Stamford Man Who Attempted 'Suicide by Cop' Charged in Bank Robbery

A man who attempted "suicide by cop" in December as police worked to track down a suspect from a bank robbery earlier that day has formally been charged in the robbery itself, authorities announced Friday.

The First County Bank at 1110 Hope Street was robbed Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, by a man displaying a handgun who was wearing a dark colored wig, black winter hat, sunglasses, a black jacket with white stripe across it, and a neck brace.

According to Lt. Diedrich Hohn, during the course of the investigation, police developed Francesco "Frank" Pensiero, 41, of 316 Glenbrook Road, as a person of interest in the case. The Stamford Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations applied for a search warrant for Pensiero's last known address and were led to the America's Best Value Inn.

Pensiero met authorities, including the Special Response Team, with two realistic facsimile firearms. Pensiero waved the gun at police before pointing it at his own head in an attempt to get police to shoot him, Hohn said. Authorities were able to restrain him without any loss of life and charged Pensiero at the time with first-degree reckless endangerment, interfering with an officer/resisting, and two counts carrying and brandishing of a facsimile firearm.

Executing the search warrant, police seized several items of evidence linking Pensiero to the bank robbery, Hohn said. With that evidence, police charged Pensiero on Friday, January 17, 2014, who was already in custody with the Department of Corrections for a parole violation, with first-degree robbery. He was held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Hohn highlighted the outstanding work of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Ofc. Sean Boeger throughout the case.


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