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Hazel Park

Boy hides from home invaders, calls police

Courageous act led to apprehension of two suspects

May 10, 2013

HAZEL PARK — When two men allegedly forced their way into a Hazel Park home and held the occupants at gunpoint, a young boy in the household kept his cool and stayed hidden until the coast was clear — and then snuck out to alert the neighbors and call the cops before the suspects could escape.

Clarence Wilson Jr., 32, of Clinton Township, and Monte Rowe, 22, of Detroit, were arrested by police and arraigned by Magistrate James Paterson in Hazel Park 43rd District Court on April 30.

Their charges include armed robbery, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, and home invasion, first degree, a 20-year felony. They are also charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and felon in possession of a firearm. They are being held without bond. As of press time, they had not been assigned attorneys.  

The incident occurred around 9:15 p.m. April 28, in the 1200 block of East Muir, when Wilson appeared at the victims’ doorstep, claiming he was related to one of the residents and asking about car repairs. He then allegedly returned with Rowe, and together the two men forced their way into the home.

The occupants — a 30-year-old Hazel Park man and a 27-year-old Warren woman — were forced to the kitchen floor at gunpoint. One of the suspects was reportedly wielding a .22-caliber revolver.

Police say that after the suspects put a blanket over the victims’ heads, the suspects started ransacking the house. They rummaged through the bedroom and then went through the rest of the house. What they didn’t realize is that the Warren woman’s son, a 9-year-old, was hiding in the bedroom closet, watching them. When the suspects left the room, he snuck out of the bedroom window and told a neighbor what was happening.

Police were called, allegedly catching the suspects in the act. They forced entry into the house and took one suspect into custody while he was still inside the home. As for the other suspect, he was captured while trying to escape from a rear window.

Police located the suspect vehicle, a white 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, as well as the suspects’ revolver. The stolen property was also recovered: Some electronics, the male victim’s wallet, a credit card and a small amount of cash.

Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner praised the work of the 9-year-old boy.

“He’s a very brave young man to be able to maintain his composure enough to be witness to a violent crime of this nature and to have the wherewithal to escape and alert the neighbors,” Barner said. “It’s certainly commendable.”

About the author

Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski covers Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Madison District Public Schools, Lamphere Public Schools and Hazel Park Public Schools for the Madison-Park News.

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