rowlawn dasher (copy)

Rowlawn Dasher

A New Bedford man allegedly robbed the Shell gas station on Route 140 Monday night, hours after being released from a nearby drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, authorities say.

Rowlawn L. Dasher, 29, was held overnight on $5,000 cash bail but was released on his personal recognizance after his arraignment on Tuesday in Wrentham District Court.

He allegedly robbed the gas station around 7:50 p.m. after being released from the NORCAP Lodge on Walnut Street, about a half-mile away, according to a police report.

Before he allegedly robbed the station, Dasher loitered around Foxboro Plaza unable to get a ride to a motel in Seekonk where he was staying.

After the clerk at the Shell station gave him a doughnut, Dasher allegedly reached into a cash drawer when the clerk rang up the sale for an iced tea he wanted to buy.

He allegedly grabbed a small amount of cash during a brief struggle and ran from the station into the woods at the rear of the plaza.

Police surrounded the area with the help of state police and Mansfield police while other officers gathered information from the victim and witnesses.

K9 Officer Kurt Pollister and his partner Max were searching the area when about an hour later a concerned citizen alerted Officer Scott Dion that a man had just come out of the woods on Elm Street, according to a police report.

Officer Dion was able to quickly find and detain the man, later identified as Dasher.

Police recovered about $140 cash on Dasher and Max found a cellphone allegedly belonging to the defendant in the woods.

“I don’t know what the (expletive) I was thinking. Thinking I could get away,” Dasher was quoted as telling investigators.

In addition to Dion and Pollister, the robbery was investigated by officers Paul Poulitsopoulis, Sgt. Patrick Hoffman, Lt. Kenneth Fitzgerald and detectives Michael Alberts and Patrick Morrison.

Dasher was arraigned on a charge of unarmed robbery but a prosecutor asked that it be reduced to larceny from a person so the case could be litigated in district court instead of going to a grand jury for indictment.

District courts do not have the jurisdiction to conduct trials for unarmed robberies.

The prosecutor requested $500 cash bail, noting the new allegations and a pending larceny case in another court.

But Dasher’s lawyer, Geoffrey Waller of Canton, argued his client made admissions to police and should be released on his own recognizance.

“This was a poor decision by a desperate man,” Waller said.

Dasher, who was also ordered to stay away from the gas station as a condition of his release, is due back in court for his next appearance in June.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.