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$65,000 cash-only bail set for armed-robbery suspect; police say gun was hidden in stroller
MANCHESTER — Bail was set at $65,000 cash-only Tuesday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division for a man accused of armed robbery with a stolen handgun Monday evening.
Jonathan Bijoel, 28, of 436 Granite St., could enter no plea to felony charges of armed robbery, theft by unauthorized taking of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm, so a probable cause hearing was set for Aug. 1.
Bijoel was arrested shortly after two men reported a man they knew as “John” attempted to rob them near Kelley and Hevey streets. They said “John” demanded money and hit one of them in the face with a gun when they refused.
At the time of his arrest, near Rimmon and Kelley streets, Bijoel was walking with his girlfriend, Cassandra Gagnon, 23, also of the Granite Street address.
Bijoel was pushing a stroller containing Gagnon's almost 2-year-old child. When police approached, they said Gagnon took the stroller and attempted to walk away. She was stopped and police said said a 9 mm handgun was found in storage area of the stroller, under the seat.
Gagnon was charged with felony falsification of evidence and a probable cause was set for Aug. 1.
In court Tuesday, Bijoel told Judge Gregory Michael that Gagnon didn't know about the gun or the robbery.
He also said he has a full-time job as a cook during the school year, adding: “I'm not looking to cause any problems.”
Police prosecutor Lt. Ron Mello requested $7,500 cash/surety bail for Gagnon, saying she has an open matter in Nashua and is scheduled for trial Oct. 10 in Manchester on charges of operating after suspension and disobeying a police officer. Mello said because Gagnon was out on $1,000 cash/surety bail on those charges, a contempt of court charge was filed and it will also be tried Oct. 10.
In a bid for personal recognizance bail, Gagnon told the judge she has two children and is supposed to start a job Wednesday. Michael was not willing to set personal recognizance bail, but did set bail at $1,500 cash/surety, considerably lower than requested by the prosecutor.
Bijoel was also charged with contempt of court. The prosecutor said Bijoel has been indicted on a heroin possession charge by the Hillsborough County North Grand Jury and is scheduled for trial in Circuit Court Sept. 4 on misdemeanor charges, including endangering the welfare of a child. Bijoel's contempt charge will also be heard Sept. 4.
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