The homeowner, a 48-year old fisherman, returned to find that his bedroom had been rifled through, dresser drawers pulled out, and clothes thrown all over.
He then heard footsteps in the basement, Captain Jones said, and when he went down there, a man jumped out at him.
The homeowner responded by punching his assailant, knocking him down, then holding him, while a family member upstairs called police.
When police arrived just after getting that 4:42 p.m. call, they found $100 in cash and a cell phone in Mr. Dunham’s possession, both of which belonged to the homeowner.
Mr. Dunham made a statement later to police and was transported to Newport Hospital where he was treated for facial injuries. He spent the night in jail at Tiverton Police headquarters.
Mr. Dunham was arraigned in Newport District Court on Dec. 17, and charged with one count of burglary, which carries a potential maximum penalty of a life sentence. He was also charged under an outstanding 2nd District Court bench warrant.
The homeowner could not be reached for comment.