A local man was ordered held without bail on Thursday after police said he robbed the China Kitchen at gunpoint and pointed a gun at a customer on Wednesday night.
Timothy M. Gabriel, 25, of Rutland, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in Rutland criminal court to one felony count of assault and robbery with a weapon and two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Judge Thomas Zonay agreed to the state’s request that Gabriel be held without bail. Attorney Chris Davis, who represented Gabriel, didn’t object to his client being held in jail but asked for a hearing to determine whether Gabriel would have a chance to be released pending the resolution of the case.
In an affidavit, Detective Emilio Rosario, of the Rutland City Police Department, said he was sent to the restaurant on West Street after a report had been made that a man had robbed the China Kitchen and fled with cash.
Rosario said he was able to identify the robber as Gabriel based on security footage.
“I had been looking for Gabriel for a larceny that he had allegedly committed against this same restaurant weeks before,” Rosario wrote in the affidavit.
Rosario said the store’s owner showed him security footage of the robbery. Rosario said he recognized Gabriel again, as Gabriel was not wearing a mask or otherwise covering his face.
According to the affidavit, Gabriel pulled a gun from his waistband, pointed the gun at the owner and signaled that the owner should open the cash register. Gabriel allegedly held the gun to the owner’s neck.
The surveillance footage showed Gabriel taking money from the register, Rosario said.
While Gabriel was taking the money, a woman came into the restaurant and Gabriel pointed the gun at her, according to the affidavit.
The woman and the store’s owner later told Rosario they had been in fear for their lives when Gabriel allegedly pointed the gun at them.
Rosario said as he continued his investigation, he was told that Gabriel had been found. He said he went to State Street where Gabriel was in handcuffs and sitting in a police cruiser.
Police had also found the gun allegedly used in the robbery which Rosario said was a BB gun.
“Gabriel waived his rights and agreed to speak with me about the incident. Gabriel confessed to robbing China Kitchen with a BB gun to feed his crack cocaine addiction,” Rosario wrote.
Officer Tyler Tavares told Rosario he found money on Pine Street that he believed had been taken from the China Kitchen.
In a separate case, Gabriel was arraigned on Thursday for attempting to use false pretenses, a misdemeanor.
Rutland City Police Department Officer Jimmy Plakas said in an affidavit that Walmart staff told police on April 25 that Gabriel was in their store attempting to return an item he had taken off the shelf.
According to Plakas, Gabriel admitted to the alleged crime immediately upon being asked.
“I asked (Gabriel) why, to which he replied, ‘I don’t know.’ I asked (Gabriel) what his intention was. (Gabriel) stated, ‘To return it to get some money. To be honest, I got to get some diapers and stuff for the kiddos,’” the affidavit said.
The alleged stolen item, a set of walkie-talkies, was worth about $45. Plakas said Gabriel told him he had found a receipt for walkie-talkies on the ground.
If convicted for that charge, Gabriel could be sentenced to up to six months in prison.
If convicted of the charges from the armed robbery case, Gabriel could be sentenced to up to five years from the aggravated assault charges. The assault and robbery with a weapon charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Almost a year ago, Jack P. Dickson, 28, of Rutland, was sentenced to serve five to 12 years for robbing the China Kitchen on May 4, 2017. Police said Dickson was carrying a machete and wearing a Barack Obama mask during the robber.
Dickson pleaded guilty in March 2018 to a felony charge of assault and robbery with a weapon.