Hyde Park Man Paul Whooten Indicted for Armed Bank Robbery

(STL.News) – A Hyde Park man was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Boston for the December 2019 armed robbery of a bank in Hyde Park.

Paul Whooten, 56, was indicted on one count of armed bank robbery.  He was previously charged by criminal complaint on Feb. 27, 2020 and has since been detained in federal custody.

According to the charging documents, on Dec. 21, 2019, Whooten entered a branch of the Rockland Trust bank on Truman Parkway in Hyde Park wearing black clothing and a mask, brandished what appeared to be a firearm, pointed it at the teller, and said, “Give me all of your money.”  The teller filled a bag with cash, and the robber fled on foot.  Bank surveillance cameras captured images of the robber wearing a long dark coat, a black reflective jacket, a black knit hat, black sunglasses and gloves.  A police officer stationed inside the bank broadcast a description of the robber.

As alleged in the complaint, another police officer saw an individual matching the description of the robber walking down Truman Parkway.  The officer issued verbal commands to the robber to drop the weapon and get on the ground.  Whooten complied and was apprehended by law enforcement.  A black rifle-type BB gun and bag of cash were recovered.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam W. Deitch of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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