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Brothers step in, thwart bank stickup

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 26. 2013 10:06PM
Angel Rivera, left, and his brother Luis Quinones subdued a man who police say attempted to rob a Citizens Bank in Manchester and held him until police arrived. Bruce Preston / Union LEADer 

MANCHESTER - Angel Rivera already had quite a 'to do' list Friday. The last thing he needed was to help his brother pin an alleged bank robber to a wall until police arrived.

"I saw him push the guy at the counter and the money going into a bag, and then we just went at him," said Rivera. "I wasn't scared until it was over. After I thought about what happened, I headed to the liquor store, grabbed some nips, had 'em and laid down in bed."

Rivera, 59, and his brother Luis Quinones, 47, both of Manchester, tackled an alleged bank robber David Roberts on Friday morning, holding him against a wall until police arrived at the Citizens Bank branch at 1550 Elm St.

David Roberts, 64, of 420 Maple St., was arrested and charged with robbery. After further investigation, police said this was the second time Roberts robbed the bank and charged him with the Nov. 21, 2012, robbery of the bank.

Friday morning, police responded to the bank shortly after 11 a.m. and learned a man wearing a surgical mask and clear plastic gloves had approached a teller and announced he was robbing the bank.

After the robber refused the teller's request to remove the mask, the teller put cash on the counter and the robber put it into a plastic bag he had pulled from his pocket. The man then headed for the door, where another employee, who saw what was happening, tried to stall him, asking if he needed help.

Police said the robber pushed past the woman and was through the interior doors, starting out the exterior doors when Rivera and Quinones, who had been in the waiting area and had seen what was happening, tackled him.

"That's my bank," said Quinones, of 41 Pennacook St. "We're there every day. We don't need people like that in the neighborhood."

"We were waiting, and we saw this guy come in," said Rivera. "He was wearing a mask, and I said to my brother that he looked like a robber. Then I saw the young guy that works there putting money in a bag. When he pushed a lady that works there that I know, that's when we jump on him."

Quinones grabbed one of the man's hands and put it behind his neck, while Rivera said he grabbed the man's other hand and pinned it behind the man's back. The duo held Roberts against a wall in the bank foyer until police arrived.

"He was fighting us, but I was holding him and yelling at him, 'Give me the damn money' and he gave it to me," said Rivera. "Then I was holding the bag in one hand, and holding him there with the other. Then I dropped the bag on the floor. It was full of $100 bills."

Rivera, a 40-year resident of the Queen City, said it's not the first time jumped into action in a dangerous situation. He said as a teen living in Philadelphia, he saw two guys beating up an old man.

"I jumped in and knocked them off him, and they ran away," said Rivera "I didn't know him, but that could have been my father. People can't pull that crap."

"I didn't think about if he had a weapon," said Quinones. "It happened so fast, I had no time."

"Everything went up - my blood pressure, I was sweating," said Rivera. "After the liquor store I just lay right down for a rest. I got my daughter's baby shower (today)."

Police said witnesses identified Roberts as the man who had robbed the bank Friday and he was placed under arrest.

Based on additional investigation after Roberts' arrest Friday, he was charged with a second count of robbery for a robbery reported at the same bank on Nov. 21, 2012.

On that date, a man with a similar physical description, also wearing a surgical mask and gloves, entered the bank and demanded cash in a similar fashion. Manchester detectives were able to develop information that identified Roberts as the suspect in that robbery as well.

Quinones said he believes he and Quinones were there that day, too.

"We were at the bank that day, and when we got there the cops were everywhere," said Quinones. "We couldn't get in. I guess we just missed him."

"I know all the people that work there," said Rivera. "I got so mad seeing him do that. That's my bank. All the ladies there, they were kissing me after. I never had so many kisses in my life."; New Hampshire Union Leader staff reporter Dale Vincent contributed to this story.

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