Massachusetts State Police say a man who allegedly made threats to officers in Scituate on Tuesday morning that resulted in a multiple agency manhunt and led several schools to be placed in lockdown is now safely in custody.
After an intense five-hour search in the woods along Route 3A, 46-year-old Douglas Simonovitch of Oxford was apprehended by a SWAT team with an armored vehicle.
The manhunt began after Simonovitch’s female friend called police around 8:30 Tuesday morning saying he had run out of her car into the woods near the police department and was suicidal.
“The officers established communications with him via cell phone. During that communication, he indicated that he was armed with two .45s and 14 round clips," Scituate Police Chief Michael Stewart said.
Police said they knew Simonovitch had a backpack on, but they weren’t sure what was in it.
"He indicated that if we approached him, he would shoot police," Stewart said.
MetroLEC SWAT, ATF, and the FBI were called in, and they established a mile wide perimeter. A section of Route 3A was temporarily closed.
Nearby Cushing Elementary, Gates Middle and Scituate High School were told to shelter in place. Some parents opted to pick their children up from school as the search continued.
“When they said it was in the vicinity of the neighborhood, I just got nervous," said Sandra Ponichtera, a mother of two students who also lives near where the suspect was arrested.
A reverse 911 call was also made to nearby homeowners.
Joe Mulhern, who lives nearby, said the call said, “You should stay in your home because of a man that’s around and he’s suicidal.”
After further negotiations, Simonovitch was taken into custody without any injuries.
Police said he is believed to be an Army veteran who appeared to be intoxicated and will likely undergo a mental health evaluation.
“There’s likely to be no charges here," Stewart said. "While he did make a threatening response to the officers, the officers were never exposed to a firearm, we have not located a firearm.”
Police said Simonovitch did have an outstanding warrant out of Rockland for violating a restraining order taken out by a female relative of the woman he was with on Tuesday morning.
He could be arraigned on that charge in Hingham District Court on Wednesday.