Paul Whooten, 56, of Hyde Park, who likes to rob people with fake guns, was arraigned in US District Court in Boston yesterday on a count of armed bank robbery in his neighborhood in December, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
A masked Whooten walked into the Rockland Trust branch at 1065 Truman Parkway around 1:35 p.m. on Dec. 21, pointed a gun - which turned out to be a BB gun - at a teller and demanded "give me all your money," according to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case, who added that Whooten dropped some of the $13,603 he got while the teller was handing it to him.
Unfortunately for Whooten, the affidavit states, a Boston cop was working a detail at the bank:
The officer observed the male subject walk toward the teller’s counter wearing a face mask and holding what appeared to be a firearm. The BPD officer radioed for assistance. ...
Shortly thereafter, another BPD officer located outside the bank observed the male subject on the sidewalk outside 1080 Truman Parkway, across and down Truman Parkway from the bank [at Cranmore Road], wearing what appeared to be a dark-colored coat, holding a black rifle-type weapon in his hand, and looking inside a light-colored shopping bag. The BPD officer took cover behind his police department vehicle and issued verbal commands to the male subject to drop the gun and get on the ground. The male subject complied, put the weapon down, and was apprehended by BPD officers on the sidewalk.
Upon apprehension of the male subject, a black rifle-type BB gun and a paper shopping bag containing U.S. currency was recovered. Currency recovered from the shopping bag and the floor of the bank totaled $13,603.00.
A second man who was arrested in the case, Richard Berger - himself a convicted bank robber - was arraigned on state armed-bank robbery charges after he was nabbed in Milton while trying to drive away. He has yet to be charged in federal court.
Whooten's criminal record includes holding up a Bread and Circus store in Wayland with a toy gun in 2000, which got him a sentence of nearly 12 years in federal prison.
In 2011, he and an accomplice were charged with holding up a UPS store on Massachusetts Avenue in the Fenway with what turned out to be a fake gun Whooten allegedly crafted out of a garden-hose nozzle and black duct tape.