N.Y. burglary suspect jumps into bay, caught by aviation officers

By Herbert Lowe, Staff Writer

A Queens burglary suspect ran and jumped into Jamaica Bay, but he could not hide from the big police bird in the sky.

Anthony Dunn, 20, of Broad Channel, who jumped into the bay yesterday morning and hid in the marsh, was captured by New York Police Department aviation officers who used their helicopter's propellers to sweep aside the water weeds and find him, police said.

After responding to a 7:40 a.m. call to 911 of a burglary in progress at the neighborhood V.F.W. hall, police said they saw Dunn run from the building at 710 Shade Creek Rd., which is a block from his house on West 10th Road. They pursued him on foot until he jumped into the bay.

Within minutes, the aviation unit dispatched two helicopters from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. At least one of the helicopters was used to blow the 6-foot-high weeds in the marsh, and Anthony Dunn was spotted within five minutes.

"He was trying to hide. He was motionless," said Officer Charles Schnetzer, 31, one of the officers who responded. Schnetzer said the suspect was "difficult to spot in the weeds" because "his clothing blended right in with the sea bottom."

Anthony Dunn refused the officers' call for him to get up. After the pilot, Sgt. Mike Hendrix, 40, maneuvered the helicopter within 2 feet of the ground, Schnetzer and Officer John Mortimer, 33, jumped out.

Only then did Anthony Dunn stand up. He was quickly handcuffed and placed in the helicopter, then turned over to officers from the 100th Precinct, Schnetzer said.

Schnetzer said it was satisfying for him, as a member of the aviation unit, to make a rare capture of a suspect.

"After finishing a job like this, you feel like you're able to help your fellow officers," he said.

Police also arrested Dunn's brother, Christopher Dunn, 16, inside the V.F.W. hall.

They each were charged with burglary, police said.

Copyright 2006 Newsday, Inc.

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