Retired Police Detective Takes Out Intruder After Being Awakened by Break-In

by Dave Emke March 10, 2017 at 10:15 am 18 Comments

Retired detective Bruce Wiley/FCPD(This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. after more information was released by the Fairfax County Police Department.)

A retired Fairfax County Police Department detective had crime come into his Reston home earlier this week.

According to FCPD, retired detective Bruce Wiley was awakened at about 3 a.m. Wednesday by “suspicious noises in his house” in the 1700 block of Beaver Circle. From the police release:

“He grabbed a flashlight and a collapsible baton and went to investigate. He found the intruder, who was wearing a full black mask over his face, in the process of stealing items from the home. Wiley pointed the flashlight at the suspect and told him to get on the ground. The suspect did not comply with Wiley’s commands, as he repeated his commands, Wiley closed in on the suspect, struck him once with the baton and took him to the ground. Meanwhile, Wiley’s wife called police.”

Officers responded took the 17-year-old suspect into custody.

Police say Wiley was a detective on the force for 28 years before retiring in 2010.

“During his tour of duty, Wiley responded to every type of call for service imaginable, from a cat stuck in a tree to a murder scene. He dealt with crime victims with sensitivity and compassion, and investigated crimes with tenacity and dogged determination, but he never thought that he would someday be a crime victim himself.”

Police say Wiley has used his “extensive job knowledge, training and experience to train other law enforcement officers in use-of-force situations.”

Another break-in at the home had been reported to have happened last week between 11 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday. Small electronic items were stolen in that case, police reported. A Fairfax County Police Department spokesperson said police “have reason to believe the same suspect might be involved.”

Picture of Wiley courtesy Fairfax County Police Department

  • Mike M

    Just wondering about this enterprising youth’s parenting? I also wonder if everyone wouldn’t be better off if the homeowner just beat the kid briskly with an ax handle and threw him out in the mud. The kid might have to think about his cleverness and do some ‘splainin’ or not to someone. He is lucky he didn’t get shot.

  • Heh

    Many years ago one of the girls in my high school class said she caught a neighbor’s teenage son hiding in her closet. She was (rightly) indignant because her dad just let the kid go home, didn’t call the police or smack him upside the head or anything.

    Once again I am left wondering… why don’t people lock their windows and doors?

    • Bernie Supporter

      It’s a question I’ve often asked myself. People think they live in some mystical Shangri La. They leave their doors and windows open. Leave their pocketbooks in their shopping carts when out for groceries. (That said, it still takes the actual intruder or thief to commit the crime.)

      But like you, I can’t begin to imagine why the father did nothing. His bad parenting probably will leave a longer lasting bad memory in this girl’s mind than the actual Peeping Tom/Potential Rapist. What was this dad thinking?

  • Heh

    Retired policeman catches a masked burglar inside his house? Now I’m really, really surprised the intruder didn’t get shot.

    • Kojo

      You’re too cynical. Most cops are not hotheads. The ones that are give the rest of them a bad name.

      • Heh

        It’s not a matter of him being a hothead. Knowing that he’s a cop, I would expect him to be armed. And it would not surprise me to learn the perp made sudden movements or refused to comply. Refusing to comply with armed police is a well-known recipe for getting shot.

        • Bernie Supporter

          This kid did refuse to comply, and former Detective Wiley still only used appropriate force. Used his baton. And hit the kid only once.

  • Bernie Supporter

    Detective Bruce Wiley, I am so proud of officers (even retired) like you. You reacted but did not overreact, and used an appropriate amount of force. You give cops everywhere a good name.

    • Mike M

      And yet you have an avatar and name associated with those who throw rocks through Starbucks windows. Odd.

      • TheRealODB

        Are those preferences mutually exclusive?

      • Moon Lotus

        As a bernie supporter its probably best to go incognito, you never know there could be some nasty woman out there. Better to be safe,,,

      • Bernie Supporter

        Or you could read The Economist … and learn how Guy Fawkes became the face of the post-modern protester. Hint: It has nothing to do with Starbucks.

        • Mike M

          Hint: It has everything to do with bad behavior to get attention. You may recall what Guy Fawkes intended to do? I understand that some folks think the Economist or the Washington Post, or the NYT, are “the word.” I don’t. Just another left-wing, and gratuitously critical of the US rag. Some too adhere to the Bible, or the Koran.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    So glad this was handled with – as “Bernie Supporter” puts it – “appropriate… force” rather than turning it into a fatality. There was no need to shoot the kid over this. Make him hurt, fine. Arrest him, definitely. But kill him? No.

    On another note, 17 – should still be in high school. Anyone know which school?

  • Moon Lotus

    Gotta love this professional, good story, happy ending.

  • Conservative Senior

    So proud of my former neighbor. He is a great person. He & his wife are missed very much.

  • Why do you bother?


  • Mack

    Poor kid.


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