Fugitives In 7-Hour SWAT Hotel Standoff Had Dead Hand Grenade, 8 Loaded Guns, $36K, Police Say

A pair of fugitives were busted with a dead hand grenade, eight loaded weapons, more than $36,000 in cash, drugs and more during a 7-hour standoff that evacuated a North Jersey hotel Sunday night, authorities said Monday.

Haneefha S. White, and Rahim Harris
Haneefha S. White, and Rahim Harris Photo Credit: Google Maps/Secaucus PD

Rahim Harris, 42, of Newark, and  Haneefha S. White, 39, of Johnstowns, PA, were arrested after a more than 7-hour standoff at the Extended Stay Hotel on Plaza Drive, Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller said.

Police received a tip around 7 p.m. saying that Harris -- who had been wanted out of Essex County on charges of aggravated assault -- was staying at the hotel. 

White, who was wanted for failure to appear out of Luzerne County, PA, was with him, police said.

After confirming the tip, members of the Secaucus Police Department and Hudson County Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter around the hotel.

The Hudson County Regional and Hudson County Sheriff's SWAT teams mobilized, and rooms around the one where Harris and White were staying were evacuated.

Police were able to reach White in the room over the phone around 7:10 p.m., but she refused to leave, and negotiators from the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team were called in, Miller said.

White and Harris had firearms and at least one hand grenade, and told police they were after a "violent confrontation," the chief said.

"Due to the inherent danger of potential explosives, a full evacuation of the Extended Stay Hotel was undertaken and the Jersey City Police Department’s Bomb Squad responded," Miller said.

"Evacuees were transported by a New Jersey Transit bus to other nearby hotels."

White surrendered at 1:56 a.m., without resorting to any force, while Harris surrendered at 2:29 a.m., also without resorting to force.

During a search of the room, the Jersey City Police Department’s Bomb Squad found one hand grenade that was determined to be inert, Miller said.

According to Miller, authorities also recovered the following weapons:

  • .223 caliber, American Tactical Milisport semi-automatic rifle loaded with 30 rounds
  • stolen .357 caliber Glock Model 32 semi-automatic handgun loaded with 22 rounds
  • loaded .40 caliber Smith and Wesson SD40VE semi-automatic handgun
  • 5.7 caliber FN Herstal model 57 semi-automatic handgun loaded with 20 armor piercing rounds
  • loaded .380 caliber Taurus Model PT738 semi-automatic handgun
  • .223 caliber Sig Saur Rattler semi-automatic rifle loaded with a 60 round “drum” magazine
  • loaded 12 gauge Mossberg Model 500 pump action shotgun 
  • loaded .410 Gauge American Tactical, Omni-Hybrid semi-automatic rifle. 

More than $36,900 in cash was seized was also seized, and White was in possession of ecstasy, along with bogus driver’s licenses from Delaware and Florida, police said.

“Due to patience, restraint and professionalism of every law enforcement officer who responded to this incident, it was brought to a safe conclusion without any injury or any force being used,” Miller said. “

I would like to personally thank the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Jersey City Police Department, New Jersey Transit Police, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Newark Division, along with Hudson Regional Hospital EMS and Secaucus and Jersey City Fire Departments for their assistance during this protracted event. This protracted event highlights the inherent danger law enforcement faces with the intent to always protect the sanctity of human life.”

"This is another example of negotiation and de-escalation tactics and training leading to a non-violent conclusion without any use of force," said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.  

"I commend the women and men of all agencies who responded for their professionalism in this incident which also resulted in the removal of numerous illegal firearms​."

Both Harris and White were charged with with four counts of Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, three counts of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Receiving Stolen Property, Unlawful Possession of High Capacity Magazines, Possession of Armor Piercing Ammunition, Transporting Assault Firearms, Transporting High Capacity Magazines, Money Laundering and Obstructing the Administration of Law.

Harris was also charged with eight counts of Certain Persons Not to Possession Firearms, while White was additionally charged with two counts of Possession of False Government Documents, and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Both defendants were lodged in the Hudson County Correctional Facility.

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