‘Emotionally disturbed’ man prompts lockdown at Toms River ShopRite complex
A man described by police as "emotionally disturbed" forced a Toms River shopping center into lockdown on Tuesday night.
Toms River Police said Seaside Heights Police police put out an alert Tuesday for the man, and he was spotted driving his GMC Arcadia by a Toms River officer on Route 37 around 8:30 p.m. The man, whose identify was not disclosed by police, would not stop for the officer but finally pulled off the road into the parking lot of a Shop Rite supermarket on the westbound side of the road just before the Garden State Parkway, according to police.
Police said officers surrounded the car but the man, described as being in a "highly agitated state," refused to exit his pickup truck. Police advised the businesses in the Crossroads Center, which also includes several restaurants, a Staples and a liquor store, to keep everyone inside out of concern for the safety of the officers, the man and shoppers, police said. There is an apartment complex next to the shopping center.
After an hour, police said, they took the man into custody and brought him to an area hospital. According to the Patch of Toms River, police used a flash grenade to distract the man while they moved in to remove him from his truck.
"The police dispatchers of both departments should also be commended for the behind-the-scenes support that was given. We also want to thank all of the businesses employees and patrons for the patience and cooperation they gave us," Toms River Police spokesman Ralph Stocco said.
It was not clear from information released by police if the man was armed or gave indications he could be a threat to others.