Monday, June 18, 2012
‘Death Wish’ New Jersey cop Richard Klementovich surrenders after 10-hour standoff with police outside estranged wife’s home
A New Jersey cop embittered by his divorce and angry about his job had a haunting Father's Day wish: to die in a hail of police bullets.
"They will do the job I couldn't and take my life," Clifton cop Richard Klementovich wrote in an email to his estranged wife after barricading himself in their former home in Pennsylvania with several high-powered rifles and piles of ammunition on Sunday, the Doylestown Intelligencer reported.
"I hope whomever comes to our house is ready to die tomorrow because I will be."
In the end, the disturbed 42-year-old climbed out a second-story window, wearing a bullet-proof vest and a gas mask, and surrendered to police, the Doylestown Intelligencer reported.
Klementovich, who was off duty at the time, was arrested at around 11:45 p.m., nearly 10 hours after the standoff began.
Cops said the incident started after Klementovich set up a Father's Day lunch with his ex-wife, Jill Major, and their two young children, the newspaper reported.
But instead of going to the restaurant, Klementovich went to their former home in Doylestown, called police and left a note in the driveway saying he had "scoped" rifes, piles of ammunition and was "ready to die."
Police showed up around 2 p.m.
Shortly after, cops heard gunfire coming from the house.
For the next 10 hours, cops say Klementovich took potshots at local authorities and SWAT teams gathered outside the home.
Several police vehicles were hit and one officer suffered shrapnel wounds to his face.
Klementovich also sent a handful of emails to his wife, including one that said he was "angry" at the Clifton police force.
In another, he admitted to abusing steroids, and said he was planning to commit suicide-by-cop.
"Tell the police I have a surprise for them, this is the way I want to die," he said in an email, according to the Intelligencer.
Negotiators eventually coaxed him out, and he surrendered peacefully.
The Gulf War veteran and 18-year police vet was charged with more than 13 counts of attempted murder and reckless endangerment on Monday morning.
A judge set his bail at $1 million and ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Klementovich earned nearly $115,000 as a police officer.
Fellow cops said he was a dedicated officer, but troubled by the breakup of his marriage last year.