Law & Justice

SWAT Standoff Ends Peacefully, Man Arrested on Weapons Charges Following Early Morning Standoff on Claire Drive


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bridgewater man was arrested on weapons possession charges early Tuesday morning after a standoff with police outside his Claire Drive home following a report of a verbal and physical dispute with the other occupants of the house, according to a report from Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Nicholas J. Gargiulo, 20, was charged with second degree possession of an assault firearm, fourth degree possession of hollow nose bullets and fourth degree possession of a large capacity ammunition magazine, as well as for assault and criminal mischief.

According to Robertson, police responded to a 911 call on Claire Drive at about 2:14 a.m. The caller, Robertson said, reported that Gargiulo was inside the house and was involved in a verbal and physical dispute, and that he was armed with a firearm that had a large capacity magazine loaded with hollow nose bullets.

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Gargiulo, Robertson said, brandished the firearm throughout the house and yelled at two victims inside.

After pushing one of the victims onto a bed, Robertson said, Gargiulo broke a rear glass door of the house and punched a hole in the sheetrock in the stairwell.

Bridgewater police, Robertson said, established a perimeter around the house and requested the Somerset County Emergency Response Team, which consists of the county SWAT team, Hostage Crisis Negotiators, Tactical Emergency Medical Personnel and the Somerset County Communications Mobile Command Center.

Robertson said that dispatchers with the Somerset County Communications Center disseminated information to responding personnel throughout the incident, and directed the occupants of the house toward a safe exit from the house, where they were evacuated by SWAT personnel without incident.

At about 3:20 a.m., Robertson said, Gargiulo voluntarily exited from the house and was taken into custody without incident by SWAT members. He was turned over to Bridgewater Township Police for processing.

According to Robertson, in searching the house, police seized a loaded CZ-Scorpion Evo 3 firearm, two high capacity magazines and hollow nose bullets.

Gargiulo was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail pending a detention hearing.

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