A 65-year-old Bristol, Connecticut, woman working at a local business was abducted, blindfolded, held hostage and terrorized for two hours while her captor robbed a bank on Wednesday, police said.
Robert Du Perry, 51, is accused of walking into a Bristol cemetery chapel with a BB gun before tying up and blindfolding the only employee there, Bristol police said.
According to court documents, Du Perry told police in a sworn statement that he left his home around 11:45 a.m., drove to the package store on Broad Street and had three beers. He said he went to the chapel to “check out the architecture,” according to the documents. Du Perry said that was when he came across a female employee who said something that made him angry, but he could not recall what she said.
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Du Perry demanded the woman’s keys, duct taped her wrists, covered her eyes, and placed the woman in her own car, documents said. He used her cell phone to make false bombing threats to Hartford police, saying several municipal buildings were in danger, police said. The victim told officers that Du Perry told her several times that he had bombs with him.
After driving around, Du Perry pulled into the drive-thru of the TD Bank at 414 Broad Street with his gun aimed at the victim's head and told the teller that if she did not hand over money, he would kill his hostage, police said.
According to court documents, Du Perry told police he chose the TD Bank because the bank had charged him fees in the past.
The teller handed over $3,000, according to officials.
Police located a car that matched the description of the victim's car and Du Perry led officers on a pursuit into Wolcott, police said. At one point, he slowed down and ordered the victim out of the car. Eventually, Du Perry abandoned the vehicle and ran off, police said.
The hostage sustained minor scrapes and bruises.
Bristol, Wolcott and Southington officers were able to locate Du Perry in a heavily wooded area and took him into custody. No bombs or materials used to make bombs were found.
Du Perry was evaluated at the hospital for injuries and possible heat exhaustion. After he was released, police took him to the police department.
TD Bank released a statement about what happened.
"The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our number one priority and we are grateful no one was hurt. We are cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation and therefore, we are unable to comment further," TD Bank spokesperson, Judy Schmidt, said in a statement.
Du Perry was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, assault of victim over 60, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree burglary, first-degree threatening, engaging an officer in a pursuit and reckless driving.
He appeared in court on Thursday, where a public defender was appointed and bond was set at $1.3 million.
He is due back in court on Aug. 11.
Police said the charges do not include the bomb threat allegations.