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Gun Found in Nutley Catch Basin

Public Works employees discover weapon while cleaning catch basin.

The gun found in Nutley yesterday morning is too damaged to be test-fired to see if the weapon matches any crimes committed, according to Nutley Police Chief John Holland.

Nutley Department of Public Works employees discovered a gun while cleaning out the catch basin on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Monsignor Owens Place this morning at approximately 9:30 a.m., according to Holland.

Holland said Tuesday morning, "The gun's been turned over to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, but it looks like the barrel is too clogged and jammed with debris. It would have to be reassembled to fire, and that appears unlikely."

Katherine Carter at the Prosecutor's Office could not be reached for comment. 

Holland said he was glad that the 32-caliber handgun was, “not operational.”

“It was missing the slide, and was pretty rusted,” Holland said in an interview this afternoon. He said exactly how old the gun might be or how long it had been there is not yet known.

The gun still had its serial number, which police officials checked in the police data base to see if it were ever reported stolen, but it had not been, Holland said.

Commissioner Joseph Scarpelli directs the Public Works Department. He said the gun was found by employee Marc Riccio. He and another worker were cleaning leaves and other debris from the catch basin, and the gun was found among the debris. The second employee was Bill Robertazzi, he said.

Scarpelli said his men told him “there were no bullets in the gun.”

“The first thing they did was call the police,” Scarpelli said this afternoon. “They did the right thing.”

Holland said he wanted the public to know the gun posed no danger.

“No one knows how it got there, or when,” Holland said. “We’re just glad it wasn’t usable.”

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