A New Jersey neighborhood was put on lockdown for nearly 24 hours due to a standoff between a SWAT team and a man with a flamethrower who refused to surrender.
The tense standoff began Tuesday afternoon, as a man who lives on Thomas Avenue in Lyndhurst had an arsenal of weapons, including a flamethrower, according to police.
Ali Haider, who had to flee his home amid the chaos, said that he had seen the suspect, Robert Condit, around a few times.
"He always says hi, he’s really friendly," Haider said.
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But Lyndhurst police said the 51-year-old Condit was far from friendly with officers when they went to his home to execute a court order to seize guns from the house. They said Condit legally owned some of the guns that were found in the home.
Police were able to safely escort Condit’s grandmother and mother out of the home, but then he barricaded himself inside.
The Bergen County Regional SWAT team as well as the FBI were soon called in. A video circulating on social media showed someone firing a flamethrower toward police.
Overnight, police launched gas canisters into the home and stayed in touch with Condit’s mother. Then came the news Lyndhurst neighbors and police were hoping for: he surrendered.
"After 21 hours, he realized it was the best course of action for him," said Lyndhurst Police Captain Michael Carrino.
The standoff ended in the best way possible – without any injuries or shots fired. But it still was something the quiet Bergen County neighborhood is not remotely used to seeing.
"It’s a comforting feeling knowing that police and SWAT teams can handle such situations in a way that nobody got injured," said Haider.
Police said Condit doesn’t have a criminal history, adding that he’s getting a medical evaluation at a nearby hospital and will face charges.