Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to apologize to the homeowner who chased him down and captured him after he broke into his home.
The entire ordeal began Sunday around 3 a.m. at a home on the 100 block of Woodlawn Avenue in Newark, Delaware.
Police say Richard Flemming, 24, of York Haven broke into the window of the home of Bernard Wise, 47. Wise awoke to the sound of his dogs barking and discovered Flemming inside his house, according to investigators. Wise told NBC10 his wife and four kids were sleeping at the time. Flemming then allegedly fled the house on foot. Police say Wise chased the 6-foot-7 Flemming down with a rake in his hand, took his car keys and detained him on the road until police arrived.
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"I said to him, 'you're the one that broke in my house,'" said Wise. "I told him I needed his car keys."
Flemming was arrested and charged with burglary, attempted theft and criminal mischief. He was released on $5600 unsecured bail and ordered to have no contact with the victim. After he was released, police say an associate of Flemming made contact with Wise at his home and claimed Flemming wanted to apologize for the attempted burglary. After Wise asked the associate to leave, police say Flemming was spotted in the area picking him up. This was a violation of Flemming’s release from the earlier charges, according to investigators. An additional warrant was put on file for Flemming for breach of release.
Richard Flemming, Credit: Newark Police Department
Monday night, shortly after NBC10 spoke with him, Wise claimed Flemming showed up to his house himself to apologize before leaving the scene.
"He didn't say why he went into my house," said Wise. "He was just saying he was sorry and maybe was under the influence or something."
Police are currently searching for Flemming. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call Newark Police at (302) 366-711.
Neighbors say they're not surprised that Wise, who worked in Juvenile Detention, has a master's degree specializing in counseling, and underwent a kidney transplant last year, did what he did.
"He's awesome," said one neighbor.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," said another. "They picked the wrong house."
"If I called him and said someone was in my house he would come by my house and do the same," said a third.
"We protect what we have," said Wise. "It's our family. It's the only thing that we have."