Daniel F. Cleary booking photo

Daniel F. Cleary.

An East Side homeowner was enjoying a beer and a movie with his wife when a would-be burglar interrupted their relaxing Tuesday night, Madison police reported.

The man heard a jiggling sound coming from a side door of his house in the 1800 block of East Washington Avenue about 11:45 p.m., went out the front door to investigate and found a stranger attempting to break in, according to a police news release.

A struggle ensued that culminated with the would-be burglar losing his backpack and taking off. As he fled, the homeowner called 911, providing a good description of the fleeing man, police said.

When the homeowner said the suspect was wearing a hat, the suspect tossed it into the street, having overheard some of the emergency conversation, the release states.

Responding officers were able to locate the suspect, who claimed he was just trying to get into the home to use a phone, police said.

Daniel F. Cleary, 36, of Madison, was arrested on a tentative charge of attempted burglary.

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