A veteran New Jersey officer with the Clifton Police Department exchanged gunfire with SWAT teams after he barricaded himself inside his estranged wife’s home on Father’s Day. Richard Klementovich was eventually taken into custody after a ten-hour standoff. The Clifton cop had told his wife in an email that he was using anabolic steroids, was suicidal and had hoped that cops would kill him during the standoff. His death wish was “suicide by cop”.
Klementovich was angry at the Clifton Police Department and blamed law enforcement for his current state of mind. At least one news source has suggested that Klementovich blamed steroids for his actions. However, law enforcement officials believe that various factors contributed to the mental state of Klementovich.
Bensalem Police Sergeant Andrew Aninsman, the co-chairman of the Bucks County Crisis Intervention Team, believed that Klementovich was suffering from some type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I’m going to make the professional guess that the officer was suffering some kind of PTSD,” said Aninsman. “If you put each factor of (Klementovich’s) life into a chemical solution, it’s a solution to explode.”
Klementovich served in the United States Army Airborne division in “Operation Desert Storm” during the Persian Gulf War. He had since been employed by the Clifton Police Department and Somerset County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years.
His wife filed for divorce last fall and co-workers have described the divorce proceedings as “bitter”. The couple has two young children.
Klementovich has been charged with over 80 counts of criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and assault of a law enforcement officer. He has been held at Bucks County Correctional Facility on bail of $1 million.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler has sought to increase the bail amount.
“I do not want to see this guy get out,” he said.
Coughlin, M. (June 18, 2012). ‘Tell the police I have a surprise for them, this is the way I want to die’. Retrieved from http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times_news/tell-the-police-i-have-a-surprise-for-them-this/article_8b03324f-7264-5df1-b3e3-8fb005263843.html
Hegel, T. (June 18, 2012). Some speculate Klementovich suffering from PTSD. Retrieved from http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_town/doylestown/some-speculate-klementovich-suffering-from-ptsd/article_34a78227-40d5-5a4e-b102-41e8bc6d54ed.html