Press briefing: SWAT, explosives call
Cpl. Edwin Ritter addresses the media following an incident in Lawrenceville on Aug. 1 which brought out the SWAT team and explosives unit.
LAWRENCEVILLE — No explosives were found at the scene of SWAT standoff in Lawrenceville Wednesday and the suspect was taken into custody after his handgun malfunctioned, officials said.
Matthew Barton, 33, of Lawrenceville was arrested and faces a litany of charges in the incident that began at about 10 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Ga. Highway 20 and Russell Road. Barton was allegedly assaulting a female in his car in the parking lot of a Shell gas station, just steps away from a nearby childcare facility.
When Gwinnett County police intervened, Barton let the female go but threatened officers with a gun and claimed there were explosives in the car, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
The intersection was blocked to all traffic and pedestrians while the SWAT team was called in. Barton was arrested after “his handgun apparently malfunctioned,” Smith said. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of obstruction of a police officer and one count each of battery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Barton is being held at Gwinnett County Jail without bond.
When the hazardous devices unit finished checking the vehicle, they announced they had found only fireworks inside, Smith said.
“There were no (improvised explosive devices) or bombs in the vehicle,” Smith said.
The typically busy intersection was reopened to traffic at about 2:30 p.m., police said.