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Police: East Hampton Man “Wielding a Knife” Arrested After Burglary in Southampton

Posted on 14 May 2014

By Kathryn G. Menu

A Springs man was charged with multiple felonies following an attempted burglary Friday morning that sent a 21 year-old Southampton resident to the hospital with minor injuries.

Southampton Village Police received a 911 call from a Breese Lane, Southampton, resident at 9:40 a.m. reporting a burglar wearing a green ski mask and wielding a knife in the home. Police said when they arrived, the burglar was already being chased on foot northbound on Breese Lane by the female victim’s father, who had returned home that morning, but not before his daughter sustained a lacerated hand and facial injuries.

Police joined the pursuit, which led them into the backyard of another residence on Breese Lane, where officers arrested James Edward McErlean Jr., 56. Police said they used a Taser on Mr. McErlean to subdue him and take him into custody.

Mr. McErlean was charged with burglary in the first degree, attempted robbery in the first degree, assault in the second degree, two counts of menacing in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, all felony crimes. He was also charged with 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 for possession of burglars’ tools, all misdemeanors.

The female victim was taken to Southampton Hospital by the Southampton Village Volunteer ambulance, where she was treated for her injuries.

Mr. McErlean was held in Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of bail Saturday morning.

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