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SWAT STANDOFF: Ex-Con's Horrifying Attack On Bergen GF With Sledgehammer, Knife Described

Harshaney
Harshaney Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / INSET: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

UPDATE: An ex-con smashed his way into his Oakland girlfriend's home overnight with a sledgehammer, then beat her and held her captive at knifepoint -- at one point cutting her hair -- before he was captured following an hours-long SWAT standoff this weekend, authorities said.

"I wasn't going to make it to see tomorrow," the victim said Owen R. Harshaney, 30, of Dunnelen, told her during the horrifying overnight ordeal, court papers show.

The woman, who'd lost consciousness and suffered severe head injuries during the attack, managed to escape to a family member's home after Harshaney fell asleep, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court in Hackensack.

Police went to the Manito Avenue home before dawn Sunday, then summoned a Bergen County Regional SWAT team, along with the county Regional Crisis Negotiation Team.

After hours without progress, the tactical team breached the home, Oakland Police Lt. Christian Eldridge said. Harshaney surrendered without incident, he said.

Harshaney remained held Monday in the Bergen County Jail, charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal restraint, criminal coercion, criminal mischief, making terroristic threats, burglary and weapons possession.

Harshaney made headlines after authorities charged him with setting fire to a former girlfriend's home in Middlesex County in 2013. He spent two years in state prison before being paroled -- and then had his arson conviction overturned by a state appeals court that said he was denied a fair trial.

The victim told detectives at the hospital that she "came home by herself during the course of the night after fighting with her boyfriend (the defendant)," the affidavit filed Sunday says.

Harshaney showed up later, found himself locked out, then gained access to the garage, where he found a sledgehammer, it says.

After smashing the locked basement garage door, Harshaney climbed stairs to the main floor and forced in another locked door into the kitchen, the victim told detectives.

He then woke her up, pushed her down the basement stairs and hit her in the head, the woman said.

Harshaney then forced the victim back upstairs, got a butcher knife and cut her hair, telling her "that he was going to kill me," she said.

Harshaney eventually fell asleep, after which she drove to her sister's house, police said.

A Bergen County Regional SWAT team, accompanied by negotiators, converged on the neighborhood soon after. A reverse 911 message asked neighbors to remain inside. An EMS unit stood by.

Talks ended around 9:30 p.m., when the tactical unit forced its way in and seized Harshaney.

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