Citizen + Rifle = Burglar in
No shots fired.
Originally ran here
"Man, 64, holds suspect with gun"
May 5, 2001
By T.A. PARMALEE
NewJerseyOnline Staff Writer
HAMILTON, NEW JERSEY -- A man returning from a
stroll in a local garden came home yesterday to find one of his windows broken.
So Karl Provost, 64, of the 2000 block of Kuser
Road got his gun.
"At that point, I didn't really know what
I was dealing with and I felt more comfortable with a gun in my hand,"
Provost said. "That way, I knew no one was getting hurt . . . including
When Provost entered his bedroom brandishing
the loaded gun -- a rifle, according to police -- he found a stranger rooting
through his things, he said.
"The truth is, it wasn't any
trouble," Provost said after yesterday's ordeal. "He saw the gun and
said none of this is necessary . . . that he wasn't going to run."
Even so, Provost kept the rifle pointed at the
thinly built man "who must have weighed only 120 pounds" and dialed
911, relating the situation to a dispatcher.
"There must have been a small army of cars
here in nothing flat," Provost said from his home. "I was on the phone
until the cops came in. You have to understand that the whole time, (he) was
cooperating. The place was a mess, but basically, he was sitting on my
Police said yesterday the alleged burglar, whom
they identified as Alfredo Gonzales, 40, of Magazine Street in Newark, did not
steal anything from the home and cooperated with police. He was being held last
night in the township lockup in lieu of bail, police said.
Gonzales was a construction worker in the area,
Although he admitted he was "a bit shaken
up," Provost said the incident was not a big deal. "Actually, it comes
down on a very small scale," he said. "This turned out very good. All
I ended up with was a busted window, and I'm fixing that now.
"But I wasn't scared," Provost said.
"I tell you, the big thing that made life easy is that I read that the man
wasn't violent and he said he wasn't violent. I was ready to go along with
Provost said the only item he was worried would
be stolen was his computer, which he had been using to research heart disease,
an illness he has battled many years. "Ten years ago, I couldn't walk a
thousand feet, but recently I walked all over New York City," he said.
Provost said he was retracing the steps he took
during the incident and realized he made several mistakes. "If this ever
happens again, I'll handle it better," he said.
Police said the incident remains under
investigation by Officer Brian Carvale and Detective Sgt. Joseph Mastropolo.
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