Orta and a teenage woman, identified by police as Alba Lekaj, were arrested just before 10 p.m., in front of 61 Central Ave., after leaving the nearby Hotel Richmond.
An NYPD spokeswoman said Orta and Ms. Lekaj were observed entering the hotel, an area known for drug activity, and exiting moments later. As officers from the Staten Island Narcotics Unit approached the pair, they observed Orta put an object in Ms. Lekaj's waistband, the spokeswoman said.
Police identified the object as an unloaded .25 caliber Norton handgun that had been reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, the spokeswoman said.
"The arrest of Ramsey Orta for criminal possession of a firearm only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition in that community," New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement connecting Orta's arrest to Eric Garner's death. Garner was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes.
Orta reportedly faces three other pending criminal cases. Per a "law-enforcement official" who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, Orta was charged in May for "robbery with a box cutter" and in June 2013 for gun possession after allegedly threatening to kill someone.