A Union County grand jury has returned a 14-count indictment against a Westfield man who instigated a standoff with police in a home on The Boulevard in Westfield, which started on July 5th and carried over into the 6th, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced today.
Michael P. Ward, 41, was indicted for Aggravated Assault, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Terroristic Threats, Obstruction, Unlawful Possession of Weapon, Possession of Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Resisting Arrest.
At approximately 3:39 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, Westfield police officers responded to a 9-1-1 call from Ward’s residence for a reported dispute. Upon arrival, officers were met at the front door by Ward, who was brandishing a large kitchen knife. Ward refused to comply with Officers’ demands to drop the knife and subsequently retreated back inside the residence. Shortly thereafter, the victims exited the residence before Ward barricaded himself inside.
Officers secured the area around the residence, and the Union County Emergency Response Team (UCERT) – consisting of Hostage Negotiators and the SWAT Team – were summoned to respond. Negotiators initiated and continued hours-long on-and-off communications with Ward, but were unable to convince him to voluntarily exit the residence. The stand-off ended at approximately 5:31 a.m. when SWAT made entry into the residence and forcibly took Ward into custody.
“I want to commend the brave officers of the Westfield Police Department and the Union County Emergency Response Team for their swift and professional response to this dangerous situation,” said Prosecutor Daniel. “Their actions prevented a tragedy.”
Ward is currently being held in the Union County Jail pending trial.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.