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Homeowner pounced on burglary suspect

A Magistrates' Court trial has begun for a teen charged with an attempted burglary who was chased and restrained by the home owner.

Tahj Robinson, 17, of Spice Hill in Warwick, kept his not guilty plea yesterday when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner for the November 12 incident.

Warwick resident Sergio Lottimore told the court he had finished playing videogames with his brother, Lorenzo, around 10am when he saw someone “behaving suspiciously” on the wall outside his apartment door.

The 25-year-old said he and his brother hid in separate bedrooms and listened as the stranger tried to enter the home through a kitchen door and window.

The pair decided to arm themselves with a machete and pruning saw and “were both prepared to exit the house and challenge the suspect,” Mr Lottimore said.

“I went to the back door and noticed I couldn't see the person. So I went back to where my brother was located. At which time I noticed the person was outside the house going back in the opposite direction.”

The stranger moved towards the front of the house and the brothers made their way outside to look for the suspect, said Mr Lottimore.

During the examination by Crown counsel Karen King, the homeowner said he found the teenager and along with his brother chased him through their Rocklands Road neighborhood.

“The man tried to escape (from) my brother and I and ran to the back of a shed and eventually, when he came out the other side of the shed, he ran into my brother's arms.

“They fought and fell to the ground. My brother and this man then struggled. In the struggle my brother eventually got on top of him and pinned him to the ground.

“But he was still trying to resist at that time, so I kind of grabbed his neck and assisted in restraining him.”

According to Mr Lottimore's evidence the teenager asked why they had tackled him; to which his brother replied ‘because you tried to break into my house'.

The homeowner said the person he restrained was the same man he saw in his yard. However he couldn't confirm if it was the same suspicious person on the wall as that man's head was turned.

Maintaining Mr Robinson's innocence, defence lawyer Larry Mussenden questioned aspects of Mr. Lottimore evidence yesterday.

He claimed the 17-year-old had run from the men because they were coming at him carrying weapons, not because he was trying to flee from the scene. “If a man chased you with a machete what would you do?” asked Mr Mussenden.

The homeowner admitted he would run, but added: “Especially if I had done something wrong.”

Mr Mussenden asked the witness if he remembered pinning the suspect to the ground and saying ‘I didn't want to take it this far,' but Mr Lottimore denied ever saying this.

The trial will continue on Thursday morning and Mr Robinson was remanded in custody until then.

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Published December 01, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 3:40 am)

Homeowner pounced on burglary suspect

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