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June 24, 2021

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Charges imminent in Minnesota bank hostage case

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This undated photo provided by the Stearns County (Minn.) Sheriff's Office shows Ray McNeary. Charges were expected to be filed Friday, May 7, 2021, McNeary accused of holding five employees hostage during a standoff at a St. Cloud bank that lasted more than eight hours.
This undated photo provided by the Stearns County (Minn.) Sheriff's Office shows Ray McNeary. Charges were expected to be filed Friday, May 7, 2021, McNeary accused of holding five employees hostage during a standoff at a St. Cloud bank that lasted more than eight hours. (Stearns County Sheriff's Office via AP) Photo Gallery

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Charges were expected to be filed Friday against a man accused of holding five employees hostage during a standoff at a Minnesota bank that lasted more than eight hours.

Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said a criminal complaint against the 35-year-old suspect was being prepared for filing in state district court later in the day, the Star Tribune reported.

St. Cloud police recommended charges of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and second-degree assault against Ray Reco McNeary, who has a lengthy criminal history.

Police said Friday that no firearm was found on McNeary or at the scene. McNeary was arrested in the Wells Fargo bank shortly after the final hostage left the building.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Staci Schiller had said Thursday that the suspect had “some sort of weapon.” Neither police nor Kendall immediately responded to a message left inquiring about that.

Law enforcement officers began negotiating with McNeary about 1:45 p.m. Thursday after a robbery was reported. The first hostage, a woman, was freed several hours later and ran to officers with her hands raised.

A few minutes later, a second woman emerged and was led away. Then, just before 8 p.m., a male bank employee emerged unharmed. A fourth person, a woman, walked out minutes later.

A crowd had gathered near the bank and cheered each time a hostage emerged.

The final hostage was freed about 10:15 p.m. That’s when officers moved in and arrested the suspect. None of the hostages or McNeary were injured, police said.

Anderson said the standoff began when the suspect came to the bank and was disgruntled about a prior transaction. The branch manager called police because he was concerned about the safety of those inside the bank. Anderson said many people had already run out by the time officers arrived.

The chief said McNeary was known to authorities before the hostage situation.

“We have had numerous contacts with this individual dating back at least a decade, including violent crime,” Anderson said.

He remains jailed in Stearns County. Online jail records did not list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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