Two brothers beat a man to death after he tried to break into their mother’s home early on Monday morning.
Police said the intruder, a 26-year-old Maryland man, banged on the front door of 57-year-old Melinda Pitter’s home on Williamson Avenue in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood in Queens at about 2:45 a.m. on July 30, according to the Queens Courier.
Thinking it was the Domino’s pizza he’d ordered, 16-year-old Michael Paul opened the front door, the New York Daily News reported.
But when the teen opened the door, a man he did not know tried to force his way into the house.
Michael Paul managed to force him out, and slam the door shut again and lock it, according to the New York Daily News.
Upon kicking the door open and forcing his way inside.
That’s when Pitter called on her older son, 27-year-old Joel Paul, to help and the brothers confronted the would-be intruder in the front yard.
Using a baseball bat and a knife, police said, the brothers attacked the home invader, striking him repeatedly about the torso and body.
A neighbor said that he watched as the Paul brothers beat the intruder with a baseball bat.
Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units responded to the location after receiving a 911 call about the incident. Upon arrival, they found the suspected burglar with trauma to the head and a stab wound to the torso.
No charges have been filed against the brothers at this time, but the investigation is ongoing, police said.
“He was talking to him and bam! Talking to him, and bam!” neighbor Wayne Barratt told the New York Daily News. “He was still standing over the guy when the police pulled up. He was hitting him with no discretion.”
A police source told the New York Daily News that Joel Paul also used a knife to stab the suspect in the chest.
Pitter called 911 and appeared to be trying to get her elder son to ease up with the bat as her younger son tried to get her to go back inside the house, another neighbor told the New York Daily News.
Officers from the 113th Precinct responded to the Pitter’s address for a burglary in progress, and found the suspect badly injured and rolling around on the ground in front of the home.
He had a trauma to the head and a stab wound to the upper body, according to the Queens Courier.
The Paul brothers went with police to be questioned about the incident, but they were not arrested and were later released and seen returning home with their mother and 19-year-old sister, who was also there when the attempted home invasion occurred.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office was investigating the incident and will ultimately determine if any charges are to be filed in the case, according to the New York Daily News.
Neighbor and family friend Kim Satchell said the suspect made a bad decision when he opted to bother this particular family. She lives five houses away from the Pitter’s residence and said Joel Paul suffered from insomnia and was often up at all hours.
“He’s always up,” Satchell said. “They picked the wrong house.”
She told the New York Daily News that home invasions were not the norm for their community.
“This is not the street that time forgot,” Satchell said. “But this is not that kind of neighborhood.”
Paramedics rushed the man to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police did not disclose his identity, pending family notification.
In other crime news, Pastor William Graney and another Resurrection Parish staff member were assaulted at the Pike Creek Catholic church, according to New Castle County Police.
County police officers were called to the church at about 2 p.m., according to a statement from the department. After arriving, witnesses directed the officers to the suspect, Joshua August, 25, who was leaving the area on a skateboard, police said.
The officers approached the suspect and apprehended him after a struggle, police said.
A subsequent police investigation found that church employees first were alerted to a problem when they heard arguing and then a struggle inside of Graney’s office, according to police.
They followed the sounds into his office and there they saw the August punching and kicking the priest in the face and stomach while he was on the floor.
The church employees tried to break up the fight, “but the white male subject pushed them aside and (then) went into another room, grabbed a bottle of wine, returned and poured it all over the injured pastor,” police said in the statement.
He used the empty wine bottle to then strike Graney in the head, police said. Then, he grabbed a can of compressed air and sprayed it into the priest’s mouth, police said.
After that attack, church employees were able to lure the suspect outside by telling him they would give him a ride and money, police said. Once outside, the employees locked the front door behind him.
The suspect then tried force his way back into the church, striking and breaking its main doors, police said. Still, he wasn’t able to enter.
Police then arrived, as well as medics, who took Graney to a local hospital where he was in stable condition on Monday evening.
Another parish staff member suffered minor injuries, Wilmington Diocese spokesman Robert Krebs said.
The suspect also was taken away by medics and treated for minor injuries. He remained in the hospital on Monday evening under the custody of police. He will be arrested and arraigned after he is discharged, police said.
Resurrection Parish offices will be closed and daily Masses canceled until further notice.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
July 31st, 2018