Southampton Village Cops: Knife Wielding Intruder Caught

Southampton Village Justice Court.
Southampton Village Justice Court. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly

A woman’s father chased a knife-wielding intruder who entered their Southampton Village home Monday morning, before police officers joined in the pursuit and eventually subdued the suspect with a Taser, according to authorities.

Police said that at 9:40 a.m. the 21-year-old woman, who lives on Breese Lane, called 911 reporting a burglar wearing a ski mask was in her house with a knife. Before police arrived, the woman’s father came home and he began chasing the burglar northbound; police officers joined in, leading them into a backyard, where the burglar was apprehended, according to police.

Police identified the suspect as James Edward McErlean Jr., 56, of East Hampton. McErlean was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree menacing and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies, plus fourth degree criminal possession of a possession, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal trespass, and possession of burglar’s tools, all misdemeanors.

The 21-year-old woman was taken by Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance to Southampton Hospital, where she was treated for facial injuries and a laceration to her hand.

At arraignment, McErlean was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside without bail, police said.

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