Robber Ties Family Up at Knifepoint During Home Invasion

By Joy Bergmann

A father, mother and adult daughter were tied up by a knife-wielding man during a home invasion at 306 West 78th Street around 4:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon, according to police officials. The daughter was apparently able to wriggle an arm free and call 911.

As first reported by NBC 4, police spotted the 30-year-old suspect, Daniel S. Omolukun,  outside the building, recognized him by the description given to dispatchers and pursued him on foot before apprehending him, NYPD said.

Officers took Omolukun to the 20th Precinct on West 82nd Street where he allegedly became violent, lashing out and spitting in at least one cop’s face. The struggle caused minor injuries to police personnel and Omolukun was transported to an area hospital, officials said.

Police said they confiscated two knives from Omolukun, who allegedly removed an undetermined amount of cash and valuables from the home. None of the family members sustained physical injuries.

Officials could not yet say whether the victims knew Omolukun. It’s still unclear how the suspect obtained access to the apartment. The investigation is ongoing.

Friday morning UPDATE:  NYPD told WSR that Omolukun will face the following charges:  Robbery, burglary, grand larceny, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, resisting arrest, obstruct governmental administration, and criminal possession of a weapon.

NEWS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      30-year-old gang member on parole for burglary

      • B.W. says:

        I must have missed the part of that article that mentioned the assailant was a member of a gang. Maybe you can point that out to us, UWSHebrew.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Google is your friend.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Here you go B.W. , you also get to see a picture of the gang member as he is being arrested

          https://nypost.com/2019/02/01/knife-wielding-suspect-ties-up-uws-family-in-terrifying-home-invasion-cops/

          • Jen says:

            Thank you. Found an updated article
            https://nypost.com/2019/02/01/suspect-in-uws-home-invasion-is-a-homeless-man-on-parole-cops/

            It is hard to comprehend why such things are happening so often without too much of repercussions for the perpetrators. And of someone dares to ask the potential perpetrators about what they are doing, they will be all over the internet labeled as “bbq Becky”, etc. God forbid you ask a non-white person about their business. You will be labeled as a racist and your life will be ruined. This trend is really sick and has nothing to do with racism. Same with similar trends as #meTop and etc.
            Both accountability from one side and presumption of innocence from the other side are down into politically correct drain.

            • EricaC says:

              Do you honestly think that race is the best way to tell if someone is doing/is about to do something wrong? I am so astounded at your linking this to BBQ Becky – I’m almost dumfounded! Maybe that guy who harassed a guy he didn’t recognize who was in an apartment building has some relation to this but BBQ Becky? Did she think the people were going to use the BBQ to commit an assault? Sell water to rob someone?

              Yes, you can question people who are in your lobby that you don’t know. And yes, our community is pretty segregated (though largely as a result of economic discrimination rather than direct discrimination, to the extent that makes anyone feel better), so yes, a person who is black or Latino is less likely to live in your building – but to assume someone doesn’t belong there because they are black SHOULD be something you guard against, and if you find yourself doing that, you SHOULD pause before acting to figure out whether your biases are leading you astray. And if there is a strange man in your lobby that you do not know – of any race or national origin – you should be cautious. (Sorry men.) And sometimes, white or black or any other race, they will be evil and there is not a damned thing you can do about it, which is a terrifying thought that we all try to fend off in any way we can, including by thinking that we can short-cut our way to certainty by referring only to race.

            • Jen says:

              EricaC, please re-read what I said. Your reaction of jumping to assumption of racism where it doesn’t exist is exactly what I was referring to. The person was black but I didn’t say he didn’t belong there because of that. If it was a white homeless person, it would be fine to assume that he doesn’t belong there. What I was trying to say, there are many ways to tell that the person may be up to something not good, but if they happen to be black, you can’t question them because it will cause tirades about racisms. As you clearly confirmed.

      • Bronx Boy says:

        ….with deficient ropework skills and anger issues.

      • BBUWS says:

        What is your source?

    2. Monique elk says:

      Whoever voted for deblasio. This is what is happening. Crime is skyrocketing. I don’t understand how this guy is being voted in office. The police can’t work.

      • EricaC says:

        The police can work. Having to have probable cause before searching someone is not the same as not being able to search anyone. The police have a hard job to do, no question, but the deference given them in court is tremendous. They don’t have to have proof of crime before searching someone – they just have to have a reason besides being young, male and black, just as the SEC has to have probable cause before they review the records of an investor, or the IRS has to have probable cause before raiding your personal files. Even though the vast majority of insider traders and tax evaders are rich white guys (and gals who have money).

    3. ml says:

      I had a detective come to my door last night to ask how he could get footage from our bldg’s camera on 103 between bway and west end. He told me a 16 year old boy was mugged the other night on west end ave and 103 by 3 young men who said they had a gun. I asked about an increase in crime and the gang violence in the area and he enlightened me to the “Columbus Ave Gunners” gang who are out of the Douglas houses, I think they are a division of the Bloods. So upsetting.
      He felt crime was rising because the city was becoming more of the “haves” and “have not’s”..sad!

      • RakoNYC says:

        I think the detectives are dead right here – I just spent the last 30mins reading on gang violence in the 24th Precinct and then went over to the NYPD CompStat web site.

