SWAT Team Helps Catch Mugging Suspect During Storm
by Thomas MacMillan | Oct 30, 2012 9:18 am
Posted to: Legal Writes, City Point
As Sandy tore through town Monday night, gunshots rang out in the Hill—leading to a SWAT deployment and an arrest.
Police Chief Dean Esserman shared the details of that incident during a morning briefing at the city’s Emergency Operations Center. Here’s what he and Lt. Jeff Hoffman said happened:
Just before midnight a flatbed tow truck stopped at a light at Howard Avenue and Spring Street. A man approached the passenger side and pointed a gun at a woman in the passenger seat. He demanded money. The man driving the truck took $50 from the center console and gave it to the woman, who handed it over to the man with the gun.
“Don’t shoot me,” said the woman.
The driver pulled away. As the truck was passing through the intersection, the driver and the passenger heard two to three shots.
They found a cop two blocks away on Howard Avenue and told him they’d seen the man run into a house at the corner of Spring and Howard.
Patrol cops were already in the area, stationed in cruisers on Howard Avenue every two blocks for 10 blocks from the waterfront, because the power was out in City Point. Patrol cops locked down the area and set up a perimeter.
They ordered people out of the three-story house. The alleged shooter was not among the people who came out.
By telephone, Esserman authorized sending in the SWAT team to find the guy. That’s regular protocol when police believe an armed man is inside a house and not coming out. SWAT searched the building and didn’t find him.
Meanwhile, the woman who had been in the passenger seat of the tow truck was parked in a cruiser a block away at Howard and Putnam. She was looking at everyone who came out of the building. Then she noticed a man walk by—the guy who had pointed a gun at her.
Cops arrested the man, who had a connection to a second-floor apartment in the building SWAT had searched. Police searched the apartment and found some ammunition. They did not recover the gun.
The tow truck driver and passenger both ID’d the man, who was arrested on charges of robbery, larceny, and attempted assault.
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