Employee Kept Arsenal, Including Assault Rifle, at Hospital, Police Say
A New Jersey hospital’s marketing director stockpiled an assault rifle fitted with a high-capacity magazine along with dozens of other guns and ammunition in an unlocked closet at his workplace, the police said on Tuesday.
The cache of weapons was found after Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, N.J., got a call last month warning of a bomb there, the police said. The threat turned out to be a hoax, but a police dog involved in a safety sweep of the hospital led officers to the guns, officials said.
The weapons recovered included 11 handguns of various calibers and 27 rifles and shotguns, including a Kriss Vector .45 caliber semiautomatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine, which the police determined to be an assault rifle. A 14-round high-capacity handgun magazine was also recovered, the police said.
On Sunday, the Secaucus police arrested the marketing director, Reuven Alonalayoff, at Newark Liberty International Airport and charged him with one count of possession of an assault weapon and two counts of possession of a high-capacity magazine, the town’s police chief, Dennis Miller, said in a news release.
“The unsecured storage of a large cache of weaponry, especially in this location, certainly creates a risk to public safety,” Chief Miller said in a statement. In a subsequent interview, the chief said Mr. Alonalayoff was not trying to flee from the authorities when he was arrested at the airport.
The chief declined to provide further details about the arrest, including how, when or why Mr. Alonalayoff had brought the guns to the hospital or what his plans for them were. Agents from the federal Homeland Security Department assisted in the arrest, the chief said.
Mr. Alonalayoff, 46, of Elmwood Park, N.J., could not be reached for comment. He was released and is scheduled to appear in Hudson County Superior Court on Aug. 22, officials said. It was not clear whether he had hired a lawyer.
Chief Miller said the other guns in the arsenal found at the hospital were legal in New Jersey, but it was not clear whether Mr. Alonalayoff owned them legally. The investigation was continuing, he said.
“There is no threat to the public at this moment,” the chief added.
A call seeking comment from the hospital, a privately owned, 204-bed facility on the Hackensack River about seven miles from Midtown Manhattan, was not returned.
Court records show that Mr. Alonalayoff, who is also known as Reuven Alon and Rob Alon, was among dozens of people and businesses named last year by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in a lawsuit that accused the defendants of submitting fraudulent claims for medical services related to car accidents.
A lawyer representing him in the matter did not respond to a request for comment.
Kirsten Noyes contributed research.