Four accused in home invasion arraigned

Four Brooklyn men face charges in a Bellmore home invasion robbery. They were arrested after a police chase. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Sept. 21, 2011)

Four Brooklyn men accused of a home-invasion in Bellmore that ended in a wild police chase were ordered jailed without bail Wednesday on robbery and burglary charges.

Judge Eric Bjorneby of First District Court in Hempstead remanded each of the men -- Eduardo Cruz, 35; Dario Guerrero, 55; Carlos Enrique Segura, 29; and Gustavo Arroyo, 33. They're due back in court Friday. All were represented by legal-aid attorney Yolanda Guerra, who denied the charges.

At the men's arraignment, Prosecutor Melissa T. Lewis of the district attorney's major offense bureau said one gun and at least two knives were used in the Monday morning home invasion, in which two people were bound and gagged.

Records show $6,850 and two cellphones were taken. It was unclear Wednesdayhow the men chose the home.

Lewis said Cruz initially escaped police custody, and when he was recaptured had a handcuff dangling from his wrist.

At least three defendants signed written confessions in Spanish, according to records made available Wednesday.

"We only wanted to rob drugs from a house that was supposed to be empty," Cruz said in his confession.

Said Segura, who had a beer at a bar after the robbery, according to his confession: "I am not a violent person."

Lewis said Guerrero chauffeured the suspects. He cooperated when first stopped by police, but then fled. "He saw his opportunity," Lewis said. "He got back into the car and fled at a high rate of speed."

Initially denying her relative was guilty, a family member of one defendant smacked equipment from a cameraman shooting video of her leaving the courthouse; another relative used a baby stroller to run over a television reporter's foot, knocking her to the ground.

In Monday's home invasion, police said, the four tied up and robbed a family in their Bellmore Avenue home. They then led police on a pursuit that rattled several communities, led to the lockdown of more than two dozen schools, prompted door-to-door searches and ended with police shooting Guerrero, the driver, in the leg. He suffered minor injuries; police have said the officer fired in fear for his life but have not explained the circumstances.

Six people were hospitalized during the incident: three of five victims from the home invasion; two suspects and an officer who hurt his ankle during the chase.

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