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April 18, 2017 – Bridgewater Man Charged with Homicide after Standoff with SWAT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta announced the arrest of Michael Litwornia, age 27, of Washington Valley Road, in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated last evening, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a stabbing victim outside of a Washington Valley Road residence. Responding Officers encountered a 61 year old male homeowner suffering from severe stab wounds/lacerations. The victim told the officers that his son, Michael Litwornia had attacked him. Officers immediately tended to the victim and requested emergency medical personnel. Additional Bridgewater Officers simultaneously arrived at the residence where they encountered a 61 year old female inside the residence also suffering from multiple stab wounds/lacerations. The officers evacuated the victim from the residence and initiated life saving measures. The victim was subsequently declared deceased upon the arrival of medics.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Bridgewater Officers attempted to make contact with Michael Litwornia who had barricaded himself within the house. At the same time additional officers established a perimeter of the residence and began to evacuate/shelter in place local residents within the operational perimeter.

The Somerset County SWAT and Hostage/Crisis Negotiators were quickly activated and responded to the scene. Detectives from the Bridgewater Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, and the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the investigation.

Upon the arrival of Hostage/Crisis Negotiators an attempt was made to establish communications with Litwornia who refused to communicate. A mechanical robot was introduced into the residence and was successful in locating the defendant who was observed lying on a couch within the residence. At approximately 11:00 p.m. SWAT was authorized to make entry into the residence. Once SWAT members were inside defendant Litwornia attempted to grab a sharp force instrument but was quickly subdued and taken into custody by SWAT personnel. Defendant Litwornia had self-inflicted wounds to his body and was quickly transported to an area hospital for emergency treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the adult male victim was transported to an area trauma center where he underwent emergency surgery and is listed in critical condition.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation into the circumstances leading to this deadly encounter is on-going and detectives are attempting to establish a motive for the assaults. Authorities have not released the identity of the deceased female pending next of kin notifications. An autopsy is scheduled at the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Detectives have charged defendant Litwornia with first degree, homicide, and second degree, aggravated assault. Defendant Litwornia remains at an area hospital under police guard. When released, defendant Litwornia will be lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Nicaretta request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Bridgewater Township Police Department (908) 722-4111 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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