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‘Chemo bio fire cannot be subdued’ writes barricaded Mahwah man taken into custody by SWAT team

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: “Chemo bio fire cannot be subdued” read a warning note found along with a gas mask and other items attached to the front door of a emotionally disturbed biochemical engineer who was finally taken into custody this afternoon after an hours-long scare at a Mahwah condominium complex.

Police who knocked on the door just after 8:30 a.m. said 27-year-old Maksim Burakhovich partially opened it, then quickly slammed it shut and threw the dead bolt.

They tried to get him to open the door but he refused, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said tonight.

Thus began the incident at the Society Hill condominium complex on Juniper Way.

Seven hours later, Burakhovich was found naked in the corner of a living room in an adjoining condo he’d broken into, Batelli said.

The officers wrapped him in a sheet and led him to a waiting ambulance, which took Burakhovich to Bergen Regional Medical Center for evaulation, the chief said.

“He has a long psychiatric history,” Batelli said. “We’ve been there many times.”


A resident of the condo complex told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that she and a neighbor noticed the gas mask taped to the door this morning.

My neighbor said, ‘I don’t like the looks of that’,” she said. “So she called the police.”

In addition to the gas mask, officers found a bag of bullets, a chemical engineering degree, a rifle flash suppressor attachment and the handwritten note, Batelli said late this afternoon.

They immediately evacuated three buildings, relocating 45 or so residents to the township Senior Center until the ordeal had ended.

Burakhovich, who claims to be a married Mahwah High School (2005) and NJIT (2011) graduate, didn’t respond after several hours of attempts to reach him “via cell phone, house phone and with a bull horn,” the chief said.

So Bomb Squad members deployed a bomb robot that was blocked by mattresses and a TV placed in its way.

When they finally went in, Batelli said, the officers shot pepper spray before advancing.

They then discovered that Burakhovich had climbed a dropped staircase to the attic, then cut his way through sheetrock to an adjoining attic. They found him naked in a living room corner of the neighboring unit, Batelli said.

After draping him in the sheet, the officers led Burakhovich out, the chief said.

“He offered no resistance and was taken into custody without making any statements,” Batelli said, adding that he’d apparently cut and bruised himself on his hands, back and chest climbing through the broken wall.

Batelli said his parents, who own the unit where he lived, had urged Burakhovich to seek psychological counseling after he’d stopped taking his medication. They rushed to the scene today, the chief said.

Criminal charges were pending, he said.

Burakhovich’s Facebook page is a series of often-bizarre posts — dozens in a single day — that refer to world events, the firing capability of certain weapons and other matters, some of which involve racist terms.

“the hispanic doctor put an iphone inside my brains and sewed it with a crucifix,” he wrote last month on his Facebook page.

A week earlier, he posted the photo of a revolver box with the comment: “you can get r44 caliber evolvers from here, and on the notion that brass can not handle the 44 caliber bullets through a conversion cylinder(R&D), it defininitely does i fired it and it shot well”

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