NORWICH – On Sunday, a three-day in depth investigation culminated with the apprehension of the suspect believed to be involved in the Thursday, July 7 armed robbery on Lackawanna Avenue in the City of Norwich.
Gregory Frank Huzinec Jr., 36, originally from New Jersey but with an address on Clinton Street in Norwich, was arraigned in the Norwich City Court on four separate felony charges: one count of robbery in the first degree, a class B felony; one count of kidnapping in the second degree, a class B felony; one count of burglary in the first degree, a class B felony; and one count of assault in the second degree, a class D felony.
It is alleged that at approximately 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 7, a resident on Lackawanna Avenue was awakened when a lone individual entered their apartment and began making specific demands.
“The suspect was alleged to have been armed with a handgun during the incident,” said Norwich Police Chief Rodney Marsh. During the encounter, the resident was restrained by the suspect. The suspect was inside the residence for a brief period before leaving in an unknown direction.
From information gathered through the preliminary investigation, “it appears the suspect may have known the victim” said Marsh.
The suspect was described as wearing blue jeans, a dark colored shirt/jacket, a dark colored ball cap and a dark colored scarf covering their face. The resident was slightly injured during the incident, but did not require medical attention.
The robbery charge alleges that Huzinec forcibly stole property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he displayed what appeared to be a pistol or revolver. The burglary charge alleges that Huzinec knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein, and when, in effecting entry or while in the dwelling, he displayed what appeared to be a pistol or revolver. The kidnapping charge alleges that Huzinec abducted another person. The assault in the second degree charge alleges that Huzinec intentionally caused a physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument and did so while in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony.
Additional charges may be pending.
According to a press release issued by the Norwich City Police Department, as part of this investigation, they executed a search warrant at Huzinec’s residence on Clinton Street. The search warrant was signed by The Honorable Judge James E. Downey, Norwich City Court Judge. The NPD will not comment on what may have been recovered as a result of that search warrant.
Before Judge Downey addressed the suspect at his arraignment on the afternoon of July 10, in Norwich City Court, Huzinec said, “I’m willing to help get drugs off of the streets. I don’t know if that makes any difference.”
During the arraignment, Judge Downey alleged that Huzinec 'duct taped and hogtied' the victim of the alleged incident. It was heard that Huzinec allegedly stole $60, a cell phone and a medical benefit card from the victim. It was also mentioned that during the alleged incident, Huzinec struck the victim with the butt of what appeared to be a pistol or revolver, causing the victim's eye to become swollen and blackened.
Detective-Sergeant Reuben Roach said that Huzinec has prior convictions in multiple States, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
The District Attorney's Office requested that Huzinec be remanded on $100,000 cash bail, however, Judge Downey decided to remand him to the custody of the Chenango County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 cash bail, or $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear in court at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12.
The suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“We would like to thank the many Norwich businesses and individuals that assisted our department with this investigation”, said Norwich Police Chief Rodney Marsh.
-Ashley Babbitt Photo