Wayne Bellafonte Jr., 26, appeared in Summary Court on crutches late Friday, charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offense.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats read him the details – that on July 28, he and another person, at Palm Dale Avenue, stole a quantity of cash from a named female and, in order to do so, used force or put her in fear of force.
The imitation firearm charge related to the same date and location.
Mr. Bellafonte entered and left the courtroom on crutches, favoring his right leg. During proceedings, the magistrate told him he did not need to stand at any time. The session was in Courtroom 3, on the ground floor, so there were no steps to be climbed.
Defense attorney Greg Burke did not make any application for bail, and no mention was made of any reason for the defendant’s use of crutches.
Since robbery is a charge that can be heard only in the Grand Court, the charges were transmitted there for mention on Friday, Aug. 17.
A police press release issued on Saturday, July 28, indicated that just after 1:30 a.m. that morning, officers were dispatched by the 911 Communication Centre to a report at a residence in Palm Dale, off Crewe Road, where two men entered, with one carrying what appeared to be a gun, and demanded money.
“The two men, one described as short and slim with his face covered and the other as tall and large-built also with his face covered and holding what is believed to be a handgun, threatened the residents, however, none of the victims were injured. The men made off with a quantity of cash.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 1, another press release reported that officers conducted an operation in the North Side area to locate a man who was wanted in connection with the incident.
According to the news release, “During the operation police spotted the man, who immediately fled from the police. A K-9 Unit deployed to assist, and the police canine, Baron, who is the newest addition to the K-9 Unit, tracked the suspect, eventually circling and barking at a structure nearby. Officers located the suspect inside.”