Manchester Crimewatch: Man's bomb threat/robbery plot didn't account for off-duty officer at the store
MANCHESTER — A city man, accused of calling in a bomb threat at Manchester High School West Wednesday morning that would tie up police and other emergency personnel while he robbed Bob’s Coins of Manchester, 278 Kelley St., wanted to plead guilty Thursday morning in Circuit Court-Manchester District.
Ralph Blackey, 40, of 73 Young St., was in court for arraignment on felony charges of armed robbery and false report of explosion.
“I admit I did it,” said Blackey, who had put serious thought into his planning, but couldn’t have imagined that an off-duty police officer would be in the store he had targeted.
Off-duty police officer Michael Buckley, who happened to be at the store on personal business, became suspicious of Blackey, who was wearing sunglasses and a white surgical-type mask covering his nose and mouth. Blackey’s explanation that he was wearing the mask because of allergies didn’t persuade either the clerk or Buckley, who finished his business and went outside.
Buckley retrieved his service weapon from his vehicle, told two construction workers of his suspicions, and waited for Blackey. The clerk told police that after Buckley left and he was alone with the clerk, Blackey pulled out a knife and demanded money. She said she screamed, which apparently scared Blackey, who ran out of the store where Buckley and the construction workers were waiting for him.
The prosecutor requested $20,000 cash/surety bail for Blackey, saying Blackey had put serious thought into his planning for the robbery. The prosecutor said Blackey has convictions in a number of New Hampshire communities for crimes, including fraudulent use of a credit card, theft by unauthorized taking, theft of services, operating after suspension and receiving stolen property.
Judge William Lyons told Blackey he cannot enter a plea to a felony charge in Circuit Court, but if Blackey wishes to speed the plea process, he can speak with a court-appointed lawyer and waive probable cause and have the case moved to Superior Court for a quick resolution. A probable cause hearing was set in Circuit Court for May 29.
Brian Holmes, 33, of 198 Grove St., insisted Thursday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division that an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend are targeting him. Holmes was arrested Wednesday night, in the area of Wilson and Silver streets, on warrants alleging felony stalking and felony violation of a domestic violence protective order and a misdemeanor of criminal mischief.
He’s accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend and damaging the boyfriend’s windshield by firing a pellet gun at it.
He was also arraigned on a felony charge of possession of a narcotic after approximately .55 grams of suspected heroin were located in a sock during the booking process.
“I might have an addiction,” Holmes told Judge William Lyons, but he insisted he’s not guilty of the other charges, saying he’s being set up by an angry ex-girlfriend.
A police prosecutor requested $5,000 cash/surety bail for Holmes, saying his criminal record includes willful concealment and two previous violations of protective orders. Lyons set bail at the requested amount, with conditions barring contact with the alleged victims and barring Holmes from their residences.
A probable cause hearing on the felonies was set for May 29 and trial on the misdemeanor was set for June 18.
Drug house initiative
A New Boston man, arraigned Thursday in Circuit Court-Manchester District division on a felony charge of possession of a narcotic drug, asked Judge William Lyons for personal recognizance bail. “I’d like (personal recognizance) because I do have a job,” said Robert Ruggiero, 20, of 467 B Francestown Road.
Police, who have increased monitoring of known drug houses as part of a downtown initiative, said Ruggiero was observed walking out of an apartment building in the area of Pine and High streets and walking towards Bridge Street at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Police officer Christian Horn said Ruggiero continued across Bridge Street, despite the “Do Not Walk” pedestrian signal, forcing vehicle traffic to come to a stop as he crossed in front.
Horn stopped Ruggiero, who was found to be in possession of a hypodermic needle and a spoon with suspected heroin residue. After his arrest, Ruggiero was found with two baggies of suspected heroin in his sock.
Police prosecutor Carrissa Pelletier requested $2,000 cash/surety bail for Ruggiero, saying he has a 2012 drug conviction in Goffstown.
Lyons reduced the bail to $1,000, but declined to set personal recognizance bail.
“I just can’t make it,” said Ruggiero.
A probable cause hearing on the felony was set for May 29.
Charges at three stores
Jayda Rodriguez, 43, of 455 Pine St., pleaded innocent Thursday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division to two charges of theft by unauthorized taking and one of willful concealment.
Rodriguez is accused of taking nearly $552 in merchandise from Macy’s at the Mall of New Hampshire April 10, having concealed items while in the 7-Eleven store at 85 S. Main St., April 20, and of taking almost $295 of merchandise from Home Depot, 129 March Ave., April 24.
Rodriguez is free on $1,000 personal recognizance bail, and is barred from all three locations, with a trial set for June 18.
Theft charge is felony
Because he has two previous theft convictions, Theodore Macenas was charged with felony theft by unauthorized taking for removing $80 in merchandise from the Home Depot store, 129 March Ave., Wednesday.
A police prosecutor requested $1,500 cash/surety bail for Macenas, 23, of 22 Billings St., saying he was convicted of theft in 2011 and 2012.
Macenas asked for a break on bail, saying: “I have no money.” Judge William Lyons set bail at the amount requested by the prosecutor, with conditions that include not going to Home Depot. A probable cause hearing was set for May 29.