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Victim critical after 1-man crime spree

October 1, 2009 9:25:25 PM PDT
A man is in critical condition after he was beaten by a suspect on a one-man crime spree on Long Island. And police say the suspect took drastic measures to try and avoid detection and elude police.

People were running from their homes and into the street as the crime spree unfolded in Bellmore Thursday. One woman stopped a carjacking by banging on her front window, and it ended on Nassau Street where a 71-year-old man was viciously assaulted in his own home.

Police say the spree started when the 50-year-old suspect broke into a home on Center Street and stole a computer while a young woman was in the kitchen.

"The person got concerned and dialed 911," Nassau police lieutenant Kevin Smith said. "A very short time later, a person came out of the basement, confronted that person in the kitchen and then took off."

And that's what police say the suspect ran to a nearby gas station on Sunrise Highway and tried to carjack an SUV with a woman and her 12-year-old son inside. Bernadette Masiello was pumping gas at the gas station.

"Scared," she said. "More than worried. Petrified. All I cared about was my son, getting him out of the car."

The suspect then ran into a house on Nassau Street and assaulted the elderly homeowner in the basement. Police say the attacker than shaved his head and cut his pants to disguise his appearance. But cops caught up with him on the street, and a neighbor took pictures of the arrest.

"As they stopped him, the proceeds of one of the burglaries came out of his pocket," Smith said.

The suspect has not been identified, but it is expected that he will be charged with burglary and assault. Those charges would be upgraded if the beating victim, who is fighting for his life, does not survive.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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