Suspected burglar arrested after falling asleep in Brookline apartment

BROOKLINE—A homeless man looking for a place to sleep allegedly broke into an apartment and fell asleep on the couch, startling both himself and the stunned homeowner when they encountered each other around 5 a.m. today, police said.

Evgeniy Dolzhenkov appeared in Brookline Municipal Court, where he pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including breaking and entering in the nighttime and trespassing. Bail was set at $100 cash, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office.

According to a Brookline police report filed in court, a resident of the third-floor apartment at 36 Park St. was awakened by his alarm around 5:15 a.m. and then walked into his living room “where he observed a white male asleep on the couch.’’

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The resident texted his fiancee, who was still in the bedroom, to call police while he launched into a conversation with Dolzhenkov “in order to keep him calm and avoid further confrontation,’’ police said in the report.

When authorities arrived, the resident and Dolzhenkov stood next to each other as they allowed police into the building. Within a few moments, Dolzhenkov was under arrest, especially after police found two laptop computers, a camera, a bottle of Hollinger cologne, keys to the victim’s apartment and $20 cash in his backpack and pockets, police said.

Dolzhenkov, whom police said had needle marks on his arms, did not appear to be drunk, although police recovered a half-consumed quart bottle of beer. Dolzhenkov told police he had not been using intravenous drugs “in a while.’’

When questioned by police at the station, Dolzhenkov told police he took an MBTA bus into Brookline and got off on Route 9 around midnight and went walking through the town. He told police “his intentions were to find a place to stay warm,’’ police wrote.

He claimed to have found a set of keys that let him into the building and tried several other units before noticing the door to the victim’s apartment was not fully closed. At that point, Dolzhenkov told police he walked inside what he thought was an abandoned apartment.

“He pushed the door open and walked in,’’ police wrote. “He said he was tired so he wanted to sleep. He laid down and fell asleep. The next thing he remembered is being woke up by the resident.’’