Today’s news:

Burglar fires gun, nabbed

Police apprehended an alleged burglar who took a shot at a Pierce Avenue homeowner in hot pursuit.

At 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, the owner of a house on Pierce Avenue between Hone and Lurting avenues was surprised to find Eugene Smith, 56, of 1141 E. 229 Street looting jewelry and other valuables.

The homeowner and Smith exchanged heated words. Then Smith pulled out a 38-caliber gun and fired one shot as he fled the house. He missed the homeowner.

Police from the 49th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were on the scene immediately to make an arrest. They recovered the gun and jewelry.

“Officers Gersh and Tamao did a phenomenal job,” 49th Precinct Captain John Greeley said. “They got a description of the individual and apprehended him quickly. This should be helpful with other burglaries in the area.”

According to neighbors, the homeowner and Smith continued to yell at each other as Smith ran around the corner and down Hone Avenue towards Sackett Avenue. He stopped in front of a doctor’s office, where someone inside glimpsed Smith with a gun in his belt and a baseball bat in his hand.

Smith, who fled through backyards on Hone and Paulding avenues and who has three prior burglary convictions, was nabbed on the roof of 1554 Paulding Avenue. He carried a duffel bag containing alleged stolen goods.

The gunshot frightened neighbors, some of whom ran outside to ascertain the source and some of whom rushed inside to take cover.

“We saw eight police cars pull up and begin to search the backyards,” neighbor Michael Anzalone said. “A police helicopter was overhead. We were told that they were looking for somebody.”

The police were diligent in their backyard search, a second neighbor confirmed. A third neighbor, on her stoop to smoke a cigarette, saw Smith run by.

“He was in front of the doctor’s office yelling at someone on the street and looking around frantically,” the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “As soon as he was gone, I ran to my sister-in-law’s house, next door to the doctor’s office, to see if my nephew was alright. I was also worried about my other nephew, who’s in the eighth grade at St. Clare’s and was on his way home from school.”

Many neighbors were impressed by the quick police response.

“He tried hopping over the fences, but then the police caught him,” Bryan Santiago said.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

CNG: Community Newspaper Group