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Suspects charged with attempted home invasion

Braswell
O'Neal

WEST BLOOMFIELD — In the last several months, the West Bloomfield Police Department has investigated nine home invasions and attempted home invasions in the Thornberry Apartments, on Maple Road, west of Farmington Road.

The department received a call at around 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5 regarding a possible home invasion in progress by a witness from Southfield. According to police reports, the witness was in the complex at the time and saw two men trying to break into an apartment.

Deantrae O’Neal, a 17-year-old Detroit resident, and Malik Braswell, a 17-year-old Oak Park resident, were charged with attempted second-degree home invasion and were arraigned by Magistrate Peter Mansour Dec. 6. O’Neal and Braswell were transported to Oakland County Jail after the two failed to produce their bonds, said Lt. Tim Diamond of the West Bloomfield Police Department. Mansour ordered a $20,000 cash surety bond for O’Neal, while Braswell was given a $10,000 cash surety, or 10 percent, bond.

According to Diamond, the witness watched one suspect allegedly struggle to forcefully open a sliding door, and after several failed attempts, the suspect retrieved a wooden stick to try to pry off the kitchen window screen. The other suspect was allegedly the “look-out guy.”

After many unsuccessful attempts to pry off the window screen, the suspects left the area of the apartment and entered a maroon vehicle with two other passengers.

“As they were leaving the complex, the long arm of the law — i.e. West Bloomfield Police Department — swooped down upon them and placed all four suspects into custody,” Diamond said.

O’Neal and Braswell were charged, he added, but the other two passengers were released because the Police Department did not have enough to charge them.

According to the 48th District Court clerk, O’Neal requested a court appointed attorney for the pretrial Dec. 12, and Braswell plans to supply his own counsel. Neither had an attorney listed at press time.

“Because of the actions of a citizen who called and reported this going on, these people were able to be arrested,” Diamond said. “Many times, that’s what it takes, is for a citizen to see something and report it, and that’s how some of these crimes get solved.”

Diamond added that the detectives will be comparing the fingerprints retrieved at the scene to other breaking and enterings from the Thornberry Apartments.

A representative from the complex could not be reached by press time.