Queens, NY – Two brothers beat a man to death after he tried to break into their mother’s home early on Monday morning.
Police said the intruder, a 26-year-old Maryland man, banged on the front door of 57-year-old Melinda Pitter’s home on Williamson Avenue in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood in Queens at about 2:45 a.m. on July 30, according to the Queens Courier.
Thinking it was the Domino’s pizza he’d ordered, 16-year-old Michael Paul opened the front door, the New York Daily News reported.
But when the teen opened the door, a man he did not know tried to force his way into the house.
Michael Paul managed to force him out, and slam the door shut again and lock it, according to the New York Daily News.
That’s when Pitter called on her older son, 27-year-old Joel Paul, to help and the brothers confronted the would-be intruder in the front yard.
A neighbor said that he watched as the Paul brothers beat the intruder with a baseball bat.
“He was talking to him and bam! Talking to him, and bam!” neighbor Wayne Barratt told the New York Daily News. “He was still standing over the guy when the police pulled up. He was hitting him with no discretion.”
A police source told the New York Daily News that Joel Paul also used a knife to stab the suspect in the chest.
Pitter called 911 and appeared to be trying to get her elder son to ease up with the bat as her younger son tried to get her to go back inside the house, another neighbor told the New York Daily News.
Officers from the 113th Precinct responded to the Pitter’s address for a burglary in progress, and found the suspect badly injured and rolling around on the ground in front of the home.
He had a trauma to the head and a stab wound to the upper body, according to the Queens Courier.
The suspect was transported to Jamaica Hospital where he later died, the Queens Courier reported.
The Paul brothers went with police to be questioned about the incident, but they were not arrested and were later released and seen returning home with their mother and 19-year-old sister, who was also there when the attempted home invasion occurred.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office was investigating the incident and will ultimately determine if any charges are to be filed in the case, according to the New York Daily News.
Neighbor and family friend Kim Satchell said the suspect made a bad decision when he opted to bother this particular family. She lives five houses away from the Pitter’s residence and said Joel Paul suffered from insomnia and was often up at all hours.
“He’s always up,” Satchell said. “They picked the wrong house.”
She told the New York Daily News that home invasions were not the norm for their community.
“This is not the street that time forgot,” Satchell said. “But this is not that kind of neighborhood.”