A potential tragedy was averted after two Elmwood Park police officers came face-to-face Saturday with an agitated ex-con threatening them with a pair of knives, authorities said.
"Get the f*** out of my house!" Brian Rodriguez, 33, shouted as he descended the stairs toward them inside his mother's Obal Avenue home, Police Chief Michael Foligno said.
Coolly and calmly, the officers backed out, Foligno said.
A 6½-hour standoff followed, with negotiators trying to talk Rodriguez out, before a SWAT team stormed the house and seized him without incident.
Rodriguez was alone upstairs when officers responded to his mother's call for a welfare check shortly after 1 p.m., the chief said.
He'd been "acting strangely and seemed dangerous," the mother told them.
Rodriguez, who was known to police from previous calls, was five steps up from them when the officers entered.
"He started coming toward them with the knives," Foligno said, "so they decided to back out and call SWAT."
Rodriguez then retreated upstairs, he said.
He didn't have a cellphone -- only a landline downstairs -- and spent part of the time at first shouting out the window at police, neighbors said.
Negotiators got Rodriguez a phone and tried talking him out, Foligno said, but he wasn't budging.
Finally, around 7:30 p.m., the SWAT team fired in a half-dozen tear-gas cannisters, he said.
Rodriguez retreated to a third-floor bedroom and barricaded himself in, Foligno said.
So SWAT team members forced their way in and took him into custody without incident, the chief said.
Rodriguez was taken to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center pending charges.
Meanwhile, "everyone went home safely," Foligno said. "That's all you could ask for.
"We have some of best most professional law enforcement right here in Northern New Jersey, including the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team and other agencies that assisted today," the chief said. "We always come together to get the job done -- and do it safely and professionally."
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