Police think they have their bowman.
Investigators arrested 27-year-old Eric Collins for allegedly accidentally firing an arrow into a woman’s belly outside Schervier Nursing Care Center Sunday afternoon, police said.
|THE HOUSE the alleged bowman lives in is separated from Schervier by a wooden fence.|
Police said Mr. Collins was unpacking after moving into a home owned by his
grandparents at 3001 Independence Ave., right next door to the care center, when he allegedly uncovered his bow. Police say he then went outside and fired a 30-inch fiberglass arrow at the fence that separates his home from Schervier.
The arrow had a dull, rounded tip, but enough velocity to rip a silver-dollar sized hole in the bottom of the fence, change trajectory, and strike Denise Delgado-Brown, 51, of Yonkers, in her stomach, police said. Ms. Delgado was dropping off friends at the care center when she was struck, investigators said.
Ms. Delgado’s cries of pain were probably audible, but even as police launched a neighborhood manhunt, Mr. Collins failed to come forward, police said.
Detectives originally thought the arrow might have been fired from a rooftop as far as 300 yards away. In fact, the space between the fence and the front of Schervier appeared to be just a stone’s throw.
Police said they talked with Mr. Collins about 2 p.m. Sunday, shortly after they arrived at the crime scene. Though he lived next door, he said he hadn’t heard anything in the aftermath of the arrow shooting, police said.
Over the next five days investigators took measurements, combed area parks, and bounced theories off each other about the arrow’s trajectory.
Finally, on Thursday, an astute 50th Precinct detective spotted the tiny hole at the bottom of the fence; a detail police hadn’t noticed until then.
Mr. Collins was re-interviewed.
“It seemed to jive,” said Sgt. Jim Foley, the 50th Precinct squad commander. “He seemed evasive and nervous.”
Foley conferred with his detectives and they brought Mr. Collins in to the station house to give a statement.
Mr. Collins then invoked his right to an attorney, and has not admitted any wrongdoing. He did, however, point police to a witness who implicated him, Foley said.
Mr. Collins was arrested at the station.
Police have since found more arrows while executing a search warrant at Mr. Collins’ grandparent’s home.
Mr. Collins had no intention of hitting anyone, investigators believe.
The bizarre scene that led to Mr. Collins’ arrest unfolded in a driveway outside the Schervier Nursing Care Center on Independence Avenue between 227th and 231st streets about 1:40 p.m. Sunday.
Ms. Delgado had just left services at the Christian Assembly Church in Yonkers, and was about to drop off two friends when she parked in front of the care center and stepped out of her red Kia Sorrento. Ms. Delgado was walking to the back of the vehicle to remove a platter of food when the arrow ripped into her.
Because of the angle at which the arrow appeared to strike Ms. Delgado, investigators had initially theorized it had been fired from a rooftop or other elevated area.
Now, they believe the arrow struck her at a different angle, and that it shifted position when she clutched at it.
She was released from St. Barnabas Hospital Thursday.
Police in the 50th said this was probably the most high-profile case they’ve worked.
“It was good, old-fashioned detective work,” Foley said.