A domestic dispute is being blamed by police for a seven-hour standoff Friday night and Saturday morning in a well-to-do Balltown Road neighborhood.
According to Niskayuna police, Matthew Hayner, 30, of Gloversville, violated an order of protection when he showed up about 5:30 p.m. Friday at a house at 2553 Balltown Road, where his child and the child’s mother live.
The unidentified woman and her two children were able to leave the house unharmed, police said, but unspecified statements made by Hayner led police to surround the house and evacuate neighboring homes. Three armed officers were stationed around the property, one across the street and the other two hidden behind large trees. All three had long guns and stood guard while the Schenectady Police Department SWAT team got into position.
As the SWAT team arrived, other officers cleared the area and closed Balltown Road. They asked churchgoers across the street to leave, explaining gently that although they had the right to stay, they might be in danger. Police said they were afraid stray shots from the house could strike onlookers.
“We don’t know if he has a gun or not,” an unidentified officer said.
A woman living next door hurried down busy Balltown Road with two small children, whom she delivered to someone waiting in a car at the nearby intersection of Providence Avenue. She said she wanted to “get the children out of here,” but returned to her house.
Shortly after midnight, after police had unsuccessfully tried to communicate with Hayner, they said, the SWAT team entered the home and found the man unarmed. He was taken into custody and later charged with first-degree criminal contempt, second-degree harassment and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.
He was arraigned Saturday morning in Niskayuna Town Court and sent to the Schnectady County jail without bail.
Niskayuna and Schenectady police were assisted by the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office, Schenectady County Emergency Management, Niskayuna Fire District 1 and the Albany Police Department.