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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake
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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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UPDATE: Barricaded Park Ridge Gun Collector, 32, Surrenders Peacefully

Johnsvale Road, Park Ridge
Johnsvale Road, Park Ridge Photo Credit: Googlemaps

UPDATE: An agitated weapons collector who barricaded himself in a Park Ridge basement with a loaded gun during a family dispute finally emerged peacefully nearly 2½ hours later, thanks to a local police sergeant, authorities said.

The 32-year-old former U.S. Army veteran had been drinking when he had words with his mother, grabbed a rifle and went to the basement of the Johnsvale Road home around 9:15 p.m., they said.

Police were aware that he had "a large cache of weapons at the ready," Police Chief Joseph Madden said Friday morning.

Inside the house were at least 30 legally-registered weapons and a considerable amount of ammunition, a law enforcement official told Daily Voice.

"Family members who made the initial call exited the residence and were brought to safety," Madden said, noting that members of neighboring police departments helped his officers establish a perimeter.

A Bergen County Regional SWAT team and Crisis Negotiation unit arrived soon after, joined by members of the county prosecutor's and sheriff's offices.

"A reverse 911 message was sent to the surrounding neighborhood advising everyone to stay indoors," Madden noted.

The man told negotiators he wanted to speak with Park Ridge Police Sgt. John Szot, whom he personally knows, the chief said.

He was taken to New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus after Szot talked him out, Madden said.

Charges weren't likely.

"He didn't fire the weapon, he didn't point it at anyone, he legally owns it," one responder explained.

Given the circumstances, however, authorities will have to seize the weapons, at least temporarily.

An investigation was continuing, Madden said.

The chief thanked the sheriff's and prosecutor's offices and commended the Bergen County Regional SWAT team members and negotiators "for their expertise and professionalism."  

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