HAWORTH, N.J. -- After 20 minutes of volatile talks with an emotionally disturbed Haworth man wielding a Samurai sword, officers rushed him -- crashing through a glass shower door -- and took him into custody.
"I'm extremely proud of the restraint shown by my officers and those officers who responded from Closter, Demarest and Harrington Park," Police Chief Christopher Campbell told Daily Voice on Wednesday. "As a result, they were able to get this man the help he needs, instead of a much darker outcome."
Responding to family members' calls for help, Lt. Thomas Ryan and Officer James Divite found the 27-year-old man holding the three-foot-long weapon in the bathroom.
"He had just sharpened the sword," Detective Sgt. Justin Fox told Daily Voice. "The edge still had metal scrapings on it.
"He was holding it out, making threatening comments in regard to harming himself and the officers," Fox said.
Ryan began talking with him.
"He went from one extreme to the other, from calm to distraught," Fox said. "He kept taking the sword out and putting it back in the sheath, making gestures that he was possibly going to use it against them."
After about 20 minutes, Ryan got him to relax. He let his guard down for a moment and both Ryan and Divite, seeing he was distracted, rushed him, Fox said.
The man tried pulling the sword out again as the two officers crashed through the shower door and subdued him after a brief struggle, the sergeant said.
He was then taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center for an involuntary commitment.
No charges will be filed, Fox said.
"The key is getting him the help he needs," he said. "The officers used extreme restraint in de-escalating the situation. This could have turned out so much worse.
"We're all glad that it didn't."
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