31-hour Newark standoff ends with suspect in custody

NEWARK, NJ — Hassan Grimsley, 42, of Newark is in custody after a standoff that lasted more than 31 hours, according to a July 9 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

On the morning of July 8, detectives from the Essex County Narcotics Task Force, which includes detectives from Newark and throughout Essex County, were executing a warrant just before 6 a.m. at Grimsley’s Clinton Place home in Newark with assistance from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office entry team. Someone in the residence where Grimsley lived fired shots at law enforcement. Officers took cover, and evacuated the other apartments and two adjacent homes of residents; as the events were unfolding, at least eight people were relocated, either with other family members or at hotels.

The search warrant was being executed as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation that began in May.

For more than 31 hours, law enforcement from various agencies was in constant communication with the suspect, urging him to surrender. He refused. In addition to law enforcement, mental health professionals, friends, family members and neighbors tried to convince the suspect, who had numerous guns, to come out.

At approximately 12:55 p.m. on July 9, officers engaged the suspect, initially utilizing less lethal force, and were met with deadly force from Grimsley who reportedly shot at the officers. The officers returned fire, hitting Grimsley. He is currently at University Hospital in Newark; his condition was not released. None of the officers were injured and no civilians were injured.

“I am confident that everything possible was done to bring this situation to a non-fatal conclusion,’’ acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II said. “This was done despite the stated wishes of the suspect that the police kill him because he was not going back to jail.”

Stephens said law enforcement at all levels worked together to bring this to a successful conclusion. He thanked Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Bloomfield Public Safety Director Samuel DeMaio, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Crouch Jr. and ATF Special Agent in Charge Toby Taylor.

These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty.