Drunken man creates armed barricade at Willow Grove Rd. residence

Willow Grove Road
491 Willow Grove Rd.

An alcohol-fueled domestic dispute at 491 Willow Grove Rd. last night escalated until 36-year-old Matthew Conklin barricaded himself in the house with a rifle and police were called.

A neighbor said that Conklin had several minutes earlier threatened to shoot at police officers if they arrived. Lieutenant Keith Williams said the reports of a threat against cops were hearsay and thus no arrest could be made. “Obviously now we’re aware of the situation. We took possession of the weapons, that is one avenue we pursued. We will keep [his threat] in the back of our minds if we receive another call to that residence,” Williams said.

Williams described the situation as that of an “emotionally disturbed person under the influence of alcohol.”

The Rockland County REACT team was activated and responded to the scene around midnight. At approx. 5:40 a.m., after several hours of negotiation, Conklin was taken into custody by REACT operators unharmed and transported to Nyack Hospital to undergo evaluation. No one was injured.

According to neighbors Conklin had been visibly intoxicated and rambling Thursday night, when he revealed that he was suicidal and proceeded to lay in the middle of Willow Grove Rd. with his arms spread.  Neighbors pulled him from the road, after which a witness told the Rockland County Times that Conklin said he intended to “kill a cop tonight,” a threat neighbors did not take seriously.

The police received a hang-up phone call from his residence at 11:53 p.m. and responded to the scene. A half hour earlier police had been called to the home to respond to a domestic dispute between Conklin and his parents, whom Conklin also had threatened.

According to a friend of Conklin’s, he has been struggling with mental health issues the past month and was in and out of treatment.

The Stony Point Police were assisted by the Town of Haverstraw Police Department, the RC Sheriff’s Dept., the Clarkstown Police Dept., the NY State Police, Rockland Paramedics and the Stony Point Ambulance Corp.

CORRECTION: Conklin remains under observation at Nyack Hospital. It was previously reported that he had been released to his parents’ custody.

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