2012-08-10 / Front Page

Cops Corral Second B. 118 St. Suspect

Gun Thug Had History With Man Busted At Scene
By Howard Schwach


Residents, including Douglas Owens, who were menaced by the gunmen, speak with police. Residents, including Douglas Owens, who were menaced by the gunmen, speak with police. Detectives from the 100 Precinct Squad and the Warrants Squad busted the second Manhattan man wanted for the gunpoint burglary of a Beach 118 Street home on July 30.

Court sources identify the man as Justin Almonte, 21, of 130 Columbia Street in Manhattan.

Another Manhattan resident, Solne Martinez, was busted at the scene right after the Monday morning crime by police officers from the precinct who were on the block for a medical assist call.

Court documents show that Martinez and Almonte 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 he 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 handguns, forcing them to lie face down on the floor.

Martinez allegedly struck Owens in the head with a silver handgun.

Court documents show that Almonte allegedly pointed his handgun at Raymond Manning, another resident in the house, and said, “Get on the ground or I will kill you.”

When Manning got on the ground, Almonte allegedly took off Manning’s belt and tried to tie his hands behind his back.

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.

At the time, a Rockaway man standing on his stoop on the next block noticed the two men and then heard somebody yelling, “Stop them, they have guns.”

The local, who asked not to be identified, says that the two 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.

Almonte slipped the police net by changing his clothing. The clothing that he was wearing during the burglary was later found in a garbage pail on Beach 116 Street, in front of the Rockaway Park Subway Station.

Almonte has been charged with using that gun in the burglary and with dumping it in the backyard.

According to police sources, Martinez’s arrest record showed that he had partnered with Almonte in the past.

Police got a warrant for Almonte and tracked him down to his Columbia Street address, where he was arrested and returned to Rockaway.

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.

Almonte was arraigned on August 2, charged with burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, assault and unlawful imprisonment.

He is being held on $50,000 bail.

Both men have to return to court on August 29.

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