Vineland man arrested for putting gun to police officer’s head, pulling trigger

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WHITEMARSH, PA – Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher Ward announce the arrest of Reynaldo Figueroa-Ardon, 20, of Vineland, N.J., for Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and related charges after he put a gun to a Whitemarsh Township police officer’s head and pulled the trigger.

On Wednesday morning, March 10, 2021, at approximately 8:00 a.m., a Whitemarsh Township police officer responded to Mulberry Lane in the Lafayette Hill section of Whitemarsh Township for a report of a male in an orange and green hoodie walking down the street, checking vehicle door handles to see if they were unlocked.

When the officer pulled his police vehicle onto Mulberry Lane, he saw the male suspect in the hoodie and noticed he immediately started walking away from the officer.

The officer quickly exited his vehicle, told the male to stop multiple times, but he refused. The officer jogged to the suspect, grabbed his arm, and asked what he was doing in the area.

At that point, the defendant, Figueroa-Ardo, pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer’s head. The officer heard at least three clicks, but no shots were fired.

The officer wrestled with the defendant, attempting to disarm him, and they both went to the ground. The officer was able to gain control of the defendant but was unable to handcuff him until additional police officers arrived, and Figueroa-Ardon was taken into custody.

A Sig-Sauer handgun was recovered. Detectives determined that the gun was stolen overnight from a parked vehicle in Worcester Township in western Montgomery County, and the owner had reported the gun stolen. When recovered by police, the handgun had bullets in the magazine but no bullet in the chamber and thus did not fire when Figueroa-Ardon pulled the trigger.

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“For a police officer, even a routine call can turn deadly in moments,” said DA Steele. “All of us in law enforcement are feeling very blessed right now that the defendant wasn’t able to rack a bullet into the chamber of the stolen gun before he pulled the trigger. Thankfully, the police officer went home to his family after this very dangerous incident.”

“This police officer—who is a father, husband, son, brother and veteran—reacted quickly and used his training and experience to gain control of this very dangerous situation, thankfully, with the best possible outcome,” said Chief Ward.

Figueroa-Ardon was charged with felony charges of Attempted Criminal Homicide of a Law Enforcement Officer, Attempted Aggravated Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer, Receiving Stolen Property, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer, Possession of a Firearm Prohibited, Firearm Not to Be Carried Without a License and misdemeanor charges.

He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Gregory Scott, who set bail at $3.5 million cash. The defendant failed to make bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. March 24, 2021, before Magisterial District Judge Deborah Lukens.