SOMERVILLE, NJ - A Bernardsville man entered a guilty plea Friday to charges stemming from a Mother's Day night standoff with police. David Tyrone will face seven years in New Jersey State Prison, and 85 percent of the sentence to be served without parole, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Tyrone, age 47, formerly of Old Wood Road, Bernardsville, pleaded guilty to 2nd degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, 2nd degree aggravated assault, 3rd degree aggravated assault, 4th degree aggravated assault (3 counts), 3rd degree terroristic threats, 3rd degree criminal restraint (2 counts) and 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child before Superior Court Judge Robert Reed in Somerville.
On May 8, 2016, at approximately 2:09 a.m., members of the Bernardsville Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call originating from an Old Wood residence reporting an assault in progress. Dispatchers advised the responding officers that a male suspect in the residence, later identified as defendant James Tyrone, was armed with a handgun. Outside the residence, Sergeant Jon-Paul Tay and Patrolman Robert Schlittler encountered an injured woman who was bleeding from a head wound. When the officers entered the residence, they found Tyrone who was holding a man around his neck while pointing a gun at him. Tyrone then pointed the gun at the officers.
After a brief standoff, the male victim was able to grab the gun away from defendant. Officers were able to retrieve the handgun, a fully loaded Walther P99 9mm. Tyrone was taken into custody and the female victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her head wound.
Detectives from the Bernardsville Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation. Additional patrol units from Far Hills, Bernards Township and Peapack-Gladstone also responded to assist at the scene.
The investigation revealed that prior to police arrival, defendant Tyrone became angry with the female victim and assaulted her. The defendant then retrieved a handgun and advised the female victim that she was going to die that night. The victim was able to escape the room, but Tyrone chased after her while brandishing the handgun. After fleeing the residence she entered her vehicle and while attempting to exit the driveway, Tyrone struck the front passenger window with the gun and threatened to kill her.
The victim then exited her vehicle while calling 9-1-1. Tyrone grabbed the phone away from her and threw it to the ground and then struck her in the head with the handgun, causing injury to her forehead. Tyrone then fled back into the house while the victim remained outside awaiting the arrival of the police.
Prosecutor Robertson commended Sergeant Tay and Patrolman Schlittler of the Bernardsville Police Department "for their timely response and heroic actions that prevented any additional harm to the victims or themselves." Robertson stated, “These two officers were put in the most stressful situation an officer can face, an individual pointing a gun at them, and they are both to be commended for their actions and professionalism in bringing this incident to a peaceful conclusion. It is an example of all the great work that police officers do each and every day to protect our community and I thank them for their service.”
Assistant Prosecutor Robert Hawkes represented the state in the court proceedings.