South Hampton man faces nine charges following standoff
KENSINGTON — An armed South Hampton man who called 911 Tuesday saying he was distraught is facing charges that he allegedly stole two police cruisers, crashing both of them, and aimed one of his firearms at officers during an hours-long standoff that ended with his arrest.
Anthony Reardon, 44, was arraigned on nine felony charges on Wednesday from his bed at Exeter Hospital, where he was being treated for minor injuries.
Police responded to Reardon’s home at 81 Highland Ave. in South Hampton around 4:14 p.m. for a report of a suicidal man known to have firearms and run-ins with local police, according to court records. State Trooper Stephen McAulay and Sgt. Steven Cooper were among the first to respond, along with Kensington police Sgt. Scott Sanders.
McAulay first spotted Reardon standing 50 to 75 yards away in the middle of the street, holding a rifle in each hand, police said.
“We were initially there to help him. That changed because of his actions,” State Police Maj. Chris Aucoin said at a news conference Wednesday outside the Kensington police station.
Sanders told Reardon to put his rifles down, but he refused, Trooper John Kelly said in a sworn police affidavit.
That prompted the police officers to find cover. The officers lost sight of Reardon, who re-emerged moments later wearing a camouflage vest and helmet, Aucoin said.
Reardon got into a Kensington police cruiser and drove off, crashing into a ditch and a stand of trees, according to Aucoin and court records. Reardon then was able to get behind the wheel of a state police cruiser and drive off, crashing into another state trooper’s vehicle and a cruiser from Hampton Falls, Aucoin said.
Reardon left the vehicle, took cover behind one of the state police cruisers and “appeared to be pointing a weapon in a sweeping manner” in the direction of Cooper and McAulay, Kelly said in the affidavit.
Cooper and McAulay fired their M4 rifles at Reardon in response, the affidavit said. Reardon was not struck, and the officers again lost sight of him. The two officers were eventually removed from the scene by the Seacoast Emergency Response Team’s armored vehicle, the affidavit said.
Police initially received a report that he crossed Highland Road and went into the woods, but Aucoin said that Reardon was later found back inside his home. He surrendered and was taken into custody roughly four hours after he called police.
Police Chief Mike Sielicki acknowledged that his department had dealt with Reardon, a U.S. Navy veteran, in the past. Kensington police had taken a number of guns away from Reardon following an incident involving the South Hampton Police Department in 2013, according to Kelly’s affidavit. Aucoin said that roughly 50 tactical officers responded Tuesday, along with 20 to 30 uniformed police officers from area towns.
Police alerted residents and businesses in the area to the situation via several reverse 911 calls. South Hampton, which has just over 800 residents, is on the state line just north of Amesbury, Mass.