NIAGARA FALLS — A man who identified himself to police as a comic book character after breaking into an apartment where another man slept was arrested early Thursday.

The victim, 45, told police he awoke to loud yelling and pounding coming from the hallway of his apartment building on the 400 block of Third Street. Suddenly, a man burst in and grappled with the tenant.

The suspect, Justin T. Yale, 21, of Johnson City, allegedly grabbed the man by the arms while saying, “You are being detained until they come,” according to a police incident report.

The man pushed Yale off and ordered him to leave. Yale ignored him. As the man left his apartment, he told police, he heard glass shatter. The man called 911 and waited for officers to arrive in a bar downstairs. At one point, the man stepped outside the bar and realized Yale was on the roof.

Yale was shouting from the rooftop when police arrived at 1 a.m., the report said. An officer was led into the victim's apartment and noted a shattered window splashed with blood.

The officer coaxed Yale back into the apartment through the shattered window and handcuffed him. When first asked for his name, Yale identified himself as a comic book character.

“I am (expletive) Frank Castle and I am in the (expletive) Marines,” Yale said, according to the report.

Frank Castle is the fictional name given to the Marvel comic character otherwise known as “The Punisher.” In the comics, Castle was portrayed as a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who undertook vigilante-style missions against violent criminals, often slaying them. Castle's missions begin as revenge for the murder of his wife and children, who were slain after witnessing a mob killing.

Yale was detained and transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment of the cut on his hand. He was then taken to the city jail where he told police he was a local university student studying criminal justice, but continued to state his name as “Frank Castle.” He told police they would “all pay for this,” according to the report.

Yale was charged with second-degree criminal trespass, second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief.


©2019 the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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