NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Police were called to an apartment building in downtown New Rochelle this morning based on an erroneous report that a tenant of the building was in a hallway with a weapon. After a 3-hour standoff, police opted to diffuse the situation by leaving the scene with the man still in his apartment.
The event began when a neighbor observed what she thought was a gun in the hand of her neighbor who was in the hallway of the Apartments at 5 Anderson Street. The neighbor called the police.
At 7:40 a.m., the New Rochelle Police Department responded to 5 Anderson Street on a report of a man in crisis. Arriving officers found the tenant locked inside his apartment, refusing to allow officers to enter the apartment.
By 9:00 a.m., officers in a half-dozen police vehicles were positioned outside the building.
A police crisis negotiator and a crisis response team responded and began a dialogue with the man.
After police were unsuccessful in their efforts to coax the man out of his 4th floor apartment, the building owner was called to the scene.
Police sources on scene said the man was threatening to kill people, a claim later determined to be untrue. There were initial reports that the man's family was inside the apartment leading to concerns there was a hostage situation. It was later determined the man was alone.
The man told the building owner, speaking through a locked door, with police listening, that he did not have a weapon and did not want to allow police into his apartment.
Police reviewed surveillance video and were able to determine the man was holding a lamp, not a gun.
"After several hours, Police Commanders on scene determined that the man posed no immediate threat and officers resumed patrol," said Captain Robert Gazzola. "There were no arrests made or injuries reported as a result of this incident."
In 2013, police were called to the New Rochelle apartment of Samuel Cruz, a mentally ill man. That event ended with a police officer shooting and killing Cruz. Although the police officer was later cleared, the family filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the City of New Rochelle.