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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Hempstead - Armed man pulled from car in standoff

Honda Accord with New Jersey license plates from which police removed armed man.

NEW HEMPSTEAD — An armed Pomona man was arrested today after a brief standoff with police in the parking lot of the Spring Hill Ambulance Corps Inc. headquarters.

Ramapo police this evening are still investigating the incident on Brick Church Road, but said no one was seriously injured during the minutes-long standoff. A Ramapo police officer did suffer a minor injury, officials said.

The Pomona man, Patryk T. Molczan, 31, was arrested about 4:55 p.m. after several Ramapo police officers pulled him from his car, officials said. Ambulance officials had been ordered to remain inside the building with all doors locked.

Ramapo police Lt. Daniel Hyman said officers first began searching for Molczan about 3:50 p.m. after receiving a report that he was distraught and armed with a Glock Model 22, .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

After scouring the town, Ramapo police found Molczan’s 2011 Honda Accord parked in the Spring Hill parking lot. As the officers approached, Molczan’s pistol could be seen on his lap, Hyman said.

Officers told Molczan to raise his hands in the air, a command he initially refused, Hyman said. When Molczan finally did comply, officers reached the car and found the doors were locked, Hyman said.

The officers then shattered the Honda’s rear, side windows to reach Molczan, Hyman said. A Ramapo police officer suffered minor cuts from the shattered glass, but at 7:45 p.m. was said to be back at Ramapo headquarters.

Molczan was taken into custody and then taken by Spring Hill Ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern for evaluation, officials said.

Hyman said police were still trying to determine what caused Molczan to become so distraught and why he ended up in the Spring Hill Ambulance parking lot.

Molczan, originally from New Jersey, was not a member of the Spring Hill Ambulance Corps, officials said. Exactly how long he’s lived in Pomona was not clear.

At the scene about 5 p.m., the Honda remained in the Spring Hill lot, parked neatly in a space on the parking lot’s outer edge. Several of the car’s doors were opened as police watched over the vehicle.

A pink child’s toy, along with a baby mirror for the car’s back seat and a “Baby on Board’ sign could be seen inside the vehicle. Shattered glass still lingered on the ground below each of the rear side windows.

Steve Kaye, chief of the Spring Hill Ambulance Corps., said ambulance officials were told to lock down the headquarters about 4:30 p.m. All calls to the agency were diverted to surrounding ambulance corps, Kaye said, noting that his ambulances were not permitted to leave the grounds.

Kaye described the situation as “scary,” but noted that Spring Hill’s headquarters is a very secure facility.

“The situation was not taken lightly,” Kaye said of the police response. “They must have had about 10 or 12 cars here.”

Kaye said police responded to the Spring Hill lot about 4:45 p.m. and that the incident lasted about 10 minutes.

One emergency call to Spring Hill during the 10-minute-span was rerouted to the Ramapo Valley Ambulance Corps, Kaye said.

Molczan, who was also found in possession of two magazines fully loaded with .40-caliber ammunition, was charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Hyman said. He may face additional charges as the police investigation continues to unfold.

At 8 p.m., Molczan remained at Good Samaritan Hospital. Hyman said he would be taken to Ramapo police headquarters if allowed to leave the hospital and would face the misdemeanor charge in Town Court.

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