Assault and Weapons Charges Filed Against Fanwood Man After Weekend Standoff on Locust Ave.
Monday, November 25, 2013 • 3:54pm
FANWOOD, NJ - Several charges have been filed against Fanwood resident John Antonucci after the eight-hour standoff with authorities that included several gunshots at his Locust Avenue residence Friday night and Saturday morning.
The Fanwood man, who allegedly fired a rifle at police during the standoff, has been charged with numerous criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.
Antonucci, 49, has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault for each of the five law enforcement officers who were fired upon, plus three counts of resisting arrest and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Antonucci remained in custody at Union County Jail on Monday. He was being held on $500,000 bail set by state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega.
Fanwood police were called to a residential property on Locust Avenue on a report of shots being fired shortly after 11 p.m. Friday. They encountered a man, allegedly Antonucci, according to Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo, standing in a window brandishing a weapon.
Antonucci allegedly started firing at officers with a rifle shortly before midnight, when officers returned fire. Approximately 10 rounds in all were discharged during the exchange. Negotiations lasting nearly seven hours followed, and Antonucci was taken into custody shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday. People in the neighborhood have also reported hearing additional shots shortly after daybreak on Saturday.
No one was injured during the incident, although a neighbor suffering from anxiety was taken to a local hospital for observation as a precautionary measure. Investigators obtained a Superior Court search warrant for the home. More than 12 assorted firearms were recovered which were found to have been registered to Antonucci.
Fanwood police received operational support from the Union County SWAT unit, Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Union County Police Department, Union County Office of Emergency Management, NJ Transit Police, the Scotch Plains Police Department, and the Westfield Police Department.
Two dogs were reportedly shot and killed on Antonucci's property during the standoff, and more charges may be pending. The standoff also forced NJ Transit to shut down the Raritan Valley Line Friday night and early Saturday morning because shots were reportedly fired in the direction of the train tracks, which back up to the edge of Antonucci's Locust Avenue property.