Four suspects wanted for a brutal Marine Park home invasion were nabbed by police inside a Knapp Street parking garage following a high-speed pursuit that spanned Kings County’s southern coast on April 17.
The Belt Parkway chase drew dozens of squad cars from three precincts, but New York’s Finest would never have zeroed in on the alleged bandits if not for the cool-headed actions of a Marine Park man, who not only alerted police, but tailed the suspects in his car until cops could take up the chase.
“I wanted to keep calm and make sure they didn’t see me,” said Matt Brown, a Marine Park resident and hero of the day. “I’m just glad it worked out the way it did and nobody got hurt.”
Brown was in his car near Nostrand Avenue at 2 pm, stopped at a red light, when he was surprised by a sight which — even in Brooklyn — you just don’t see everyday.
“So there I was, stopped at a red light, when all of sudden this woman comes running into the middle of the street, and she’s screaming, ‘Call the police, they’ve got my friends in the house.’ ”
Brown quickly ushered the panicked woman into his car and was trying to calm her down, when he noticed three men and a woman emerging from a nearby home, one of the men carrying a pistol, the woman carrying a purple duffle bag, and all removing masks and gloves, according to the good samaritan.
The apparent bandits began heading in the other direction, so Brown, still struggling to calm the frenzied woman now in his back seat, called 911, pulled a quick U-turn, and began tailing the suspects as they headed for their getaway car.
“They didn’t notice me, so I followed them,” Brown recounted. “Meanwhile, I’m on the phone with dispatch and I told them where they’re at, that the suspects were getting into a green Ford, and I told them to stand by, I’m going to get you their license plate number.”
And that’s how Brown began tailing the four armed suspects, managing to stay inconspicuous while pursuing them through red lights, and all the while reporting their every turn to a 911 dispatcher, who cautioned the man, “don’t get too close.”
Eventually, the suspects pulled over to an E. 35th Street curb near Avenue R just as a squad car from the 63rd Precinct rolled up behind them, oblivious to the fact that the innocuous Ford hatchback was filled with four armed crooks.
Fortunately, Brown was on hand.
“A cop started coming down the street, so the Ford pulled over, but I waved them down,” he said.
The cops flashed his lights, the Ford’s tired squealed away from, and the chase was on.
The pursuit snow-balled down Flatbush Avenue and then west along the Belt Parkway, according to police, as squad cars from the 61st, 63rd, and 69th precincts, as well as the highway patrol, joined the high-speed chase.
Retired navy photographer Bernie Schachner was cleaning his boat in a marina near where the chase ended inside Knapp Street’s UA Theater parking garage, and was astounded by the massive police presence on both land and in the sky.
“They had helicopters overhead, circling round and round,” said Schachner. “When I got up there, there were cars coming from every direction, all around the parking garage.”
The Sheepshead Bay navy man took to shore after seeing police surround the Sheepshead Bay movie theater, and even ventured inside the parking garage where he witnessed the arrest of the four fleeing suspects after their wheelman crashed.
“There were cops up on the roof, but apparently the car was on the second level at that point, and as soon as they saw it, they chased him down to the first level where he crashed into a pillar, and they pulled him out and handcuffed him,” Schachner recounted.
Police learned that the drama had begun when suspects allegedly followed their intended victim into his Avenue P apartment where they beat up his two friend and pistol whipped the victim before taking off with $1,000 and a chain necklace, according to court documents.
The suspects’ pistol, which police recovered under a car on E. 35th Street near Avenue R, turned out to be a BB-gun nearly indistinguishable from a 9mm pistol.
During the bust, police recovered a large sack of marijuana inside the purple duffle bag, alongside the victim’s cash, chain, and a large box of Dutch Masters cigars.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn
©2013 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.