was able to foil a robbery by trapping the would-be criminal.

Paterson police say that around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday Lester Mooring walked up to Paterson resident Franklin Valdez inside a Chase Bank ATM vestibule on Market Street and demanded money.

Police say that Valdez refused, and he and Mooring began struggling. Mooring allegedly got ahold of Valdez’s bank card, but Valdez was able to trap him inside the vestibule by jamming the door with his foot.

"I think that it was smart the way he did it.  The individual stepped out and said you know what, let me jam this door, get 911 responding,” says Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale.

According to Speziale, when officers arrived at the scene, they ordered Mooring to sit down so they could put him in handcuffs. But instead, he allegedly started screaming and ran for the door that connects into the bank. He apparently broke the glass with his body.

"The officers are now struggling with somebody on broken jagged glass, somebody could have been seriously hurt,” Speziale says.

The officers were able to subdue Mooring and arrested him. He will face several charges. No one was seriously hurt.

Police say that it is important for the public to be aware of their surroundings when using ATMs.

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