An armed standoff at a Secaucus hotel that caused a massive law enforcement response, given that the suspects had a grenade and nine guns at their disposal, ended peacefully after the duo surrendered, Police Chief Dennis Miller said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Yesterday, the Secaucus Police Department received a tip that Rahim Harris was a wanted
fugitive and staying at the Extended Stay Hotel, located at 1 Plaza Drive.
Harris had outstanding warrants for his arrest from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office for a weapons offense, Newark Police Department for unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a handgun, as well as aggravated assault for pointing a firearm at another, along with and a Pennsylvania warrant from the Luzerne County Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear.
After the tip was independently corroborated, members of the Secaucus PD and Hudson
County Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter around the hotel.
Additionally, the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team was mobilized along with the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team. Upon the arrival of the SWAT Team, a controlled evacuation of the rooms surrounding Harris’ hotel room was conducted.
At approximately 7:09 p.m., a woman in the room with Harris, later identified as
Haneefha White, was reached via telephone. White refused to exit the room and negotiators from the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team were called in.
During the negotiations with the suspects, they alleged they were in possession of firearms and at least one hand grenade, expressing their desire for a violent confrontation with police.
Due to the inherent danger of potential explosives, a full evacuation of the Extended Stay Hotel was undertaken and the Jersey City Police Department’s Bomb Squad responded.
Evacuees were transported by a New Jersey Transit bus to other nearby hotels.
Eventually, at approximately 1:56 a.m., White surrendered to police, without any force being necessary.
Negotiations continued with Harris, who surrendered to police at 2:29 a.m., also without any incident with law enforcement. During a search of the room, the Jersey City Police Department’s Bomb Squad located one hand grenade that was determined to be inert.
During a complete search of the hotel room, the following weapons were recovered: .223 caliber, American Tactical Milisport, semi-automatic rifle loaded with 30 rounds, stolen .357 caliber Glock Model 32 semi-automatic handgun loaded with 22 rounds, loaded .40 caliber Smith and Wesson SD40VE semi-automatic handgun, 5.7 caliber FN Herstal model 57 semi-automatic handgun loaded with 20 armor piercing rounds, loaded .380 caliber Taurus Model PT738 semi-automatic handgun, .223 caliber Sig Saur Rattler semi-automatic rifle loaded with a 60 round “drum” magazine, loaded 12 gauge Mossberg Model 500 pump action shotgun and a loaded .410 Gauge American Tactical, Omni-Hybrid semi-automatic rifle.
Additionally, $36,910 cash was seized and White was found in possession of suspected pills of ecstasy and fraudulent driver’s licenses from Delaware and Florida.
“Due to patience, restraint and professionalism of every law enforcement officer who responded to this incident, it was brought to a safe conclusion without any injury or any force being used,” Miller added.
“I would like to personally thank the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Jersey City Police Department, New Jersey Transit Police, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Newark Division, along with Hudson Regional Hospital EMS and Secaucus and Jersey City Fire Departments for their assistance during this protracted event. This protracted event highlights the inherent danger law enforcement faces with the intent to always protect the sanctity of human life.”
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez also commended everyone involved for using successful negotiation and de-escalation tactics.
Rahim Harris, 42, of Newark, and White, 39 of Johnstown, PA, were both charged with four
counts of unlawful possession of a handgun, three counts of unlawful possession of a
weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, receiving stolen property, unlawful possession of high capacity magazines, possession of armor piercing ammunition, transporting assault firearms, transporting high capacity magazines, money laundering, and obstructing the administration of law.
Harris was also charged with eight counts of certain persons not to possess firearms, while. White also faces two counts of possession of false government documents and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Both defendants were processed and lodged in the Hudson County Correctional Facility, authorities said.