Cops end Newark hostage situation with tear gas

Police say a domestic dispute escalated quickly when a Newark man refused to let officers into his home, causing a hostage situation Saturday morning.

Police say they eventually flushed out 25-year-old RiJan Harding with tear gas after he barricaded himself and two women in his first-floor apartment at 166 Chancellor Ave., where he lived with a female roommate. The other woman was his ex-girlfriend.

Police say Harding and his girlfriend recently ended their relationship, and the girlfriend didn't want to patch things up, which led to the dispute. Police received a call about a domestic dispute and sexual assault at the apartment complex. Four hours later, police decided to force Harding out.

"We first attempted negotiation. Once negotiations were not working, we ended up deploying a tear gas agent inside and at that time, it flushed him out," Newark Police Deputy Chief Anthony Perillo says.

Police say Harding faces several charges, and is well known to the department.

"He's had a history with the Newark Police Department, and also has a history of mental illness," Chief Anthony Campos says.

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