Break-in suspects are sons of cop

By Patricia Meade

The victim said the experience was ‘scary’ because the suspects had guns.

YOUNGSTOWN — Two sons of a city patrolman are accused of trying to break into a West Side house while a woman and her 2-year-old son were upstairs.

Bryandon M. Rutland, 19, and Antwaine H. Rutland, 22, both of Volney Road, were arraigned Thursday in municipal court via video from the jail on charges of attempted burglary, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and criminal damaging. Bryandon Rutland is also charged with driving under suspension.

They are the sons of 44-year-old Patrolman Christopher Rutland, according to a police report. He could not be reached.

Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. set bond at $300,000 for each brother. They remain in jail in lieu of posting bond. They will be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

When Judge Douglas asked Bryandon Rutland about hiring an attorney, he said he has no income; he’s still in high school. The court then appointed a lawyer to represent him.

Antwaine Rutland told the judge that he would try to hire his own lawyer.

Bret Hartup, assistant city prosecutor, said in court that Bryandon Rutland’s criminal history includes convictions for making false alarms. No known criminal record was found for Antwaine Rutland, the prosecutor said.

The attempted burglary took place in the 1600 block of Price Road around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. A 26-year-old woman upstairs in the house with her 2-year-old son reported hearing glass breaking at the side door and the door being shaken.

Detective Sgt. Frank Rutherford arrived first with his dog, Gijs, just as the two suspects were trying to leave the driveway in a 1988 Lincoln Town Car owned by their father. The car has distinctive plates: “SIRRUFF.”

The Rutland brothers jumped from the car and tried to run but were held in place by the presence of Gijs, Patrolman Dan Mikus said in his report. Bryandon Rutland told the officer that he was just turning around in the driveway.

The victim said she had taken her son upstairs for a nap and was reading when she heard glass break under the window. She thought it was the wind but then heard someone trying to get into the kitchen and called 911.

The 911 center told the woman to stay upstairs, police were on the way. Officers, she said, arrived within two minutes. It wasn’t long before 911 told her it was OK to go downstairs, two men were in custody in the driveway.

The woman said she was told that the suspects are the sons of a police officer.

“I was kind of surprised that they would have access to two guns. Then I was afraid that they’d get off,” the young mother said. “It was scary — I had my 2-year-old son. What if I would have come downstairs? They had guns.”

The woman’s husband, who was not home at the time, said the suspects got stuck in his driveway, which wasn’t shoveled because he has a four-wheel drive vehicle and doesn’t have to remove snow.

“Thank God no one was hurt,” he said.

Mikus noticed that Bryandon Rutland was wearing thin, clear plastic, hospital-type gloves — the kind that would prevent the transfer of fingerprints and prevent gunshot residue from getting on hands. The officer found two sets of footprints in the snow that led to the side door.

The side-door window was broken, but the door, which has a dead bolt that requires a key inside and outside, was intact.

Mikus said the two suspects also went to the back door to attempt entry but that’s when police arrived.

An inventory of the Lincoln before it was towed turned up a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun under the passenger seat and a loaded .38-caliber revolver under the driver’s seat. The serial number had been scratched off the revolver, reports show. Binoculars were also found in the car.

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