Authorities ID Man Involved in Bernardsville Standoff
Bernardsville resident turned himself over to negotiators on Thursday night.
A Bernardsville man who was arrested last year for allegedly selling an Uzi to an undercover detective has been identified as the individual involved in a more than three-hour standoff with police and SWAT team members Thursday night, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said.
According to a statement released Friday by Bernardsville and county officials, Samuel J. Medway, 44, was arrested following the standoff.
Medway now faces charges of obstruction of justice and a disorderly person offense, Capt. Jack Bennett, of the proseuctor's office, said Friday afternoon. He said Medway was in Somerset County Jail as of Friday at 5 p.m., after bail was set at $2,500, with no 10 percent option by Judge Robert F. Shaul in Bernardsville.
After turning himself over to members of the SWAT team without incident Thursday night at about 9:50 p.m., Medway was transported to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and was then lodged in the Somerset County Jail, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said the incident began when officers from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve a failure to pay child support warrant in the amount of $93,432.01 for Medway Thursday at about 6:45 p.m.
Officers made contact with Medway, who was inside his Anderson Hill Road residence, the prosecutor's office said. After being advised the sheriff’s officers were there to execute the child support warrant, Medway allegedly retreated into an interior room of the home and refused to comply with the officer’s orders to come out, the prosecutor's office reported.
Medway was able to barricade himself in this interior room, authorities said, prompting the sheriff’s officers involved to surround him with an inner perimeter and to request additional police support.
Police then surrounded the room both inside and outside the residence and began detouring traffic around the area, the prosecutor's office said.
Residents in the immediate area were evacuated to the Bernardsville Library and nearby St. Elizabeth’s School by officers from the Bernardsville and Bernards Township police departments, the prosecutor's office said.
Residents who were evacuated to the library were attended to by members of the Bernardsville Bernardsville OEM CERT-Community Emergency Response Team, including the library staff, which was activated to provide shelter and support and a centralized source of information for those evacuated, according to the prosecutor's office and the library staff.
Police then attempted to make verbal contact with Medway, who allegedly refused to comply with the officers, the report said. The Somerset County SWAT, along with the Crisis Negotiation Team, was called to the scene at approximately 7:20 p.m., according to the prosecutor's office.
The prosecutor's office said Medway previously had been arrested on June 28, 2011 and charged with selling an Uzi assault rifle and ammunition to an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force. This information was relayed to the officers at the scene, where it was unknown at that time if Medway had armed himself while in the residence, according to the prosecutor's office.
Bennett said a trial is pending on the 2011 gun charge.
Negotiators assigned to the team were successful in making contact with Medway and established a dialogue, the prosecutor's office said. Authorities said negotiators were able to convince Medway to come out of his residence and turn himself over to members of the SWAT team.
Medway complied with the instructions, turning himself over at about 9:50 p.m., and was taken into custody by SWAT team officers without further incident, the prosecutor's office said.
Soriano said in addition to the Somerset County Emergency Response Team, including SWAT medics from Somerset Medical Center, the following agencies responded to the incident: Bernardsville Borough Police Department, Bernards Township Police Department, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and K-9 unit, Mendham Police Department, Harding Township Police Department, the Bernardsville Fire Company and First Aid Squad and the Bernardsville OEM CERT-Community Emergency Response Team.
The announcement was jointly made by Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Stuart A. Buckman, Bernardsville Borough Chief of Police Kevin Valentine, and Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, the release said.
Soriano, Buckman and Valentine ask that if anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact either the Bernardsville Borough Police Department at 908-766-0037, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS(8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE.” All calls are confidential.
Editor's Note: Information released earlier said Medway had been released, but Capt. Jack Bennett, a spokesman for the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, said Friday at about 5 p.m. that Medway remained in jail.
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