Bungling burglar takes a beating

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Two men quickly complied with a police officer's order to put down the shotgun and baseball bat they wielded over a hogtied man lying on his belly in the foyer of a Brookline residence.

The bound man, Christopher DePaolo, 23, is a suspected burglar who was surprised Thursday afternoon when he kicked in the front door of the Chelton Avenue residence, only to be confronted by the occupant, Dorjan Anderson.

"He didn't stand a chance," Mr. Anderson, who is trained in jujitsu, said of the suspect. "I was just flabbergasted by the whole thing, just that it was happening over in Brookline. You don't get much safer than Brookline. It's a nice community."

On a normal weekday, Mr. Anderson said, he likely would have been at work at the time of the attempted burglary at 3 p.m. He said he knows the suspect from the neighborhood, and he believes Mr. DePaolo expected the house to be empty.

Mr. Anderson, however, was upstairs watching television when he heard the door getting kicked in.

In Mr. Anderson's statement to police, he said Mr. DePaolo first claimed that he was chasing someone else who had fled into Mr. Anderson's home.

"After a few minutes, I didn't believe what he was saying," Mr. Anderson said. "Next thing I know he starts fighting with me."

Mr. Anderson, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 195 pounds, did not shy away from his younger, bigger foe, who is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 250 pounds.

Mr. Anderson said he struck the suspect several times with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat. After Mr. DePaolo had been subdued and bound with an electrical extension cord, Mr. Anderson got a phone call from a friend, who rushed over after hearing the story.

His friend helped him carry the hogtied Mr. DePaolo to the foyer and they called police.

"I let the 911 person know I had the guy subdued ready to go," Mr. Anderson said.

Upon seeing the officer, Mr. DePaolo complained that his arm was broken. The officer replied that he was fortunate Mr. Anderson had not shot him, according to a police affidavit.

Then, police said, Mr. DePaolo began an unsolicited confession, stating that he was addicted to drugs and that he had planned to steal from Mr. Anderson.

Mr. DePaolo was arraigned on charges of assault, burglary and criminal mischief.

He was held in the Allegheny County Jail, pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. No charges are pending against Mr. Anderson, police said.

"This is pretty ridiculous, and things like this need to stop," Mr. Anderson said. "He was unfortunate to come into the wrong house."

Jim McKinnon can be reached at jmckinnon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1939. Wade Malcolm can be reached at wmalcolm@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878.


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