INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 18, 2014) - A man is accused of using fear to force an 86-year-old victim to hand over money.
Court documents show Robert Amonette made the elderly man drive to an ATM to withdraw money as many as 28 times in one month.
Police arrested Amonette and he appeared in court Thursday morning for an initial hearing. He is charged with one count of armed robbery, a level 3 felony, and 28 counts of robbery, level 5 felony.
During the hearing he interrupted the judge multiple times even after she told him to stop talking. He told the judge he was "shocked" and he didn't own a gun. Amonette also tried to ask the judge to reduce his bond so he could get out of jail, sell his house and get money to pay for an attorney.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said additional charges are expected. The robberies occurred multiple times over the course of several months. The deputy prosecutor says the 86-year-old provided them with the names of three other possible victims.
The prosecutor asked for a higher bond to keep the suspect in jail, reassuring any possible victims that it is safe to come forward.
FOX59 talked to a woman who said an elderly family member was also forced to give Amonette money. She spoke to Liz Gelardi on the condition of anonymity because she's so scared for her loved one.
"It's almost like the elderly think they're helping him but he's really extorting them," said the victim's relative.
The woman says her relative stopped carrying cash and credit cards out of fear that Amonette would ask for money.
Amonette is accused of repeatedly forcing the victim to provide cash and withdraw money from the victim’s bank account. Amonette allegedly would drive the victim to a bank to withdraw cash.
"The victim in this particular case didn't even drive so Mr. Amonette went and picked him up every morning at 9 o'clock, it was kind of a schedule and our victim was aware that he then went to other houses, almost like a daily routine," said Andrea Props, deputy prosecutor.
According to court documents, both the suspect and the victim knew each other.
The victim told police that he would leave his home each day to walk around the neighborhood in an effort to avoid Amonette, who would follow and attempt to find him.
The victim reported that Amonette would become irrational and angry, causing the victim to be in fear for his safety. In one incident, Amonette was armed with a handgun in his waistband.
Anyone with information to contact Adult Protective Services at (317) 327-1403 or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.