Hackensack standoff ends peacefully

December 10, 2010 4:23:52 AM PST
A Maryland fugitive who had held authorities at bay for several hours Thursday at a New Jersey apartment building was taken into custody peacefully.

Brought out in handcuffs, surrounded by Marshals and local police some four hours after holding officers at bay, 21-year old Trevon Johnson surrendered.

It ended his time on the run and hours of anxious moments for residents of a Hackensack apartment complex.

"All I saw was guns and people taking aim and fire," apartment resident Steven Galvis said.

Galvis, his sister and grandparents were trapped inside the three-story apartment building.

Heavily armed police with shields from numerous departments moved into the building where Johnson had barricaded himself in a top floor apartment.

"All of a sudden I hear three shootings. I don't know where it was coming from. Then I saw the cops just pointing with the guns," said Elsa Castillo, an apartment resident.

At one point, officers could be seen in the hallway just outside the apartment as they tried to coax Johnson outside.

U.S. Marshals with the fugitive task force had discovered Johnson at the apartment months after he was mistakenly released from a jail in Maryland.

He was being held on drug charges.

Setting up for what could be a long standoff, police began escorting residents from the building, and some residents were even brought down the fire escapes to safety.

"Cops came knocking at the door and they said stay there, wait until we knock on the door and say that everything is clear," Galvis said.

Police negotiators were finally able to convince Johnson to surrender, without more shots being fired.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Schroeder said Johnson would be held at the Bergen County Jail, pending extradition proceedings.

Officials say Johnson had escaped from a jail in Wicomico County, Maryland, where he was being held on drug possession and violation of parole charges. According to published reports, he assumed the identity of another inmate with a similar name - who was scheduled to be released - and walked out of the jail in August.

During the standoff, local officials had said it appeared that a second person was in the apartment with Johnson. But authorities say that turned out not to be the case.

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