New Castle News


January 29, 2014

Bank robbery suspect facing more charges

NEW CASTLE — City Police Chief Bobby Salem said bank robbery investigators had received multiple calls from Richard J. Bruni Sr.’s family.

Those calls tipped them off to Bruni’s identity as the alleged robber shown in photos online and in the newspaper from three recent bank robberies in Lawrence County.

From those calls and other information, the police built an investigation that led them to Bruni’s door, Salem said.

New Castle police arrested the 37-year-old North Hill resident Friday and charged him with Thursday’s robbery of Huntington Bank downtown.

On Monday, they charged Bruni, of 432 Boyles Ave., with last month’s robbery of the GNC Federal Credit Union, also downtown.

Neshannock police said Bruni is a suspect in the Jan. 7 robbery of the FirstMerit Bank branch in the township, adding they expect to file charges this week.

Bruni allegedly walked into the GNC Credit Union at 201 S. Jefferson St. around 9:30 a.m. Dec. 26 wearing gloves and a camouflage jacket, approached a teller and told her, “Don’t press nothing.”

He allegedly presented a hand-written note that said, “I have a gun give me your top drawer money.” The teller said he kept his left hand in his pocket and she gave him an estimated $2,560 from the drawer.

A teller in the next window told police she became suspicious when she saw him reach under the partition and take money and she pressed her panic alarm.

Police reviewed video of the incident with the credit union manager as well as surveillance videos from the Hometown Pharmacy next door and Cilli Central Station Building across the street.

Among the information they received from tips was that Bruni had been living in Pittsburgh and moved to New Castle, according to court records.

Police said his description and the circumstances of the robbery were similar to those described to Neshannock police of the FirstMerit robbery.

The police said tellers at both the bank and the credit union had picked Bruni from a photo lineup.

After the Huntington Bank robbery, police went to Bruni’s house, where his girlfriend told them he had gone to Pittsburgh to do roofing work, but they questioned her about why he would be working on a roof in 7-degree weather.

Salem said Tuesday the police cannot prove the girlfriend had knowledge that Bruni was the man robbing the banks, so she is not facing charges right now.

“If it comes to our attention that she knew, that would be conspiracy and she would definitely be charged,” he said.

In the GNC case, Bruni is charged with robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, robbery demanding money from a financial institution, terroristic threats, theft and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned Monday before District Judge Melissa A. Amodie, who set his bond at $100,000.

Bruni was jailed Friday on $100,000 bond in connection with the Huntington Bank robbery. A hearing in that case is set for tomorrow. His preliminary hearing in the credit union case in Tuesday.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results