Bergen County Police Dispatcher Helps to Defuse Dangerous Situation Involving Suicidal Man Armed with Semi-Automatic Handgun in Westwood
By Travis Tormey posted in Weapons Offenses on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A Bergen County Police Department dispatcher used calming words to help avert potential disaster after a drunken Westwood man threatened to kill himself with a loaded semi-automatic handgun.
Cindy Seidel, a veteran dispatcher, took the call at the Bergen County Public Safety Operations Center in Mahwah. The caller was a distraught 52-year-old man who had used his cell phone to dial 911.
Ms. Seidel kept the caller on the line while alerting police.
After becoming aware of the situation, Westwood police officers rushed to the Dean Street home. They were assisted by police officers from Hillsdale and River Vale.
After approximately 15 minutes of negotiations, the man put down his gun and surrendered to the officers.
Officers later discovered that the man had positioned several other loaded firearms in a path leading from his front porch into his house.
Early indications are that all of the weapons are legally registered. If it is discovered that any of the weapons was not legally registered, the man could be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. In New Jersey, unlawful possession of a weapon is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. A conviction for fourth degree illegal gun possession in New Jersey can result in stiff penalties, including a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
After being restrained, the suicidal man was taken to the Bergen Regional Medical Center for observation and treatment.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Man with 20 Guns Talked Out of Suicide by Police Dispatcher.“