By Bill Parry
A wheelchair-bound Astoria man has been charged with his second bank robbery in six months after allegedly wheeling into a Sunnyside bank last week and demanding money, the Queens district attorney said.
Kelvin Dennison, 23, entered the TD Bank branch at 41-01 Queens Blvd. in the early afternoon Monday, where he handed a teller a note that said, “Give me $20,000. I have a bomb. I will shoot,” according to the criminal complaint.
When the teller handed Dennison an undetermined sum of money, he left the bank and fled south on Queens Boulevard, the DA said.
“As accused, the defendant did not allow his disability to hinder him from breaking the law or frightening a bank employee by claiming that he was armed with a bomb and a firearm,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendant now faces serious felony charges.”
Dennison is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of third-degree robbery, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
He was previously arrested in July and charged with similarly robbing the Santander Bank, located at 37-10 Broadway in Sunnyside, on the afternoon of June 29. In that case, Dennison handed the teller a note which read, “Give me all you have. I have a gun.”
The teller gave Dennison $1,212 before he pushed himself out of the bank and fled in his wheelchair, according to the NYPD.
On Sept. 4, 2015, Dennison, who was being held in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail in that case, appeared before Acting Queens County Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin Brandt and entered into a conditional felony-misdemeanor disposition with the condition that he be released from court and escorted by Fortune Society staff to Fortune Academy, its residential treatment facility. Under the court deal, he entered the Fortune Society-CIRT (Court-Based Intervention Resource Team) program for in-patient mental health treatment for a minimum of one year.
If Dennison had successfully completed the program he would have been sentenced to two years’ probation on the misdemeanor charge instead of one to three years in prison on the felony charge. He was supposed to stay in the program for at least a year but he was discharged from the program on Dec. 29 without the court or prosecutors being notified because of his noncompliance with residency requirements, according to the DA’s office.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr