MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ray Reco McNeary was charged on Friday for taking hostages during an alleged robbery at a St. Cloud bank.
The eight-hour standoff ended around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when the last of five hostages was released from a Wells Fargo bank and McNeary was taken into custody.
The 35-year-old from Waite Park was charged in Stearns County with one count of aggravated robbery, five counts of kidnapping, and one count of assault.
According to the criminal complaint, McNeary was speaking to a bank manager about potential fraud on his account. He became upset when his account could not be found and his behavior concerned the brach manager enough to hit the silent panic alarm. Several customers fled the building, but five employees were still inside.
McNeary then forced the manager towards the bank vault and was given a large amount of cash. The manager said they felt an object pressed against their back.
The complaint goes on to say that McNeary allegedly told the hostages that he was going to harm them and he wanted a “big show” with the FBI and media and that he would take the victims “with him.”
Another victim was also taken to the vault, and said McNeary wanted this to “go viral” and that he wanted to be “a martyr.” After receiving the cash, witnesses said he threw it all over the bank. He then took their phones and damaged them.
Witnesses added that McNeary threatened them multiple times, saying he would use the manager as a shield and that they would “die together.” The complaint says that McNeary told hostages and law enforcement that he intended to kill the people inside the bank, kill himself, or put law enforcement in a position so that they would have to kill him.
At one point, McNeary got behind the manager and reached scissors in front of his neck, saying “I will have to shiv you in the neck.”
Shortly after 7 p.m., one of the employees moved towards the door, and though McNeary tried to stop her, she managed to push past him and get outside.
Over the course of the next three and a half hours, three more hostages were released.
“Some flat-out made a run for the door and made it out safely,” said St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson. “The last hostage being held took his chance and made a run for the door. And both tactical units made an entry and took the suspect into custody without incident.”
Anderson added that McNeary has a 10-year criminal history, including some incidents of violent crime.
Police said on Friday morning that McNeary was not carrying a firearm.
A Wells Fargo spokesperson said the branch is currently closed but will likely reopen next week.