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.

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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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