TOMS RIVER — A man who held his hand under his jacket and repeatedly suggested he had a weapon he would use to assault police officers — in what police are called an "attempted suicide by cop" — was taken into custody alive Sunday.

Toms River police said they had received several calls about a man threatening another individual with a handgun in the area of James Street and Lewis Avenue around 2:10 a.m. Upon their arrival, they found Zachary Brown, 26, who refused orders to remove his hand from his pocket as he made several "jerking motions" as if he were going to show a firearm, according to police.

Brown told officers he was going to assault them, or they would have to assault him, police said, adding he became increasingly impatient.

Police said he asked them: "What's wrong with you? Don't you want to go home tonight?" as they continued to try to reason with him.

As Brown walked toward the 11 Toms River officers and a K9 officer, a single taser cartridge was used to subdue Brown, who collapsed to the ground, police said.

Brown was treated at the scene and taken to Community Medical Center for further treatment. Police said no weapon was found and that Brown had made all the calls to 911. He was charged with making terroristic threats, obstruction of justice, false reports, and resisting arrest.

"There were several different ways the night could have potentially ended, and we are grateful that everyone went home safe to their family at the end of their shift.” Chief Mitchell Little said in a statement from the police department.

If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, or the NJ Hopeline, 1-855-654-6735

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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