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News

STANDOFF CONTINUES: NJ Resident Turns Flamethrower On SWAT Team

Robert Condit Robert Condit
Robert Condit Photo Credit: FACEBOOK (Anonymous) / INSET: MUGSHOT
Robert Condit Robert Condit
Robert Condit Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

UPDATE: A Lyndhurst man was charged with two counts of attempted murder for firing a flamethrower at SWAT team members during a 21-hour standoff.

Robert C. Condit, 51, was also charged with nine counts of possession of prohibited weapons and ammunition, aggravated assault, violating a court order, obstruction of the law and unlawful use of a body vest, among other counts, criminal records in Superior Court in Hackensack show.

Condit, who reportedly was angered after a judge ordered him to surrender his weapons, remained held in the Bergen County Jail on Thursday, May 5, after an exhaustive standoff that ended with his arrest the day before. READ MORE....

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ORIGINAL STORY:  A Lyndhurst man who fired a flamethrower at a SWAT team during a standoff that lasted 21 hours surrendered peacefully.

Robert C. Condit, 51, who reportedly was angered at being ordered by a judge to surrender his weapons, forced a lockdown of the neighborhood around his Thomas Avenue home shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Negotiations that lasted throughout the night and the morning ended at 1:12 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella confirmed.

Condit -- who'd posted photos of two of his rifles on Facebook -- had been ordered to surrender his guns as part of an undisclosed court decision, multiple law enforcement sources told Daily Voice.

However, when police arrived at 4:13 p.m. Tuesday, he turned a flamethrower on members of a Bergen County Regional SWAT team and retreated into his home after they and their colleagues from the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Response Team approached.

The moment was captured on a video that quickly went viral.

Condit was believed to have a collection of weapons possibly numbering in the dozens, including rifles and pistols. Authorities were also concerned about how much gasoline he had in the home.

The tactical officers pulled back and negotiators from their unit took over.

Also responding were Lyndhurst firefighters, members of both the Bergen County SWAT and Regional Crisis Negotiation teams and standby EMS.

All of the usual precautions were taken to protect them and the public.

"Several neighbors had to leave their homes for the evening for fear of a shootout going down," one resident reported. "We hunkered down in a single room for the night."

A Facebook video shows Condit -- wearing a jacket that says "Gun For Hire" on the back -- firing the flamethrower in front of that same address.

"When Bobby gets bored lol," the post reads.

Another video shows him repeatedly firing the weapon in the backyard.

"Robert Condit has found the solution to 4-7 inches of snow tonight!" the poster wrote.

"Wanna hit it?" Condit asks a friend.

In a Facebook comment, Condit wrote: "I purchased it on GunBroker. it's an ion xm42. legal in 49 states."

Early on, the borough officers got Condit's grandmother out of the home, leaving him alone.

Roughly halfway through the standoff, police who'd become concerned over the gasoline used their fortified vehicle to ram the garage door open -- ostensibly to "open up some air in there," an officer with direct knowledge of the operation said.

They also towed Condit's truck from the driveway.

Someone who knows Condit said his mother and other family members went to the house, "but the police are keeping them away.

"I’m sure you and others won’t believe this, but he really is a good guy," the poster added. "I’m not sure what happened to cause this. I’m hoping this ends peacefully."

A quick video of the flamethrower being fired at Lyndhurst SWAT team members as they approached the house late Tuesday afternoon went viral.

Lyndhurst police issued a unique plea on social media on Tuesday, urging residents to remain in their homes "for the time being" because of what was an "ongoing, dynamic situation."

"This not only prevents any unnecessary traffic in the area," they wrote, "but ensures all parties near the scene remain safe."

They also asked that anyone in the neighborhood who needed to leave their home "for relocation or for an urgent matter" contact the police department at a special phone number.

"If appropriate and if possible, we will attempt to make arrangements to safely remove you from the affected streets," they added.

The area remained locked down past noon Wednesday as talks continued.

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ALSO SEE: A Fair Lawn man was being held in connection with the shooting death of his uncle in the Bronx. READ MORE....

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