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Driver, 58, Gets Worst Of Elmwood Park Brawl With Passaic Sheriff's Detectives

Roger Gulbrandsen / INSET: Adam I. Omar (l), Dean Kousa
Roger Gulbrandsen / INSET: Adam I. Omar (l), Dean Kousa Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

A 58-year-old Paterson driver got the worst of a brawl with Passaic County sheriff’s detectives who chased him to Elmwood Park following a drug deal, authorities said.

The investigators watched as Roger Gulbrandsen stopped a Range Rover in front of a storefront on Main Street in Paterson, where another driver, 23-year-old Dean M.Kousa from Wayne, had parked a short time earlier, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

After a brief drug deal with Kousa’s passenger, 20-year-old Adam I. Omar of Fair Lawn, Omar, Gulbrandsen sped off, followed by Detective Sgt. Americo Escobar and Detectives Joseph Royce and Ruben Rios, the sheriff said.

Meanwhile, Detective Commander Stephan Lantigua and Detective Jose Rosado followed Kousa’s black Nissan Altima before pulling it over at Getty and Buffalo avenues.

In the car, they found 14 six-gram cartridges of liquid TCH and 13 clear bags containing more than two ounces of pot, Berdnik said.

The pair also was carrying $635 in drug proceeds, which was confiscated along with the drugs, the sheriff said.

Gulbrandsen, meanwhile, sped onto eastbound Route 80, where Escobar terminated the chase because of public safety concerns, Berdnik said.

The detectives saw Gulbrandsen’s Range Rover turn off at Exit 61, where it got stuck in traffic, he said.

When they reached him, Gulbrandsen “immediately began swinging at the detectives and striking them,” Berdnick said.

He kept punching as they all fell to the ground, then was subdued and taken into custody, the sheriff said.

Escobar, Royce and Gulbrandsen were all treated for various injuries at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Berdnik said.

Omar was being held at the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing, on drug charges.

Kousa was released pending a hearing on drug charges.

Gulbrandsen was released, as well, pending a hearing on three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest.

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