Paterson officials to enact curfew for some city businesses

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PATERSON -

Some businesses in Paterson may face a curfew due to the amount of crime in the area.

The two blocks surrounding Main and Weiss streets in Paterson have been designated a crime hotspot. In about a month, officials say that businesses in the area must close by midnight or face a $2,000 fine.

Savco Restaurant Equipment owner Sam Scorpo says that he used to close his business by 10 p.m., but has been closing earlier due to the amount of violence in the area. He says that there are typically dozens of people standing around outside late and night and that gunfire breaks out often.

“That bagel shop, where it says Ramirez Bagel, you see the [bullet hole] on the glass? During the daytime. During the daytime, we’re talking about. Not at night,” Scorpo says.

Police say that there have been four non-fatal shootings in the area in the last eight months.

"We want to let those students and parents know that today we're saying ‘Enough is enough’ in this area,” says Paterson Mayor Andrew Sayegh.

The curfew also applies to city residents. Anyone caught standing around outside after midnight may also face a fine. The police will patrol the hotspots every hour.

“When you start getting tickets for $500 to sit outside a closed bar or closed bodega, all of a sudden you don’t want to hang out there.”

But business owner Hector Santana, who already closes his shop by 10 p.m., says that he wonders if the trouble will just move to another area of the city.

“They’re going to shift somewhere else and then they’re going to cause problems somewhere else,” he says. “I just think they need to deal with the individual who’s creating the problem and fix that problem.”

This will be the 18th designated crime hotspot in Paterson. Officials say that they are looking to expand the curfew to a yet-to-be named area as well.

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