2012-08-03 / Front Page

Gunpoint Burglary Bags Manhattan Man

Two Gun Thugs Menace Beach 118 Street Residents
By Howard Schwach


100 Precinct commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Scott Olexa, gives directions in the search for the second gunman. Photos by Howard Schwach. 100 Precinct commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Scott Olexa, gives directions in the search for the second gunman. Photos by Howard Schwach. A Manhattan man was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday on charges of burglary and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a home invasion burglary gone wrong on Monday morning.

Police say that Solne Martinez and an unidentified partner knocked on the door of a home at 191 Beach 118 Street, just south of Rockaway Beach Boulevard at about 11:10 a.m. on July 30.

When resident Douglas Owens came to the door and opened it, one of the gun thugs asked, “Is Ray home?”

When Owens turned around to ask his roommate a question, court records show, the two men pulled handguns and entered the home.

Police say that the two menaced the residents with hand guns, forcing them to lie face down on the floor.


Residents who were menaced by the gunmen speak with police. Residents who were menaced by the gunmen speak with police. Martinez allegedly struck Owens in the head with a silver handgun.

The court documents show that Owens got up and grappled with Martinez and the two gun thugs fled the home without taking anything.

Owens chased the men out of the home as they fled on Beach 118 Street towards the bay.

A Rockaway man standing on his stoop getting ready to go to work noticed the two men and then heard somebody yelling, “Stop them, they have guns.”

The man, who asked not to be identified, says that the two men were walking calmly towards the bay on Beach 118 Street, one on each side of the street, when they noticed a police car parked in the middle of the block.

Police sources say the car was there in response to a cardiac arrest call, but the two men took off through backyards when they saw the cops.

The cops on the block then reportedly heard the call for the gun run over their radios and gave chase.

One of those cops was Police Officer Li Wang, who says that he saw Owens and heard him yell about the man with the gun. He chased Martinez, who stopped in front of 258 Beach 118 Street and pulled a gun from his belt, pointing it upward.

Wang ordered Martinez to drop the gun and he complied. Court papers say it was a Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter semiautomatic.

Wang later found another gun in the backyard of 222 Beach 118 Street,thisonea9millimeter Ruger semi-automatic, fully loaded with 14 rounds.

Court records show that Martinez has one previous conviction for assault.

While Martinez was quickly collared by the responding cops, his partner got away despite a wide-ranging search.

The second suspect, identified by police as Justin Almonte, a resident of Beach 118 Street, was arrested on Wednesday, but had not been arraigned as The Wave went to press. See next week’s edition for more information.

Martinez was remanded to jail at his arraignment, charged with burglary as an armed felony offense, criminal possession of a weapon, assault, unlawful imprisonment and menacing.

His next court date was set for August 29.

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