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Standoff draws SWAT team response in Spring Township

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 08 2013 04:34:36 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2013 07:58:57 AM CDT

Standoff ends in Spring Township

SPRING TWP., Pa. -

A  former U.S. Marine, who barricaded himself in his home, caused police to descend on a quiet Spring Township community with guns drawn around 3 p.m. Monday.

Vincent Civitarese, 24, assaulted his mother and sister, and threatened them from a second floor window, police said.

Civitarese also threatened to kill himself or anyone who tried to exit the home, detectives said.

The mother and sister later managed to escape the residence, and that's when the former Marine barricaded himself inside the home located in the 2100 block of Spring Street, investigators said.

During the time the Marine refused to come out of the home, he held a knife to his throat threatening to kill himself, authorities said.

Three hours after the standoff began, negotiators with the Berks County Emergency Response Team were able to get the Civitarese to drop the knife and come out of the home, authorities said.

The incident stemmed from a domestic dispute, police said.

The mother and sister suffered minor injuries and are expected to be okay, police confirm.

Civitarese, who has completed several tours of duty in Iraq, is facing aggravated assault charges, investigators said.

Spring Township investigators also confirm that Civitarese has been treated in the past for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as other mental illnesses.

He was involuntarily admitted to the Reading Hospital under a 302 commitment.

According to the State of Pennsylvania, and hospital officials, a 302 commitment is an application for emergency evaluation and possible treatment of people who are considered "dangerous" to themselves or others by reason of mental illness.