Howell NJ police recently arrested a man accused of threatening himself with a gun during a frightening standoff.
The scary incident went down around 12:00 p.m. at an access point for the Manasquan Reservoir on Squankum-Yellowbrook Road in Howell, New Jersey. The suspect’s family called the Howell Township Police Department to report that he was missing. The family members also told police that the suspect was suicidal.
Investigators with the Howell Police Department were able to determine the suspect’s location by using cell phone “pings,” which can track the last signal from a particular cell phone. Once police knew the suspect’s location, they dispatched officers to the area.
When law enforcement got to the scene, they reportedly found the suspect sitting in a car and holding a handgun in his lap. The vehicle was parked in a small clearing at the end of a dirt road and the engine was still running.
Several Howell Township police officers surrounded the suspect’s motor vehicle and pleaded with him to surrender peacefully.
The standoff lasted for approximately two hours, with the suspect allegedly keeping the gun on his lap for most of that time. At various moments, the suspect appeared to doze off or fall asleep, leading police officers to believe that he may have been intoxicated or high on drugs.
During the standoff, Howell police closed off part of Squankum-Yellowbrook Road so that drivers would not be put at risk. There was also concern that school buses from nearby schools might place students in jeopardy by driving past the suspect.
The 45-year-old suspect, who resides in Howell NJ, eventually surrendered to law enforcement. He was subsequently taken to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, which is located in Neptune, New Jersey. Doctors at the hospital reportedly evaluated the suspect and treated him for psychological issues.
Criminal Charges in the Case?
It has been reported by Howell police that the suspect legally owned the firearm, so he is unlikely to face criminal charges for unlawful possession of a weapon. However, it is possible that he could still be charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 if it is determined that he used the handgun to threaten police officers or anyone else.
Additionally, the suspect could potentially be charged with making terroristic threats under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3. However, since the suspect never actually pointed the gun at police officers, it is possible that Monmouth County prosecutors will decline to file criminal charges for terroristic threats.
For additional information about this case, check out the following article: Suicidal man with gun holds police in standoff