        Some interesting things leap out of the data:

        a) Majority of crime happens in ‘normal people hours’ (7a – 9p) which means that this is an endemic issue
        b) 24th Precinct has gangs in it rooted at the major blocs of public housing (data says this not my interpretation and Daily News documents this too)
        c) Year on year analyses of crimes (reported NYPD data – so you can argue if everything is reported v qualitative sensibility) shows its down and that the major spikes coincide with economic downturn

        SO – not horrendously unsafe, but there are certainly structural issues that are being accentuated by income disparity (which to be honest is even worse today despite financial and job market data)

        Those are some good detectives

        Terrifying situation and for me reinforces the 100% need for a 24h doorman in whatever building I live in

    4. michael says:

      This is an absolutely horrific story and I am thankful for the WSR coverage, because I don’t think I’ would have heard about it otherwise. Similar gratitude for reporting the water main break and the hired security guards, which I would also not have seen or heard about elsewhere. However, it does sadden me that we cannot find more news like the bookstore or the dog interviews. I realize those things tend to gather less attention, but given the state of affairs, I’d love some more positive, heart warming, and resilience reporting stories about the UWS and UWSer’s to balance these saddening/maddening stories.

    5. wombatNYC says:

      Lock Him Up and through away the Key .. BYE BYE – Don;t need people like this on this earth !

      • Ye Olde Englishe Teachere says:

        Re: “THROUGH away the Key …. DON;T need people like this on THIS EARTH”

        More betterer:

        THROW away the key
        DON’T need
        THIS earth (is there another?)

    6. Ben David says:

      Haven’t you heard? The UWS is so safe, no problems at all, other than the occasional terrifying home invasion. This gang member on parole and free to walk our streets is the result of the current leadership of New York City.

    7. Lisa says:

      Maybe this time they will actually keep him locked up? Our system has many flaws. I wish the family best in recovering from such a traumatic incident and glad no one was seriously hurt.

    8. Local says:

      With 12 prior arrests.

    9. Scott says:

      Throw away the key!

    10. Mrutimann says:

      Thank you, officers. We love you every bit as much as we love our firefighters ❤️

    11. Andrew Park says:

      Instead of lock him up chanting and worrying about som little bookstore going away…. Why not focus on a rehab mindset for such people and focusing money and news on investing in our community of New York CITY. Uplifting conditions in lower income areas and asking why not more funds are going into public schools and preventive systems … Should be your reactions. Not Reactive thoughts which just keeps up the status quo and holds us back.50k for a adorable bookstore, but we ignore the homeless we have in an upper class area. C’mon people. This mindset or the apathy of looking at these issues is a huge reason we have a criminal oaf in power. Would love to see a reply to his countering this.

      • EricaC says:

        I don’t disagree that we should look at the bigger picture – but it does seem to me that retaining a store in local hands, and preserving jobs, is one of the way that we maintain the fabric of the city, and keep money flowing to pay for the things the city needs. It is a mistake to think that you can provide social programs without a strong economy to pay for them, or that the economy will be strong if there are no smaller businesses.

      • JC says:

        Andrew, there is a lot that can be done. Blaming us for saving UWS iconic store is not the only course of action. Community action was needed in the 70’s and 80’s and that help reduce violent and non-violent crimes. But to counter your post; Yes we live in an Upper Class neighborhood, but to put it bluntly, that is where the homeless know they can make money on the street, begging on corners. $50-$100, sometimes more a day. I have lived on the UWS for most of my life and have seen the same 7-10 people on the corners of NYC for the past 20-25 years. This is where they live. Many attempts have been made by the NYPD to community leaders to help get these specific people off the streets, but they don’t want to go. Sorry if this sounds wrong, but there is truth behind what I say.

      • UWShipper says:

        Because rehabilitation isn’t the priority of the system that we have in place. Private prisons make money literally keeping people in prison. There is no incentive to rehabilitate if prisoners are just seen as cash cows to be locked up for the long term to make a buck.

        Repeat offenders like the psychopath in question are just a stream of income to the prison industrial complex.

    12. D.I. Malin says:

      I’m going to give an interesting tangential piece of information to the readers of the West Side Rag:

      We have had body cameras in the 20 Pct for two weeks now. During the foot pursuit, one of the officer’s bodycams captured the fleeing suspect in this case dumping evidence stolen from the victim’s apartment in a trash can. This video is critical for the prosecution.

      The Department deserves credit for its body camera program, which was installed with very respectable speed when one considers we are an organization of 35,000+ uniformed members.

      These cameras are good for the public because they help ensure high-quality service. They are good for the police officers because they help clear them of unfounded allegations. And they are good for prosecutors because they provide a new source of evidence.

      Put simply, police body cameras are in line with the values of the Upper West Side, and their contribution in this case is a win for all of us.

      • Alex says:

        Bravo!!!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        thank you DI Malin for your ongoing communications, very helpful.

        i just looked over the Crime Stats report for the 20th precinct, and the drop in crime for the first month of the year vs last year is truly spectacular. Community policing works, it seems!

    13. Jen says:

      DeBlasio or not, it will be very helpful to see how many actual arrests this person had, for what, and why he is on parole without jumping to a conclusion without all the facts.

      I understand it is a bit much to ask WSR to investigate, but if they could clarify the information, it would be extremly helpful to everyone on this forum and UWS in general.

      Comments re the above are somewhat helpful sometimes, but normally things are either exaggerated or played down depending on one’s political adherence. Will be very nice to know just the facts.

      Can you do it for us, WSR?

    14. Gianello says:

      Scumbag. Can our politicians explain why the system is so broken that this individual with obvious serious violence problems has been allowed back on the streets to torment our neighborhood?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Be quiet Gianello our wonderful hands on mayor is busy flying to California to be on the Bill Maher show.

    15. EricaC says:

      Sorry – I was reacting to your reference to BBQ Becky (who did appear question the family because they were black) and the sentence ” God forbid you ask a non-white person about their business.” I inferred that race was a part of what you were thinking about. Apologies if I misunderstood the reference to a racist incident and “non-white” person.

      Perhaps you might also re-read what you wrote.