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Stephen E. McManus, 74, Hidden Pond Court, Raritan was charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.
Stephen E. McManus, 74, Hidden Pond Court, Raritan was charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. (Courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office)

RARITAN, NJ — Bridgewater Police assisted in a two-hour-long SWAT standoff after an armed Raritan man barricaded himself inside his home last weekend.

On Dec. 12 at about 8:05 p.m., a homeowner of Hidden Pond Court in Raritan called police reporting that Stephen E.McManus, 74, who lives at the home, was firing a gun inside, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Raritan Borough Chief of Police Raymond Nolte announced.

As a result, nearby residents were evacuated by Raritan and Bridgewater police out of precaution.

The woman homeowner, who was unharmed, was locked inside an upstairs bedroom while police tried to speak with McManus. He refused to leave the home and barricaded himself inside, said Robertson.

Raritan and Bridgewater police set up a perimeter around the home and tried to negotiate with McManus. When that didn’t work, the Somerset County Emergency Response Team came out after learning McManus had access to several guns, said Robertson.

At about 9:05 p.m. the Somerset County SWAT came out and took control. Negotiations with McManus ended peacefully at about 9:55 p.m. when he left the home and was arrested.

The woman resident was unharmed and no injuries were reported. A search of the home found multiple firearms and ammunition, said Robertson.

McManus was charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. McManus was taken to an area hospital for evaluation.

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Robertson commended the quick response of law enforcement especially Raritan Police Sergeant Steven Bonczek for his actions in negotiating with McManus which ultimately lead to a peaceful ending.