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Secaucus Neighbors Evacuated After Reported Domestic Incident Involving Armed Man

SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Guns were drawn and the SWAT team was called in for an apparent hostage situation in New Jersey on Monday afternoon.

A man was taken into custody for his role in the incident, which forced residents to shelter in place, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported.

"My wife woke me up. I was still sleeping, actually. She said, 'Matty, there's cops out front with big guns,'" Secaucus resident Matthew Montgomery told CBS2's Nick Caloway.

Police were called to a multi-family home in the 300 block of Clarendon Street at around 3 p.m. for a report of a woman being held against her will in a basement apartment by a man with a gun.

The police response was swift.

Neighbors like Montgomery were jolted by police swarming the area with guns drawn.

"You know, it was just scary. We put the kids in the basement," Montgomery said.

Down the block, Linda Higgins was hosting friends and family for a backyard pool party. She lives just a few houses down from where police were searching for the suspect, and victim.

"At first, it was a little exciting. 'Oh, the cops are outside.' It's like 'Wow,' and then it got a little scary," Higgins said.

They were told to go inside and shelter in place, for more than an hour.

"Guns drawn, the street was surrounded with police, guns. SWAT came. Then they came in and got us and told us to evacuate," Donna Higgins said.

Neighbors up and down the block were told to leave their homes. Secaucus Fire Battalion Chief Larry Marciano was off duty, visiting friends in the area.

"Usually, I'm the guy doing the evacuations with the people. This is a little different for me. You're here with family, 'Everybody out, and out now,'" Marciano said.

Police scoured the area, but the alleged gunman and the victim were gone.

Later, the man and woman were found together more than 10 miles away in a car in Bayonne, police said, headed toward Staten Island.

The woman is safe. The suspect was taken into police custody.

Back on Clarendon Street, the incident left neighbors rattled.

"It was very scary. And we had five children here, five little children here," Donna Higgins said.

Police told Caloway the suspect suffers from mental health troubles. He was charged with assault and more charges are pending.

Police did not immediately release the names of the victim or the suspect.

CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report.

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