Rookie off-duty cop helps catch suspect in Manhattan burglary string, forcible touching

ByJennifer Matarese, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, July 7, 2016

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A rookie NYPD officer helped captured a man wanted for forcible touching and a string of burglaries throughout Manhattan.

It happened on Wednesday at 2:44 p.m. inside Carl Schurz Park near Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side.

Off-Duty Police Officer Eric Sullivan was reading a book about the American Revolution on his day off, when he heard a woman scream.

He saw a 45-year-old woman taking a picture of a man with her cellphone.

She told the officer that the man had touched her. Officer Sullivan called 911 and took off running after the man.

He chased him for blocks until he lost sight of him at 91st and 1st. Thanks to the description provided by Officer Sullivan, responding officers Julian Febres and Christopher Bobell saw a man fitting that description just a few blocks away.

The suspect had returned to the area near the scene to get his bicycle.

The victim identified the suspect, 53-year-old Thomas Cronin.

Police say Cronin, of the Upper East Side, was wanted for questioning in connection to a Manhattan burglary pattern consisting of 11 burglaries.

Cronin is now facing 11 counts of third degree burglary, forcible touching, and third degree sex abuse.