Readington police arrest 74-year-old Rafael Garcia, who allegedly shot at officers

Rafael Garcia is accused of shooting at two Readington Township police officers.

Rafael Garcia is accused of shooting at two Readington Township police officers. (9/28/16)

READINGTON - Two police officers arrested a 74-year-old man without firing a shot after they say he opened fire on them.

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III says the officers came upon a vehicle in the shoulder of Route 22 in Readington Township around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. They spotted a man in a field and instructed him to come out.

Kearns says Rafael Garcia of Mountainside then opened fire on the officers, who placed him in custody without returning fire. Police recovered a gun at the scene.

Kearns says officers from several jurisdictions were on the scene shortly after the shots were fired. He credits the officers’ training for the fact that Garcia was apprehended alive and uninjured without any officers or motorists getting hurt.

“With an imminent threat and under fire they were extremely disciplined, extremely professional, and were able to bring the suspect into custody without further incident,” Kearns says.

Garcia is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

He's held on $1 million bail and is awaiting his first court appearance.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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