Update: 10:00 a.m. Four Brooklyn men brandishing knives and possibly a handgun invaded a North Bellmore home on Bellmore Avenue on Monday morning, around 9 a.m., and Nassau County police officers pursued the men into Merrick and later Wantagh, firing shots at and wounding one of the suspects, authorities said.
The Nassau County Police Department identified the four men as Eduardo Cruz, 35, Gustavo Arroyo, 33, Dario Guerrero, 55, and Carlos Enrique Segura, 29. All four men reside in Brooklyn.
Three residents at the home were reportedly tied up, and the invaders made off with $7,000 before they were captured.
Three of the suspects were caught on Monday morning. Police confirmed reports that the fourth suspect who had evaded police for much of the morning was captured around 12:30 p.m. on the Southern State Parkway, off Grand Avenue in Baldwin. According to a knowledgeable source, he had attempted to take a taxi cab back to Brooklyn.
Lt. Kevin Smith of the Nassau County Police Department said that officers fired at and struck one of the suspects as they pursued him by car, likely in Wantagh, wounding him in the leg. The suspect suffered a minor "graze" wound, a knowledgeable source said. The suspect was apprehended on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh in a white Crown Victoria, which had two bullet holes in the front window and one in the back window.
Police captured the first of the four suspects on Babylon Turnpike in Merrick and the second on Lindenmere Drive in Merrick. Smith said that the Crown Victoria stopped briefly at the corner of Babylon Turnpike and Merrick Road, where one of the suspects hopped out of the car and was tackled by police. Another of the suspects got out at Lindenmere Drive and Merrick Road, and was quickly apprehended. The Crown Victoria then sped off toward Wantagh, with two of the suspects inside. The third suspect was caught on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh. It was unclear how the fourth suspect, who was later caught in Baldwin, evaded police at that time.
Six were admitted to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for treatment, said Shelly Lotenberg, a hospital spokeswoman. Smith said that three of those admitted were residents of the invaded home, two were suspects, including the one with the gun-shot wound, and one was a police officer who suffered an ankle injury while pursuing a suspect.
As of press time, the police had not identified a motive for the crime, nor had they identified each suspect's individual role in the crime or subsequent escape attempt.
The four men have all been charged with four counts of robbery in the first degree, as well as three counts of burglary in the first degree.
Additionally, Cruz and Arroyo have been charged with resisting arrest in the first degree, and Guerrero has been charged with aggravated assault (attempt).
According to eyewitness reports, three police cars were seen speeding down Kirkwood Avenue in Merrick, by Babylon Turnpike, between Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway, around 10:35 a.m. A police cruiser was also seen stationed at Yale Road and Babylon Turnpike. And a police helicopter was spotted circling over Merrick Road, between Meadowbrook Parkway and Babylon Turnpike.
Police shut down Merrick Road in the area around Levy-Lakeside Elementary School.