April 18, 2014

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Break-in suspect reverses course, damages woman’s garage

WESTLAKE — Police said that a burglar who was drunk and high drove through a garage door and fled early Saturday after getting caught in the act.

Brian Vigilante, 29, of Cleveland, was arrested and charged with felonious assault, two counts of aggravated burglary, grand theft auto, burglary, fleeing and a handful of traffic violations.

He was under guard at St. John-West Shore Hospital in Westlake late Saturday, where he was listed in fair condition, according to a nursing supervisor.

Westlake police Capt. Guy Turner said Vigilante was being treated for injuries sustained during a car crash and for dog bites.

Vigilante allegedly broke into a Westlake garage about 1:45 a.m. but a 49-year-old female resident of the house walked in on him, Turner said.

That’s when Vigilante panicked, hit the woman with a wicker basket and a recycling bucket, threw her 2003 Chrysler Sebring in reverse and drove through the garage door, Turner said.

Westlake officers lost the car near the Lorain County line, but North Ridgeville police spotted Vigilante on Center Ridge Road near state Route 83. Turner said Vigilante crashed the car into a utility pole and ran.

He didn’t make it far before a North Ridgeville police K-9 put his teeth to good use, Turner said.

Vigilante’s blood alcohol content was .215 — almost three times the legal limit — and he also had been smoking marijuana, police said.

Turner said more charges could be on the way because several other homes and cars in the Salem Parkway area also were entered recently. Traffic charges are also pending through North Ridgeville police.

Vigilante was charged with receiving stolen property in 2001 in Cleveland.

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.