UPDATED: Six-hour standoff in Whitesboro ends

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A Cape May County SWAT team truck sits outside the residence at the 1700 block of Route 9. A Cape May County SWAT team truck sits outside the residence at the 1700 block of Route 9.

WHITESBORO – A six-hour standoff with police and sheriff’s officers ended Tuesday evening with no reported injuries and the arrest of a Middle Township man who had barricaded himself in a home on Route 9 in Whitesboro.

The standoff with Raymond Bartee, 34, began Tuesday afternoon after Middle Township police saw and attempted to arrest Bartee for an outstanding aggravated assault warrant, officials said in a statement.

Bartee eluded officers for a short period before being found in a residence in the 1700 block of Route 9 in Whitesboro. The standoff ended around 8 p.m., after Bartee surrendered to police. He was taken to the county jail.

In a statement, police said that Bartee is a documented member of the Bloods street gang, and that he has additionally declared himself to be an adherent of the Sovereign Citizens movement, who believe they are not subject to laws or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal levels.

Bartee also had access to weapons, the statement said.

According to police, Bartee assaulted a member of the household and then barricaded himself in the home along with the victim of the assault.

An officer checks his weapon prior to approaching the area of the standoff. There is a loud clack, as the bolt of the weapon slides shut. An officer checks his weapon prior to approaching the area of the standoff. There is a loud clack, as the bolt of the weapon slides shut. Police blocked off about one mile of Route 9 between Main Street and North Wildwood Boulevard sometime after 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6.

Area residents were still able to access the area via the railroad tracks that parallel Route 9, but could not approach the home. Dozens of people stood along the railway and nearby roads, watching the drama.

A group of teenagers walked along Reading Road next to the railroad tracks beside Route 9. They bounced a basketball and joked among themselves about the standoff happening just beyond the trees.

Through breaks in the brush, the teenagers could see officers with rifles laying prone on the ground or standing behind large trees to take aim at a two-story house.

A SWAT team van sat outside the home.

Every three to five minutes, a loudspeaker crackled to life with the calm voice of a SWAT team officer.

“Raymond Bartee. Your house is surrounded. Come out to the sound of my voice with your hands empty.

“You will not be harmed,” the officer said.

The loudspeaker could be heard as far away as The Home Depot on Indian Trail Road in Whitesboro.

Further north on Route 9, near Indian Trail Road, David McCray sat on a concrete bench about a half mile from where police surrounded the two-story home. He said that he couldn’t get to his house, because he lived too close to the standoff.

“I live in the small house right next to the big house where it’s happening,” he said. “1700 Route 9.”

McCray was worried about his aunt, who he said lives in the house across the street from him.

“She’s probably scared and hiding inside,” he said.

David McCray couldn’t get home, as his house was next to the police standoff with Raymond Bartee. David McCray couldn’t get home, as his house was next to the police standoff with Raymond Bartee. Looking up, McCray adjusted his cap. “I’ve been out here a long time,” he said. “Five hours so far. I may not have a place to stay tonight.”

Close by, two boys, each about 12 years old, emerged from a trail crossing the railroad tracks from Route 9 to Reading Avenue.

“I can’t stay home,” one boy said. “They let me in long enough to grab some stuff, and we got our bicycles and left.”

His eyes were wide and brown. His freckled face was pale.

“It was real scary,” he said.

Route 9 was open to traffic at 8:15 p.m.

In addition to the SWAT team, members of the County Prosecutor’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene.

Additional services responding to the scene included Middle Township Fire and Rescue, members of the Office of Emergency Management and the Atlantic Care EMS Task Force.

In a statement released late Tuesday, Prosecutor Robert Taylor and Middle Township Police Chief Chris Leusner thanked all those involved in bringing the incident to a successful conclusion, as well as members of the public that were inconvenienced.

Route 9 near Indian Trail Road was barricaded with vehicles from law enforcement, as well as fire and rescue. Route 9 near Indian Trail Road was barricaded with vehicles from law enforcement, as well as fire and rescue.


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