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Veteran, 81, held captive in New York motel room for four years, police say

By Ed Adamczyk
Veteran, 81, held captive in New York motel room for four years, police say
Perry Coniglio was charged with grand larceny and other offenses after Highlands, N.Y., police arrested him for allegedly stealing pension and benefit checks from a veteran, 81. Photo courtesy of Town of Highlands Police

HIGHLANDS , N.Y., July 21 (UPI) -- A man was arrested in Orange County, N.Y., on suspicion he held a veteran, 81, captive for four years while taking his pension and other benefit checks.

Perry Conglio, 43, was arrested by Highlands, N.Y., police Tuesday in his room, which adjoins the room of David McClellan, 81, in a motel next door to the town police station and near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Coniglio posed as McClellan's caretaker, police said, noting they had received complaints about Conglio's verbal abuse of the elderly man. When a video, taken by a neighbor, emerged of the alleged abuse, Detective Joseph Cornetta said, police executed a raid.

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"That [emergence of the video], of course, elevated our concern for the well-being of the victim yesterday, so last night we moved in and took Coniglio into custody," said Cornetta.

Conglio was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and second-degree menacing, misdemeanors, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Cornetta said Coniglio used "brute force and intimidation" to obtain three checks McClellan received monthly, but he did not estimated their value.

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McClellan was admitted to a local hospital and is in the care of Orange County Adult Protective Services. Cornetta added several local veterans' groups offered to assist him.

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