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Police: Seaford man charged in assault, robbery

A Seaford man lured another man into his basement to beat and rob him, then drove him around in the trunk of a car before the victim was able to flee, police said Tuesday.

Police said Matthew Bernet, 34, lured the victim into the basement of Bernet's house on Somerset Drive in Seaford on Jan. 19 around 1:30 p.m.

An accomplice repeatedly struck the victim with a baseball bat, and the victim was also hit with a handgun, bound to a chair with duct tape and blindfolded, police said.

Police said Bernet and the accomplice, who has not been arrested, demanded he turn over the combination to a safe in his home.

The victim gave them the combination, police said, but Bernet and his accomplice nevertheless instructed the victim to bring $50,000 to a park the next day - or they would kill him.

The victim was then placed in the trunk of his car and driven around.

When the car stopped, police said the victim was able to free himself, then drove home and found money and jewelry missing from the safe.

He was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center with a skull fracture and what police termed "multiple lacerations to his head and face." His condition is unknown.

Bernet was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree attempted grand larceny and fourth-degree grand larceny.

He was scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Tuesday.

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