A 31 year old Revere man was arrested in Lynnfield late Tuesday morning after an alert off-duty detective observed suspicious activity on Walnut Street and stopped to investigate it.
Detective Anthony Hnath was driving his own car down Walnut Street late Tuesday morning when he spotted a gray Mitsubishi operating slowly in the neighborhood with two male occupants. From there, Hnath reported that he saw one man get out of the vehicle with a backpack, and proceed to ring the doorbell of a Walnut Street home. The two men appeared to be communicating with each other, making Hnath suspect that the driver was acting as a lookout. Hnath informed headquarters of the situation and Sergeant Louis Trapasso soon arrived to assist him.
Hnath reported that he parked his car out of sight and went to check on the house. He saw that the man was no longer at the front of the house and that there appeared to be fresh damage on the door, consistent with it having been forced in. He rang the doorbell but then ran around to the back of the house, just as the man was exiting from a rear sliding glass door. After a footchase into some adjoining brush, Hnath caught up with the suspect and held him down until Trapasso arrived soon after.
The backpack recovered at the scene reportedly contained a variety of allegedly stolen items, including electronics and jewelry. The suspect, 31 year old John Mucci of Revere Beach Road in Revere, is being charged with breaking and entering in the daytime for felony, and resisting arrest. That charge stems from Mucci allegedly trying to push Hnath off of him at the end of the foot chase.
After this arrest, Lynnfield Police put out a BOLO alert for the Mitsubishi. Soon after, 26 year old John Salie of Woburn was arrested in Lynn on a charge of violating the city's knife ordinance. A number of items were reportedly found in the car that police suspect could be linked to other burglaries.
"Officer Hnath conducted himself in a professional manner while off duty and at considerable risk to his own safety," said Police Chief David Breen in a statement to local media on Wednesday.
"(Hnath) was unarmed, had no radio or handcuffs, yet he investigated the incident which resulted in the felony arrest of two suspects. Officer Hnath performed his duties above and beyond that which would be expected of a police officer."
Breen also indicated that he will request a letter of commendation be issued to Hnath at the next Lynnfield selectmen's meeting (Nov. 21).
"The members of Lynnfield Police Department are proud of Officer Hnath and wish to commend him for his efforts," added Breen.