Troy Police: First city defendant charged under NYS SAFE Act

TROY, N.Y. — After receiving reports of shots fired around 8:30 Tuesday night, Troy Police arrested Raysheem Washington more than two hours later when they found a fully loaded .9mm handgun with a high capacity magazine in his possession.

Police remained vigilant following the unsolved shots fired call until patrols narrowed their efforts on a group of three male subjects at approximately 10:45 p.m. The shots fired call occurred at Jefferson and Third streets and the suspects had been seen walking in the area just south of that location when patrols blanketed the premises.

Police said that within minutes of their arrival, a group matching the description of the suspects implicated in the investigation was reported to have been walking on Second Street in the area of Madison Street. Shortly after, police said two of the suspects were safely detained, but the third suspect ran from the scene.

Officer Charles Rockwell pursued the suspect, who police now identify as 25-year-old Raysheem Washington of Troy. A struggle ensued between the two, until backup arrived to assist in the arrest. As officers attempted to cuff Washington, he reached for his right side, where officers discovered and secured a fully loaded .9mm handgun with 13 rounds of ammunition.

Officer Rockwell sustained a broken hand from the altercation. He was treated and released from Samaritan Hospital Tuesday night.

Washington was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd (large capacity ammunition feeding device), Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of Marijuana. He was arraigned Wednesday morning in Troy Police Court.

Those who support and oppose the SAFE Act both reacted to the arrest following the arraignment.

Some of those who oppose the newly introduced legislation say they believe it will fail to serve its purpose for those who are not fully informed of its intention. While others say those who own guns illegally as it stands, are unlikely to adhere to newer regulations outlining more stringent restrictions.

“The fellow in Troy is a good example of that, you know,” said Tom King, President of NYSRPA. “He obviously didn't obey the SAFE Act so what is the purpose?”

Proponents in support of the SAFE Act argued that the law had a very distinct purpose–to safeguard against violent crimes and excessive use of a weapon, since the new law limits the number of bullets deemed legal to seven rounds, lowered from ten.

“The intent behind the seven, as I understand it from the Governor who asked for this provision, is that you slow down any possibility of mass murder or sprees,” State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy said.

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