RARITAN TOWNSHIP — A man accused of running towards a police officer holding a sword caused lockdowns and a delay in dismissing classes at a school.

The man was first reported to be using a sword to break windows at the Deliworks and Pizzeria on Route 31 around 2:30 p.m. A person who called 911 followed the man as he walked along the northbound side of Route 31. The caller told police he went into a wooded area behind the HealthQuest Fitness Center causing it to go into lockdown.

Officers soon located the man and tried to get him to drop the sword. He then "ran towards an officer in an aggressive manner" and ran into the wooded area along the Raritan River, police said.

As police tried to locate the man, buses were held at the Francis A. Desmares School located across Route 31 from Healthquest, according to a message from the Flemington-Raritan school district. Police said several nearby businesses also went into lockdown. The Pavilion at Raritan shopping center is located next to Healthquest which includes a Stop & Shop, Lightbridge Academy and the Flemington Diner.

Man who had a sword taken into custody by police 5/26/22
Man who had a sword taken into custody by police 5/26/22 (WheelerNJ via YouTube)

Search for a man with a sword

Raritan Township police were joined by officers from several surrounding departments and the Hunterdon County SWAT team to locate the man. He was found walking along the Raritan River still carrying the sword as police engaged the man in continuous dialogue that convinced him to put down the weapon.

Video of his apprehension shows him standing with police cuffed behind his back and walking him into an ambulance.

The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was charged with aggravated assault against a police officer, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, criminal mischief and obstruction. He was taken to Hunterdon Medical Center for observation.

No officers or residents were injured.

The incident took place a day after a gunman fired shots inside a Texas elementary school killing 19 students and two teachers.

Emily Grill contributed to this report

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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