MAHWAH, N.J. – An armed 66-year-old Mahwah man bent on “suicide by cop” was subdued by township officers who rushed him using ballistic shields, authorities said Sunday.
The man’s daughter called police after fleeing his Fardale home around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, telling them that he said he was going to kill himself and had retrieved a gun case that she knew contained a rifle, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.
Responding officers “set up a perimeter, closed the street and surrounded the house,” Batelli said.
They “attempted to make contact via telephone but received no answer from the home,” he said.
The Bergen County SWAT Team was called and township police officer began evacuating surrounding houses when Officers Christopher Fasulo and John Lange saw him emerge from his house onto a rear deck, the chief said.
They tried talking to him, but he “refused to comply with their instructions,” Batelli said.
“He became increasingly agitated and began making gestures towards the officers, continually yelling at them for them to shoot him,” the chief said.
Unsure whether he had a weapon – and aware that he had several inside the house – Fasulo, Lange, Officer Tyler Boucher and Sgt. Michael Blondin rushed him using ballistic shields as cover, tackled him and took him into custody, Batelli said.
The Mahwah Ambulance Emergency Services Unit took him to Bergen Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment and the weapons were seized, he said.
Batelli commended his officer for “their professional response in defusing an extremely dangerous situation.”
ALSO SEE: A Mahwah police officer pushed a man out of the way of a speeding car driven by a drunk driver on the shoulder of Route 17 before it slammed into his patrol car, pushing it into a vehicle that had a 3-year-old girl in the back seat, authorities said.