SOMERS, N.Y. – After hearing his front door slam around 4:40 a.m. July 4, homeowner Manny Leggio walked downstairs to find a stranger in his kitchen. The retired police detective quickly subdued the trespasser and detained him until New York State police officers arrived, according to Public Information Officer Melissa McMorris.
The trespasser was a 28-year-old Somers man who had wandered into the home believing it was his, McMorris said. There was no forced entry, no damage to the home, and the man did not commit any crimes once inside the home, McMorris said.
The man, who was on felony probation with Westchester County, was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing, an A misdemeanor. He was due back in court on July 10.
Leggio, a retired New York City detective, said he was awake in the middle of the night because of a bad dream, which he believed to be a result of the man knocking on his front door. After using the bathroom, Leggio noticed light shining underneath his bedroom door, indicating that his downstairs lights had been turned on. He found to it to be odd, but has four children and didn’t investigate further. That changed a few seconds later.
“As soon as I laid back down in bed, I heard my front door open and close,” he said. “It’s a very distinctive sound.”
Leggio slowly made his way downstairs and noticed a man, wearing satin pants, standing in his kitchen. The man’s age and outfit indicated to Leggio that he was an intruder, rather than a friend of his daughters, the oldest of whom is 20.
“Both of my daughters, they don’t know anybody who wears pants like that,” Leggio said.
Leggio retreated back upstairs and grabbed his gun, which is equipped with a green laser sight.
“I put [the laser] right on his chest and said, ‘Who do you know?’” Leggio said.
The man reportedly asked for a friend named “Sean,” and Leggio responded, “You have the wrong house.”
“Right away I knew he wasn’t violent, so to speak,” Leggio said. “I was able to make that quick decision, because obviously I’m trained. But he’s still a threat, he’s still in my house, he still had a [pocket knife] on him.”
Leggio ordered the man to put his hands on his head and walk slowly, backwards, toward the front door. Once outside, he ordered the man to throw down his knife and his wallet. Using an old set of handcuffs, Leggio detained the man until police arrived.
“While it seems like he came into the wrong home, technically, he came into the right home,” Leggio said. “Had he went into someone else’s home, they could have shot him. He’s lucky.”
Leggio said the man was clearly intoxicated. The first thing the man did once inside the home, Leggio said, was to open the refrigerator and eat a watermelon.
“What I want from him is to come back to my house with a watermelon, an apology, and a thank you,” Leggio said. “The thank you is for me not killing him.”