HELMETTA, N.J. — A manhunt is underway in New Jersey for a man wanted in connection with.
With helicopters overhead and police on the ground, including the FBI, the search continues for Gregory Yetman.
Law enforcement zeroed in on a home on Main Street in the Middlesex County town of Helmetta, keeping the road closed for hours.
“It was scary and I’m still, you can see, I’m on edge,” one neighbor said.
That man, who asked not to be identified, said the commotion began around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“I look outside, there’s two guys here with assault rifles. Two over there. Two over there. They were all over the place. I walked outside a little bit. I asked the officer. He said go inside,” the neighbor said. “We didn’t really know what’s going on and it’s scary. What’s really scary is when it’s in your own backyard.”
Police said Yetman fled when the FBI was attempting to execute a warrant, hopping a fence into a heavily wooded area that authorities combed through all day.
Spotswood Public Schools sheltered in place, although students were off Wednesday.
“It was scary at first to know the town was on lockdown and we didn’t know why,” resident Ginny Werner said.
Werner said she received an alert on her phone.
“No immediate threat to Spotswood residents,” she said, reading.
“It’s just very unusual for this town. It’s a very safe town. Not much ever goes on, so it has been a little overwhelming,” Ken Leisentritt said.
A command post was set up at the Helmetta Community Center. Mayor Chris Slavicek said the FBI is determined to find Yetman.
“If you know something, see something, say something, and certainly air on the side of caution. Most importantly, the safety of our community is paramount and law enforcement agencies have reassured me that we are in a safe place right now,” Slavicek said.
The New Jersey National Guard confirmed that Yetman served in the Army National Guard for about 12 years until March 2022.
Watch Jenna DeAngelis’ report
Armed FBI agents in camo, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and search dogs remained parked in front of Yetman’s home Wednesday night. FBI agents could be seen speaking with people inside Yetman’s house.
Neighbor Frank Sanford had the FBI at his door in the morning, asking if he and his wife knew anything.
“It was a little crazy … My wife called me … said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, SWAT vehicle and this vehicle and dogs,'” he said.
Helmetta is less than a square mile long and doesn’t even have a traffic light.
The mayor told the town’s approximately 3,200 residents to keep their doors locked and stay vigilant.
“It’s an uneasy feeling. Our motto is ‘small town, big heart’ here. We’re kind of like ‘Cheers’ where everybody knows your name, so, you know, this hits home,” he said.
The FBI believes there’s no threat to the community. The search is expected to continue into Thursday.
More than 780 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 280 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call FBI Newark at 973-792-3000.