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Milford standoff suspect allegedly threatened to kill wife and burn down home

MILFORD — Relief in Milford as a suspect standoff that paralyzed a neighborhood for nearly nine hours ended peacefully.

It started and ended at 40 Falmouth Street. Police say 38 year old Matthew Smith barricaded himself after an alleged domestic violence incident.

It put the neighborhood on edge and on lockdown.

“It was just really frightening,” remarked a neighbor who declined to be identified.

Neighbors woke up to the sound of crisis negotiators. “It sounded like somebody talking on a megaphone,” the neighbor said. And the sight of men in military gear.

“A man in fatigues, carrying a rifle,” said Paul Lofgren, who lives down the street. He saw the text messages from his concerned family. “I then looked out the window and I realized, holy cow. I guess something serious is going on,” said Lofgren.

At 3AM, 38 year old Matthew Smith’s wife walked into the police department bruised and battered. She said Smith held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her, any future children she may have and burn down the family home. Police surrounded Smith’s home. But by 4:30AM, Smith stopped talking.

Officer Mike Devito, the Public Information Officer for the Milford Police Department said, “We tried getting our crisis negotiation phone to him. We utilized his cell phone and house phone which we had from the victim. We tried the old school bull horn. So we tried all kinds of methods to reestablish communication.”

So the drones flew and the ground robot was ready too. By 11AM they made the decision to make entry. Police were worried about the safety of students walking home from the nearby high school. With police dogs standing by — SWAT breached the back door and put Smith into handcuffs without incident. It brought an end to 9 hours of uncertainty. “I had no question that this would end peacefully,” said a neighbor.

“We knew that he was alone in the house which was important. We weren’t positive whether he had firearms although we knew in the past  he was known to possess firearms,” said Officer Devito.

Smith has other gun charges related to a state police investigation. He recently moved to Milford and rented the home form his in-laws.

Smith’s wife is okay. She is fully cooperating with police. Smith is charged with assault, threatening, interfering with an officer and is being held on $25,000 bond. He will be in court in Milford on Tuesday.

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