Hours-long Standoff Between Paterson Police and Barricaded Man with a Knife Ends Peacefully

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2023

Office of The Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Paterson Police Department
– Frederick Fife, Interim Officer-in-Charge

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Rob Rowan

PATERSON – On Saturday April 8th Paterson Police Department responded to a 911 call from a man claiming he was homeless and suicidal.

The incident was resolved peacefully with no injuries after a nearly six-and-a-half-hour-long standoff due to the cooperative efforts of the Paterson Police Department and the New Jersey State Police. The Crisis Team from St. Joseph’s University Medical Center provided assistance.

The call was dispatched to Paterson Police Patrol Units at 4:56 P.M. When officers arrived at the location near the Paterson Great Falls, they observed the man with a large knife who appeared prepared to harm himself. Paterson Police and New Jersey State Police negotiators responded along with members of the State Police Emergency Response Team. Paterson Police maintained a dialogue with the man while State Police negotiators provided assistance and expertise. At approximately 11:26 P.M. the scene was determined to be safe, and the man agreed to surrender and hand over the knife. Law enforcement maintained contact with the Crisis Team at St. Joseph’s to ensure a transition to mental health services upon resolution. He was then transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center.

“While each situation is unique, in this instance thanks in large part to the Paterson Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Emergency Response Team, this situation was resolved peacefully,” said Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “I want to thank Interim Officer-in-Charge NJSP Major Fife for his leadership of the Paterson Police Department, the officers of the department and our community partners as we work together to ensure a safer Paterson and more transparent department.”

“I want to thank the officers of the Paterson Police Department and New Jersey State Police who responded to Saturday’s call.  Their professionalism, patience and dedication allowed us to resolve the matter and ensure that the proper steps were taken to keep the community safe,” said Interim Officer-in-Charge NJSP Major Frederick Fife.

No criminal charges have been filed in connection with this incident.  Due to the fact that the individual was in crisis, and this is being treated as a mental health matter that involved police action as part of law enforcement’s community caretaking function, the identity of the individual involved is not being disclosed.

In March of 2023, the Office of the Attorney General assumed control of all police functions in the city of Paterson. Command of the department was assumed by key members of the Attorney General’s staff and leaders from within the New Jersey State Police. In May of 2023 Isa Abbassi, a 25-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and its current Chief of Strategic Initiatives, will become the Officer-in-Charge of the Paterson Police Department.


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