Burglary Begets Violence in Brooklyn
In an unconscionable act, a home invader not only forced entreaty into a Brooklyn apartment in search of undeserved plunder, but also physically assaulted the 70-year-old woman who lived there during the attempted burglary. At around 10:00pm, longer after the winter sun had set, 42-year-old Luis Hernandez set a-prowl, knocking on neighborhood doors. At 10:10, he settled on the home of an elderly woman, who answered the door assuming it was a neighbor knocking. Mr. Hernandez, of Queens, then forced his way inside, taking full advantage of the frailty of his victim. According to police, he proceeded to slash her on the face and across the torso with a shard of broken glass.
Police promptly arrived on the scene, though Hernandez showed no signs of going down quietly. He resisted arrest so aggressively that officers were forced to resort to using a Taser. Luis Hernandez has since been charged with “multiple counts of assault and burglary.”
The victim was taken to Lutheran Medical Center and is, thankfully, in stable condition.
What Can I Do to Keep My Home Safe?
There are many different things you can do to help prevent home robberies. Burglars tend to seek certain particular things when “casing” (doing research on) a home, and tend to avoid homes that fit certain criteria. Here’s a list of tips that will help prevent break-ins, protect possible entrance points, and secure valuables if your home is breached.
- Make your home unappealing to burglars. Layer the exterior of your home with multiple forms of home security.
- Never leave the discarded boxes of valuable items visible. When throwing boxes for big screen televisions and other expensive items in the garbage, break them (the boxes) down into indiscernible pieces or pack them into opaque garbage bags.
- If you’re away on vacation, have a friend, neighbor or family member collect your mailbox. An overstuffed mailbox is a calling card for robbers: most know it signifies that homeowners are away for an extended period of time.
- Install motion sensor lights around your property, which help ward away would-be robbers.
- Keep your blinds closed. Don’t let prospective home invaders get a sneak preview of what your home has to offer, commodities-wise.
- Invest in homeowner’s insurance.
- Install windows with tough, hard-to-break glass and sturdy, hard-to-pry-open locks.
- Install multiple locks on all of your doors, back and front.
- Install an alarm system: some go for as cheap as $50 – $100 per month. (A small price to pay for peace of mind.)
- Consider a comprehensive home security system, complete with motion-sensitive recording systems. Some of these systems are controllable via your Smart Phone enabling you to review and surveil your premises, even when away.
- If a criminal intruder has broken into your home, the game may not be over yet. Hide your valuables in discreet locations. Super valuable items should be further secured away in safes or other passcode-protected vaults.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your precious belongings, in case a theft of grand proportions does take place. This way, you’ll be able to verify the missing items with your insurance company.
New York State Self-Defense Laws
There are firm rules in place, according to New York State law, which afford those being victimized by an aggressor certain rights as it pertains to self-defense.
The general cut and thrust of these laws suggest that there are times when physical force is considered lawful; essentially when extenuating circumstances dictate that such force has become necessary. Some such situations include:
- When a victim believes that they must use force in order to defend themselves or a third party from imminent physical force, when they themselves have not provoked said force.
- When a victim believes the above, unless it is the case that the initial aggressor has sufficiently / effectively withdrawn from the encounter. This could mean that they’ve vocally expressed their resignation or have attempted to retreat from the altercation.
What follows is a section that relates directly to home invasion. [A person may lawfully utilize physical force when / if:]
“The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the necessity of so doing by retreating; except that the actor is under no duty to retreat if he or she is: (i) in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor.”
There are further rules which outline stipulations involving scenarios wherein police and / or peace officers are present during the incident, or if the utilizer of self-defense believes an aggressor is about to perpetrate a heinous crime such as kidnapping, burglary, robbery or a criminal sexual act.
More comprehensive information is available online or can be accessed by contacting your local police station.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
Home invasions can be traumatizing. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a break-in, you deserve to be compensated for your emotional and physical distress. This goes double for those who have been injured during such painful events. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have a team of passionate and knowledgeable attorneys on standby- ready and eager to see you throughout the entirety of your legal process. We will fight tirelessly for your rights, and win you the compensation you deserve. This compensation will help allay the costs of expensive medical and/or therapy bills while you focus on what matters most: recovery. Not sure what to do next? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC for a free and easy consultation. Don’t delay- contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today.