Orange police arrest armed Lyft passenger

ORANGE, NJ — On Tuesday, Jan. 5, members of the Orange Police Department Street Crimes Gang & Narcotics Task Force conducted a narcotics investigation on the 300 block of Cleveland Street, due to citizen complaints of open-air narcotics trafficking occurring at this location, according to a Jan. 6 press release from the police department.

During this surveillance, police observed a white 2019 Kia Forte with a Lyft light-up sign in the windshield pull in front of the target location. An unknown male exited the target location and waved the passenger inside. 

The passenger, later identified as Malik G. Tory, exited the rear passenger seat of the vehicle and approached the unknown male. Both males conversed for a short time, then Tory handed the unknown male money in exchange for an unknown item. Tory stuffed the item in the crotch area of his pants and walked back to the Lyft vehicle and entered the rear passenger seat. 

The vehicle then traveled south on Cleveland Street toward Alden Street. The Orange Police Department Street Crimes Gang & Narcotics Task Force was able to conduct a motor vehicle stop near the intersection of Alden and Cleveland streets. As they approached the rear of the vehicle, they noticed Tory reaching down, allegedly attempting to conceal something. Police ordered him out of the vehicle. As Tory exited the vehicle he dropped a black handgun, later revealed to be a loaded 9mm Ruger LCP that contained four hollow-point bullets, which are illegal in New Jersey. Tory was also found to have on his person 20 grams of raw crack-cocaine, and was taken into custody.

The charges against Tory are merely accusations; the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until he is found guilty or pleads guilty in a court of law.

Orange Police Director Todd Warren and Chief of Police Vincent Vitiello commended the detectives on removing controlled dangerous substances and another weapon off of the streets of the city of Orange.

“We are grateful that the driver, Mr. Aibangbee, was unharmed as our law enforcement officers were able to quickly and safely take an armed suspect off the streets of Orange,” Mayor Dwayne Warren said. “Congratulations to the Orange Police Department whose swift actions prevented what could have been a tragic outcome. And, a special thanks to Mr. Aibangbee, who cooperated with our officers during this incident.”

The drive, Bazoo Aibangbee, posted a video he took of the incident online; it can be viewed here:

In the video, Aibangbee can be heard thanking police officers. Accompanying the video, he wrote, “I just got saved by Orange, NJ, cops. I picked up a guy from Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair to Orange, not knowing what business he’s got until when I had to take him to his final destination. Soon as I drove down the block and made a right turn, the Orange police pulled me over. Next thing I knew was they tackled him down because he tried to run. A gun fell out of his pocket. That’s when I decided to record it on my phone. Somehow, a car slowed down by the cops and he ran away. The cops chased and caught him real quick. I’m so glad that I stopped immediately when they pulled me over.”