MIDDLE TOWNSHIP —A six-hour standoff ended Tuesday night as authorities took into custody a man who had barricaded himself inside a home on Route 9 in the Whitesboro section of the township.
The standoff began early Tuesday afternoon after officers observed township resident Raymond Bartee, 34, and attempted to arrest him on an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault, authorities said in a statement.
Bartee briefly eluded the officers before being located in the residence in the 1700 block of US Route 9 South in Whitesboro. Police said Bartee assaulted a person in the home before barricading himself inside along with the victim.
Police said they quickly learned that Bartee was a documented member of the Bloods street gang and had declared himself to be a Sovereign Citizen. They said they also learned the suspect had access to weapons.
After nearly six hours, Bartee surrendered to officers and was transported to the Cape May County jail. The investigation is ongoing, with additional charges pending. Route 9 was opened to traffic at 8:15 p.m..
Lisa Gilpin, Bartee’s sister, said the SWAT team used gas and a robot in entering the home.
"He wouldn't come out because of his warrants, that was it," Gilpin said police told her after the arrest. "But we believe it was something else. They had a SWAT team, negotiators from New York and Delaware."
Gilpin said the incident started after an argument with a woman, who then called police. She believes Bartee was not armed.
"He didn't have any weapons," said Gilpin, who said she spoke on the phone with her brother during the standoff. "He didn't have anything."
Police from Middle and Lower townships, the Cape May County Sheriff's Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office were on the scene on Route 9 just north of Main Street since early Tuesday afternoon. Township public works crews erected barricades in the road at Route 9 and Main Street.
Officers and the Cape May County Regional SWAT team at one point had guns drawn outside the home. Fire engines and an ambulance also were standing by near the location.
"You are surrounded. We do not want to harm you. Please exit the building closest to the sound of my voice with your hands empty and raised above your head. You need to do this now," an officer repeated over a public address speaker.
Dozens of residents of Whitesboro had gathered on Main Street waiting for the standoff to end.
Prosecutor Robert Taylor and Chief Chris Leusner in a statement thanked those involved in bringing the incident to a successful conclusion, as well as members of the public that were inconvenienced by it.
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