A New York man was accused of holding an 81-year-old Marine Corps veteran hostage in a motel room for four years so he could steal his benefits checks.
Perry Coniglio, 43, was arrested July 19 in his room adjoining the victim’s at the U.S. Academy Motel in Highlands, N.Y., located just next door to local police department.
Police said Coniglio used brute force and intimidation to coerce the veteran, who has advanced dementia, to cooperate with him, the Associated Press reported. Police Chief Jack Quinn told the AP that the veteran “received a tremendous amount of money” every month in Social Security benefits, pension checks and food stamps. Investigators did not reveal the exact total or the victim’s name.
The veteran was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Coniglio faces a number of charges, including grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment. He was being held in the Orange County Jail Thursday on $15,000 bail.
Footage of Coniglio’s arrest captured on video by WABC-TV showed police taking him into custody while the bearded veteran sat in the messy motel room. Police told the AP they were tipped off to the situation by neighbors.