Federal Jury Convicts Getaway Driver in Barrington Bank Robbery
PROVIDENCE, RI—A federal jury in Providence late Tuesday afternoon convicted David Lasseque, 33, of Providence, for his role as getaway driver during the July 2013 armed robbery of the Barrington branch office of Bank of America, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Barrington Police Chief John M. LaCross, East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.
The jury convicted Lasseque on one count each of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and bank robbery. A co-defendant in this matter, Pierre S. Rheau, 34, of Providence, pleaded guilty in May 2014 to charges of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and armed bank robbery.
According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, at approximately 5:00 p.m. on July 12, 2103, members of the Barrington Police Department responded to a report of an armed bank robbery at the County Road branch office of Bank of America. Witnesses told police that an individual armed with a black firearm approached two tellers demanding they give him all the money. The suspect fled the bank with $4,871 in cash. Witnesses were able to provide police with a detailed description of the robber’s physical make-up, his clothing, clothing accessories and the firearm he displayed during the robbery.
According to the government’s evidence, in response to a police dispatch about the bank robbery, a Barrington Police Sergeant positioned himself on Rte. 114. A short time later the sergeant saw a vehicle traveling in a northerly direction away from the bank by an individual who fit the general description of the bank robber. The sergeant began to follow the vehicle, which he then determined was traveling well in excess of the posted speed limit. The sergeant attempted to affect a traffic stop, however after stopping briefly for the officer the vehicle fled the area at a high rate of speed.
According to the government’s evidence, the suspect vehicle was pursued by police as it drove at a high-rate of speed onto I-195 west then off again via an exit into an East Providence residential neighborhood. As the vehicle continued to be operated in a reckless manner, it crashed into an East Providence police cruiser traveling in the opposite direction, with its lights and siren engaged.
According to the government’s evidence, following the collision with the police cruiser, the driver, David Lasseque, fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by Barrington and East Providence officers. A second individual, Pierre Rheau, later identified as the gunman who robbed the bank, was discovered lying on the back seat. From the back seat area, officers recovered a pile of loose money, a black Daisy .177 caliber BB gun, and clothing and accessories described by witnesses as having been worn by the armed bank robber.
Lasseque faces statutory penalties of up to 25 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when he is sentenced on September 26, 2014, by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, who presided over the two-day trial. The jury reached its verdict after approximately 90 minutes of deliberations.
Rheau, who pleaded guilty on May 14, 2014, to conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and armed bank robbery, faces statutory penalties of up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on September 12, 2014.
Lasseque and Rheau have been detained since their arrest.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.
Warren and Seekonk, Mass., Police and the Rhode Island State Police assisted Barrington and East Providence Police and the FBI in the investigation of this matter.