#1Oct 21st, 2007
By Sam Wood
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Hours after being released from state prison, a Burlington County man barricaded himself inside a Mount Laurel townhouse Wednesday and held his 6-year-old daughter hostage with a kitchen knife to her throat, authorities said.
This morning, he was back in jail after a tense three-and-a-half hour standoff with police.
Thomas R. McGriff, 33, had been set free from Bayside State Prison early Wednesday morning after completing the mandatory minimum sentence for a 2003 attack on the child's mother and her boyfriend.
Police received a 911 call shortly before 4 p.m. reporting an altercation at the woman's home on Cypress Point Circle in Mount Laurel. By the time officers arrived, McGriff was locked inside the townhouse, armed with a knife, and threatening his daughter, police said.
About 200 neighbors were cleared from their homes as officers negotiated with McGriff, who eventually released the girl and surrendered, police said.
McGriff was taken to a Willingboro hospital for an evaluation. He was later charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, terroristic threats and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
He was being held this morning at the Burlington County jail after failing to post $132,500 bail.
McGriff was convicted in 2004 on two counts of aggravated assault after he pursued his former girlfriend down the New Jersey Turnpike, ramming her car at high speed and causing both vehicles to crash.