The search and capture of a man police describe as "emotionally disturbed" led to a four-school lockdown Monday morning and an intense search of a sprawling, wooded area near Freeway Golf Course on Sicklerville Road in Gloucester Township.
The 24-year-old man, who police declined to identify, was caught in the woods near the golf course at 12:56 p.m. Police initially thought the man was armed, suicidal and looking to confront them, according to the incident report. No weapon was recovered at the time of his arrest and the man was taken into custody uninjured.
The incident started at 9:26 a.m. on Fox Meadow Drive when police arrived after being called by the man's mother. She said he was damaging their home and threatening to kill himself, police said.
Officers arrived to find the mother outside and believed the man was barricaded inside. That resulted in the deployment of a SWAT team and small robots, which eventually entered the home. But the man had apparently left through a rear window before the search began.
That's when Timber Creek High, Mullen Middle, Erial Elementary and Goddard Daycare schools were locked down for an hour until the man was caught.
He was charged with criminal mischief and possession of marijuana and taken to a hospital for treatment.