Fred Stabbert III | Democrat
In the foreground, Sheriff’s Office Detective Sergeant Don Starner (in hat) interviews Bank of America Callicoon branch employees while investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and State Police (including Art Hawker of the Sheriff’s Patrol Division, in suit) compare notes.
By Fred Stabbert III
CALLICOON Fast police work and several concerned citizens helped nab two would-be bank robbers just 60 minutes after they pulled their heist at the Callicoon branch of the Bank of America.
Michele Galloway, a receptionist at the chiropractic office of Dr. Linda Borrelli, was sitting in her car along Audley Dorrer Drive on Friday morning at about 8:25 when she saw an unusual sight.
“A man, carrying a garbage bag over his shoulder, was walking across the Callicoon Creek Park,” Galloway said. “I kept watching him because I thought he was going to throw away his garbage.”
Galloway said the man didn’t drop the bag but instead got into his white car which was parked at the back of the Peck’s parking lot.
She didn’t think too much of it until she heard the bank up the street had gotten robbed. One of Dr. Borrelli’s customers relayed her story to the police. She said the police quickly came down and interviewed her and put out an ‘All Points Bulletin’ of the vehicle they were trying to catch.
The New York State Police, in cooperation with the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, arrested John Ryan, 58, of Coscob, CT, and Scott C. Butterworth , 58, of Southport, CT.
After securing the reported $75,000 in cash in a garbage bag, Ryan then hot-footed across the road to Audley Dorrer Dr. and then across Callicoon Creek Park where Butterworth was waiting in the getaway car in the back of Peck’ parking lot.
Following the eyewitness accounts by Galloway and the staff of the Bank of America, the duo was pulled over by State Trooper David Dively with the assistance of Crawford and Shawangunk Police Departments on Route 52 in the Town of Shawangunk. The robbers were attempting to return to Connecticut, police said.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation.
The investigation revealed that Ryan had entered the bank, wearing a Bill Clinton mask, and threatened employees that he would detonate the bomb if they failed to follow his instructions.
The New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit processed the alleged explosive, determining the device to be a hoax.
Ryan, who is currently on Federal Parole for his involvement in six previous bank robberies, and Butterworth were arraigned before Village of Liberty Justice Harold Bauman. They were remanded to Sullivan County Jail without bail.