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 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 t 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 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 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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Sytem Failure June 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
What about the people inconvenienced who were evacuated told to leave their homes only in pajamas , and boxer shorts? Moved to the church, then the library, only left to walk home when all was over and done? What type of system is this were child support is allowed to escalate to almost $100K, without any action from or by the state, and why is it almost one year that this person has not been in court for weapons chagre? There may have been overreation by the law enforcement groups, but wher and when will nj citizens be outrgaged at the under performing judicial system. Has anyone asked, family services where has the concern for the children gone? not acting on back support for how long? Why aren't these type of men not supporting children made to perform any open job to , repair to townships roads, garbage collection etc.. and those wages turned over to pay off back child support Where is the voice of reason and common sense
Sue Zibelli June 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Where does this man live? Do I need to stay clear of a town that harbors such criminals?
G-Mann June 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM
To "Chip and Nero Fiddled" You seem to feel that the police response was a little much eh? How do you know? Do you have any experience or training in the area of law enforcement other than what you have learned from television shows? Your impression of "overkill" is merely the police being careful. If Mr Medway had himself another uzi type weapon and if he managed to start a gun fight you two characters would have been the first one's to accuse the police of incompetance if they were not prepared. And yes Mr "Nero" you paying your tax dollars towards the professional police departments we have here does keep you safe. If you have any doubts pick up the phone and call 911 and see how long the response time is. Two, maybe three minutes. Compare this to many other states where the response time for a police response is 20-45 minutes in most areas. Be thankful for the great service living in your nice little town bestows on you. If you aint happy you can always leave!
Raj July 14, 2012 at 06:22 PM
THIS WAS A HUGE WAIST OF TAX PAYER'S MONEY! I have known this man for several years and he is an upstanding person. He is very polite and professional and he used to be a Vice President and Trust officer at a major bank before it was taken over. You do not get to such a high level by being unstable! I have seen him with his two young children and he is a very caring and loving father. The papers have made him out to be a nut when he is just trying to rebuild his life after a divorce. This event was a typical example of the government setting him up and harassing him. This poor man can't even drive down the road without being in the government spotlight. He never barricaded himself in his apartment. Apparently, the gov. had a search warrant for the wrong address and illegally searched his neighbors place, breaking down doors and displacing four families with children into the cold night. Those poor kids! And what was this major expense and SWAT teams for? All for a few hundred dollars in child support which was paid the next day and he was released. If there was any criminal activity, he would still be in jail. So 50 plus police, helicopters, K9 units, an army of SWAT members, 5 departments of local law enforcement all over a few hundred dollars in a civil matter. What a waist of money! Probably $100,000.
New Follower July 14, 2012 at 07:55 PM
How can anybody of you judge if he has not proven guilty on this? Isn't the guide line to be not guilty unless proven otherwise? I am a close friend of his brother for 20+ years and apparently there was no person being held hostage, no gun in the appartment found, no conversation between the police and the guy. They suddenly just showed up with a SWAT team, knocking at the wrong door, later on searching his place illegally. The owner of the house, his family and the neighbours are upset about the damage caused by the police. And after all - he was not "convinced" to come out. He finally got a call from the police. With the simple sentence that they are looking for him. And he immediately opened the other (by the way: a door, the police never knocked on).


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