Cops: Dad helps foil home invasion in Hamptons

A masked, knife-wielding burglar in Southampton was foiled Friday after his victim called 911 and her father helped cops catch him in a neighbor's backyard, police said.

Southampton Village police said they received the call at 9:40 a.m. from a Breese Lane woman, 21, who reported a burglar who had attacked her at her home, wearing a green ski-mask and wielding a knife. When police arrived, the woman's father, who had just returned home, was chasing the burglar on foot north on Breese Lane, police said.

Police said they joined the chase that led them into another Breese Lane backyard, where officers used a stun gun to subdue the alleged burglar.


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Police identified the man as James Edward McErlean Jr., 56, of East Hampton. He was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree menacing, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, resisting arrest, criminal trespass in the third degree, and possession of burglar's tools, police said.

The woman was taken to Southampton Hospital, by Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance. She was treated for facial injuries and a cut to her hand, police said.

McErlean was remanded to the Suffolk County jail in Riverside and held without bail, police said.

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