Two of the three men accused in a robbery that saw an undercover police officer shot in a Bergen County shopping center parking lot Tuesday have pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, weapons, and robbery charges during their first court appearances Wednesday afternoon, nj.com reported.
Melvin Guzman, 19, of Garfield, and Patrick Morel, 21, of Clifton, appeared in a Bergen County courtroom filled with law enforcement officials, the report said.
The third man allegedly involved, Rafael Angel Vasquez, 25, did not appear in court as he remains in the hospital after being shot by police at the shopping center Monday, the report said. Vasquez – the alleged shooter – is also facing attempted murder charges, the report said.
Guzman and Morel are now being held on $750,000 bail, the report said. Bail was set at $2 million for Vasquez, it said.
According to nj.com, authorities announced that the unidentified officer is still in the hospital and will need to undergo additional surgeries, but is doing well and is in stable condition.
According to authorities, the Paramus officer was working with an undercover county task force Tuesday buying $400 worth of marijuana from Guzman, reports said. Vasquez allegedly approached the officer demanding money, and a shootout began when Vasquez got aggressive, authorities told nj.com.