PD: Suspects used fake shotgun in home invasion

One suspect in custody, another sought

Alton Cowins says he fought back after two men tried to rob him the morning of July 22, 2014. (WAVY/Greg Gadberry)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Police in Newport News are looking for a suspect after they say two men forced their way into a room at a boarding house on 31st Street overnight.

Sgt. Randy Rajkumar with the Newport News Police Department said the incident happened around 4:45 a.m., when two men wrapped hollow pipes in electrical tape to make it appear they had a shotgun, and attempted to rob a man in his room.

Police said the victim, Alton Cowins, fought back and subdued one of the attackers.

Cowins told WAVY.com he has only lived in the rooming house about a month, but now he already wants to move. He said the men forced their way into his second-floor bedroom while he was sleeping. He said they started attacking him with a hammer they found on his shelf.

“He said, ‘Take the hammer. We’re going to tie him up and beat him and then we’re going to go room to room and check to see if anybody got any money,'” Cowins explained. “So I said, ‘My man, you’ve got a matter of seconds before you get up off me. Either you’re going to have to kill me or I’m going to kill both of you guys.'”

Cowins said that’s when he fought back.

“I just hit one of them, boom, knocked him down. I start fighting the other guy. He tried to take off running and I hit him again. He ran down the stairs. The other guy tried to get up and run. I grabbed him by here and I hit him. He slid all the way across the floor,” Cowins said.

Police arrived and arrested one of the men. Rajkumar said the first suspect was detained and taken to Riverside Regional Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The second suspect fled the scene, wearing dark clothing and a dark-colored hoodie. Police did not have any additional information about the second suspect.

Cowins said one of the men took about $12 in cash, but police have not confirmed that.

“I hope the guy tells why he came in, who sent him here and they catch the other guy and whoever else was involved in this,” he said.

Stay with WAVY News 10 for any additional information.



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