NORTH ATTLEBORO — A Rhode Island man who robbed the Bristol County Savings Bank in Attleboro Falls in 2016 while on a first date with a woman he met through a dating app has been sentenced to five years of incarceration.
Christopher Castillo, 33, of Chepachet, was sentenced in Fall River Superior Court to three years in prison for armed robbery followed by another two years in jail for assaulting three police officers who arrested him, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said in a statement on Tuesday.
Castillo went into the bank on Commonwealth Avenue, near the Falls Elementary School, on Dec. 5, 2016, showed the teller a gun that was in his jacket and demanded $1,000. He told the teller he was “really hurting” and needed money, according to the DA’s office.
After he was given the cash, Castillo ran out of the bank and got into a Nissan Maxima that police spotted as it left nearby Mason Field and then as it headed to Dunkin’ Donuts at the corner of Elm and Mount Hope streets.
According to the DA’s office, the woman who was driving the car got out of the vehicle, however, and Castillo ducked down. Police pulled him out of the car and he struggled with police officers, spitting at them. During the struggle, Castillo told police the gun wasn’t loaded.
After eventually handcuffing Castillo, police found a .44 caliber gun in the car along with sunglasses and a hat that matched the items the bank robber was wearing. Also found in the defendant’s wallet was the $1,000 in cash.
“I am pleased the defendant was held accountable for this violent robbery and for spitting at the police officers. This type of lawless behavior is simply not acceptable,” Quinn said.
The woman, Shelby Sampson, then 40, of Attleboro Falls, was initially charged with being an accessory after the fact, but the charges were subsequently dropped by the prosecution.
She told police that she had met the defendant through an online dating app and had just met him in person for the first time that day. She said she picked him up at his parents’ house in Rhode Island and they drove to North Attleboro as he drank wine in the passenger seat.
Castillo asked her to stop the car near the bank and left the vehicle for a few minutes. He ran back, sweating and carrying the hat, sunglasses, a gun and cash and told Sampson to drive off.
When she saw the blue lights of the police cruisers, she immediately pulled into the parking lot and got away from the car.
The gun turned out to be an antique owned by the defendant’s stepfather. An indictment initially charging the defendant with carrying an illegal firearm was dropped as a result, according to the DA.