Cops: 81-year-old veteran held hostage in motel for 4 years


HIGHLANDS, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man is accused of holding an 81-year-old Marine Corps veteran hostage in a motel for at least four years in order to steal his benefits checks.

Forty-three-year-old Perry Coniglio was arrested Tuesday in his room adjoining the victim’s at a motel in Highlands. The motel is next door to the Hudson Valley town’s police station.

Police say Coniglio used brute force and intimidation to get the elderly and diminished veteran to cooperate with him. Investigators say the victim received three checks every month. The amounts weren’t released.

The victim has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Coniglio is being held in jail on $15,000 bail. The Legal Aid Society attorney representing him wasn’t available for comment.

The charges against him include grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment.