LYNDHURST, NJ MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND AGGRAVATED ARSON IN 2022 STANDOFF
For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2023
Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced that on May 15, 2023, ROBERT CONDIT of Lyndhurst, NJ pled guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated arson in connection with a 21-hour standoff that began on May 3, 2022.
In the afternoon of May 3, 2022, CONDIT barricaded himself in his home following a hearing in Superior Court in which he was ordered to surrender his weapons. Rather than complying with the court’s order to surrender his firearms, he remained in his home despite police orders to the contrary. He also shot a flamethrower at members of the Bergen County Regional SWAT team and pointed a rifle at a SWAT vehicle. The surrounding neighborhood was locked down for nearly a day while negotiators attempted to bring the ordeal to a peaceful end. CONDIT surrendered the following day.
CONDIT pled guilty to two counts of second-degree aggravated assault and one count of second-degree aggravated arson. The State will recommend a sentence of seven years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act, which requires that CONDIT must serve 85% of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Sentencing is scheduled for June 30, 2023, before the Honorable Christopher R. Kazlau, J.S.C.
The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Christine Gorzelany.
The more than 15 members of the Bergen County Regional SWAT team who were involved in this incident will be presented with a unit citation award for their skill and professionalism by the CIT-NJ Center of Excellence at its 9th Annual New Jersey Crisis Intervention Team (“CIT”) 2022 Year End Forum on May 25, 2023. Many of the negotiators and SWAT operators are CIT trained and used that training during this nearly day-long standoff. CIT is a 40-hour training that brings together law enforcement, mental health professionals, and community stakeholders to learn how to best respond to those who are in psychiatric crisis.
Prosecutor Musella said, “Since we began supporting CIT training in Bergen County in 2016, more than 450 law enforcement officers have been trained. We are committed to providing our officers with the tools they need to respond to individuals in crisis and to ensure that our communities are as safe as possible. I commend the members of the Bergen County Regional SWAT team, the Lyndhurst Police Department, the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Response Team, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and the officers from surrounding local police departments, who persuaded the actor to surrender while ensuring that the residents in the area were protected. This was an extremely volatile and dangerous situation that ended peacefully due to the outstanding work of the men and women who responded.”