Standoff at Stroudsburg hotel ends peacefully, one in custody


STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A stand-off between a SWAT team and a man with a warrant for his arrest in the Poconos.

The encounter lasted more than four hours before the man was taken into custody.

It was a chaotic scene. SWAT teams surrounded the Holiday Inn. The hotel was locked down as police tried to apprehend a wanted man.

This SWAT team had riffles and guns drawn as they closed in on Emir Christopher Justiniani at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites parking lot in Stroud Township.

“Came outside of the hotel, and before I knew it, police officers is coming from my left, coming from my right, and you know they draw their guns, trying to apprehend the suspect.

Joshua Bernard recorded this video has he watched police arrest Justiniani, who was wanted by Palmer Township Police.

Officers say he was involved in a car accident roll over on Route 22 more than two weeks ago. Investigators say he fled the scene of the accident and had evidence in his car that lead to felony charges.

Authorities were planning to take him in when they found out he was staying at the Holiday Inn with his girlfriend, but then he found out the couple was preparing to leave the hotel.

“It was learned that they were actually loading the vehicle and preparing to leave. So we quickly moved patrol units closer to the area to intercept if they attempted to leave,” said Sgt. James Wielgus, Strouds Area Regional Police Patrol Sgt., Department SWAT Team Commander.

When they approached, Justiniani showed a handgun and threatened to commit suicide. Negotiations ended about four hours later with no one hurt.

“It went as well as we can expect. And absolutley since he’s getting the treatment he needs and is in custody, and nobody was hurt. That’s the outcome we look for,” said Sgt. Wielgus.

Justiniani was brought to Lehigh Valley Hospital Pocono for an evaluation.

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