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A nearly four-hour standoff in Westwood ended when SWAT team members batterd down the door of an emotionally disturbed woman and took her into custody.
Westwood apartment where woman barricaded herself (CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO)
“When she refused to comply with commands, they had to forceably go in and remove her,” a law enforcement officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT shortly after 1 p.m. “ She is now on her way to Bergen Regional Medical Center.”
It was a carefully calculated move, based on current and previous circumstances.
“We’ve never encountered any weapons with her in the past,” Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
However, the chief noted that incidents requiring her hospitalization have occurred in the past — none involving criminal actions.
Members of the Bergen County SWAT team began trying to convince the woman to come out at 9:30 a.m. after she threw furniture and other items at construction workers from her third-floor apartment, but she was “refusing to listen to police demands,” one of nearly 20 officers at the scene told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “So they went in.”
Center and Fairview avenues were closed off to vehicular traffic.
The incident began at 530 Fairview Avenue (the Roxbury Condominiums complex) around 9 a.m.when the mid-50s woman “began throwing things out third-story windows at construction workers below,” a law enforcement officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Based on that, and things she said, the workers called police.
“We’ve been here before, many times — never for anything criminal,” the officer said. “This time we brought the SWAT team, because of the circumstances.”
For most of the time there, they were negotiating with her through her door.
“Unfortunately, she won’t listen to anybody. She’s a big woman,” a law enforcement officer at the scene told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at 12:15. “She’s violent when she gets like this.”
To make matters worse, “she has a real nasty dog in there,” he said.
For that reason, the county K9 unit was summoned, as well. Once they arrived, officers began considering forcing their way in. It wasn’t long after that they broke through the door.
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