STAMFORD, Conn. -- In a scene out of a movie, shoppers and restaurant patrons scattered when a man fleeing police pulled a handgun out of his pants as he ran up the escalator to the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Stamford Town Center about 6 p.m. Friday.
The man was arrested after coming out of the bookstore's second-floor bathroom, police said, and was tackled by officers. The handgun that police say the man had in his possession was found in the bathroom, Lt. Diedrich Hohn said.
Carl Bradley Dawkins, 24, of 126 Burr St., is facing charges of two counts each of third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief as well as single counts of criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and third-degree larceny. Hohn said Dawkins has a bond of $250,000.
Hohn said police had an arrest warrant for Dawkins in connection with a pair of burglaries of downtown restaurants in the last two weeks.
In the burglary of Bradford's Grill & Tavern on Bedford Street, police had video of the man they say was Dawkins trying to flee the scene. Police officer Cory Caserta was able to get a fingerprint from the scene, and it was run through the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, Hohn said, and came back with a hit on Dawkins.
Police knew he was often downtown area and that he had a girlfriend.
Officer Sean Garbowski spotted her in Veterans Park and noticed as she walked over to a group of males. Garbowski saw Dawkins and called for other officers to come to the scene, Hohn said. Dawkins saw the officers, ran, grabbed a bicycle and sped away, police said.
Officers chased him to the front of Barnes & Noble, where he dumped the bike and fled up the escalator, police said. As he did so, he pulled out a handgun, according to witnesses who told pursuing police. Police ran up to the second floor and tackled him after they saw him leave the bathroom.
Dawkins admitted the gun was his and said he stole it from an unlocked car, police said. Hohn said the investigation is continuing as the gun owner hasn't reported it stolen.
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