Suspect in custody in Greenpoint break-ins, sex assaults: cops

Credit: Yumi Kimura/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Yumi Kimura/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

Police took a suspect into custody Tuesday morning whom they believe to be the intruder responsible for breaking into three apartments in Williamsburg and Greenpoint on Monday night, a law enforcement official said.

The reported intruder robbed all three homes and attempted to sexually assault the female residents who were present at the time, police said.

They say the suspect they have in custody was found with multiple laptops and cell phones stolen from the apartments, including an iPhone from the first robbery, and that he was also caught on surveillance video in the second and third attacks.

The first incident occurred at 7:50 p.m., according to police reports. The intruder knocked at the door of an apartment on Berry Street. The door of the apartment has no peephole, police said, so the tenant, a woman who lives alone, opened the door to see who had knocked.

She was immediately punched in the face by the intruder and knocked unconscious, cops said.

Police said when she regained consciousness, she was naked and the intruder was on top of her attempting to rape her.

She screamed and a neighbor on the first floor of the building heard her and called 911, police said. The caller reportedly alerted another resident of the building, who entered the apartment and confronted the woman’s alleged attacker, only to be punched in the face by the fleeing intruder.

The intruder took a laptop and an iPhone with him when he fled, cops said.

They also recovered evidence at this crime scene: two beers the intruder apparently placed in the victim’s freezer.

The victim was brought to Woodhull Hospital and treated for a broken eye socket.

The second assault occurred about two hours later at 10:02 p.m., police said. The intruder was let into a building on Engert Street after pressing several buzzers.

The second victim’s door was open and unlocked, police said. The intruder asked the victim, a 40-year-old housewife who has lived at that apartment for more than 40 years, “Where’s John?” She replied that she was alone, and the intruder pushed her onto a chair and lifted up her dress, but made no demands or requests, cops said.

The victim’s husband’s name is John, police said. He reportedly heard a commotion and intervened, confronting the intruder. The intruder slashed the victim’s husband’s neck and stomach with “a key type of instrument,” police said, and then fled with the victim’s Virgin Mobile phone.

A law enforcement official said it is unknown whether this phone is one of the three phones found on the suspect in custody.

The third incident occurred about 20 minutes later and a few blocks away, at a building on Nassau Avenue. Police said the front door was open when the intruder walked in. The intruder encountered the victim in the hallway and the victim, a 37-year-old woman, asked him if he was there to visit her roommate.

The intruder grabbed the victim and pushed her onto a bed, police said. The victim’s roommate intervened, attempting unsuccessfully to hit the intruder with a broomstick. The intruder reportedly said, “All right, all right,” and walked back down the stairs and out the door, taking the victim’s laptop on his way out. The victim told police she saw a laptop under her attacker’s shirt as well.

Police said surveillance video from a bodega across the street showed the suspect asking the bodega owner for a bag. The owner reportedly told police the suspect shown on the video had multiple laptops with him and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

The 24-year-old suspect in custody was arrested in a building on Nassau Avenue by a rookie cop patrolling the building several hours later, police said. He has not yet been charged. He has two prior arrests on record and once worked for a local construction company based in Brooklyn.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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