By O'Ryan Johnson, Bob McGovern
SOUTH HAMPTON, N.H. — A massive manhunt for a heavily armed man in a helmet and body armor, suspected of stealing a New Hampshire State Police cruiser before abandoning it, ended last night when the suspect slipped back through a police cordon and was taken into custody in his own home, authorities said.
Anthony Reardon, 44, a Navy vet, had earlier confronted officers who arrived at his home in an armed standoff, followed by an exchange of gunfire before he commandeered a Kensington police cruiser, took off, crashed and then fled on foot, authorities said.
New Hampshire State Police Maj. Dave Parenteau said a state police cruiser and a Kensington cruiser were first on the scene at 81 Highland Ave. at 4:23 p.m. for what he described as a "well-being check." There was no immediate information on what prompted the check.
"They attempted to get him to drop his firearms. He refused and the officers took cover," Parenteau said. Police said it appeared Reardon was dressed in tactical gear when police arrived.
Kensington police Chief Mike Sielicki said there appeared to have been "an exchange of gunfire."
After Reardon fled into the nearby woods, cops cordoned off the area and asked residents in Kensington and Amesbury, Mass., to stay indoors for hours while they hunted for Reardon.
The roadblocks took their toll on locals, as families coming home from work were separated from children.
At about 8 p.m., cops found Reardon back inside his home, surrounded it with SWAT teams and arrested him.
Parenteau said it was unclear how Reardon managed to elude the massive police presence and get back into his house. He said no officers were injured.
Parenteau said Reardon was hospitalized for an evaluation, but said he did not know the name of the hospital.
He said police still were determining what charges to bring against him. He said the FBI also had joined the investigation.
Sielicki said officers have "dealt with" Reardon in the past, but Parenteau said the man's records are part of the investigation that they were just now undertaking.
"Anytime you're dealing with weapons, it's a dangerous situation," Sielicki said.
Numerous Massachusetts troopers — including K-9 units and a tactical weapons team — were called to stand by at the state border because the suspect was believed to have "some connection" with Amesbury, according to Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio. They were later called in to assist New Hampshire police.
Copyright 2014 the Boston Herald
McClatchy-Tribune News Service