Cop’s body camera video helps convict three suspects in a violent Jamaica home invasion

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

With the help of video captured by a police officer’s body camera, three men responsible for terrorizing a family during a Jamaica home invasion two years ago have been convicted of their crimes, prosecutors announced on Friday.

Robb Bull, 28, of an unknown address, along with John Hymes, 49, of Manhattan and Aasim McPhee, 35, of Richmond Hill were found guilty on June 14 of first-degree burglary, first- and second-degree robbery, attempted robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child for the June 2015 incident. It was the first Queens criminal court case in which footage from a police officer’s body camera was used as evidence.

“A nine-year-old child was threatened at gunpoint, but one of the victims had managed to dial 911 and police arrived,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. “One of the officers, who was participating in the pilot body cam program, filmed the apprehension of two of the assailants along with the recovery of firearms.”

Law enforcement sources said the home invasion occurred at 12:30 a.m. on June 4, 2015 at a home on 105th Avenue in Jamaica. A male resident on the first floor heard loud banging and called 911, prosecutors said, but Hymes barged into the home before the victim could tell anything to the operator.

According to trial testimony, Hymes pointed a gun at the man and ordered him to lie on the floor. Bull then raced upstairs, identified himself as a police officer and put a gun to the head of a 17-year-old girl. With Bull following behind her, the girl ran to her mother’s room, where Bull ordered them both to lie on the floor and demanded cash from them.

The teenage girl’s 20-year-old sister, who was in the basement, heard the commotion and someone breaking down the front door. She ran out of the basement through a back door and then headed upstairs, where she was met by McPhee, who pointed a gun at her and ordered also to lie down.

McPhee then heard a 9-year-old girl crying in a nearby room and retrieved her, prosecutors said. He brought the girl into her mother’s room and threatened to shoot the child if she didn’t stop crying.

Authorities said the three bandits ransacked the home for property, stealing a wallet. However, NYPD members — including Police Officer Timothy Brosnan, arrived at the scene, entered the house and announced themselves.

Brosnan was wearing a body camera at the time, which captured 28 minutes of footage showing Bull and McPhee attempting to escape through a window onto the roof. McPhee was seen throwing something away with his hands; that something, prosecutors said, turned out to be a black firearm. A silver handgun also used in the robbery was recovered from a neighboring yard.

Hymes was picked up hours later as he attempted to exit from the home’s yard. His DNA was found inside one of two latex gloves that cops discovered inside the ransacked home. Masks containing DNA evidence was also recovered from the scene.

Bull, Hymes and McPhee each face up to 25 years behind bars when they are sentenced on July 19.

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