This cop’s vacation was certainly well-earned.
An off-duty New York detective was headed to the airport early Tuesday morning to catch a flight for vacation when he spotted two men who looked more than a little suspicious, according to the Nassau County Police Department.
The detective watched as the men put ski masks over their faces, and then he saw them head toward the Fast Break Deli in North Merrick, N.Y., police said. So the detective started tailing the two men, police said, following the pair into the parking lot of the restaurant, where the detective then called 911.
When the two men realized they’d been spotted, they fled the scene, police said. But not before the detective had given a description of them to other police officers.
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When police arrived at the scene and combed the area, they tracked down the two suspects — Jahmani Harleston, 18, and D’Andre Dogostiano, 18 — hiding inside Harleston’s mother’s 2010 Dodge Journey, police said. Both men were arrested. Police said Harleston is also responsible for a string of Long Island robberies going back to Feb. 4, which occurred at gas stations and 7-Elevens, Newsday reports.
The attempted deli heist wasn’t even the first stop of the day, police said: Less than an hour before police foiled that attempt, Dogostiano and Harleston had allegedly robbed a nearby 7-Eleven wielding a handgun. During that incident, police said the suspects hit the store’s 58-year-old clerk with the gun, News 12 reports.
“The victim fell to the floor and the defendants struggled with him, eventually giving up and leaving the store without any proceeds,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by Newsday.
A police medic treated the clerk for his injuries at the scene around 3 a.m. that morning, Patch reports.
Harleston has been charged with four counts of first degree robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, second degree criminal possession of a weapon, and second degree criminal use of a firearm, police said. Dogostiano has been charged with first degree attempted robbery and second degree attempted robbery.
As Dogostiano was led out of the police department Wednesday morning, he shouted profanities at a News 12 camera and said: “I’m innocent.”
Oh, and the off-duty police officer who stopped the robbery?
He still made the flight, police said.