BOSTON, Dec. 23, 2013—A North End man and his homeless co-defendant were arraigned today in connection with a pair of armed robberies yesterday, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
RICHARD PUOPOLO (D.O.B. 7/25/86) of the North End and CARLOS VENABLE (D.O.B. 1/5/70), who is homeless, were arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court. Puopolo was charged with armed robbery for one incident, unarmed robbery for another, and unlawful possession of a Class E substance, while Venable was charged with armed robbery for the second incident only.
Prosecutors recommended $5,000 cash bail for Puopolo and $2,500 for Venable; Judge Annette Forde imposed $1,000 for Puopolo and $20,000 for Venable, additionally revoking his open bail on an assault case in the same court.
The incidents in which the men are charged took place yesterday morning and afternoon. In the first, Puopolo and another man entered a coffee shop at 2 Atlantic Ave. at about 7:10 a.m. When a barista asked if she could help them, Puopolo allegedly told her he was robbing the store and demanded the money from the registers. The barista complied and Puopolo allegedly took the cash before handing two $5 bills back.
“I’m so sorry,” he allegedly said before fleeing with his associate. “This is for you guys.”
About eight hours later, Puopolo and Venable allegedly entered a convenience store at 149 Hanover St. Puopolo allegedly brandished a broken bottle and demanded the cash in the register. The cashier asked if he was kidding.
“This is no joke,” Puopolo allegedly said while Venable stood behind him and to his left. “This is a robbery. We are broke and we need the money.”
The clerk handed over the cash in the register and the assailants fled on foot.
At about 8:30 last night, after Boston Police released video surveillance images showing the two suspects, Puopolo called police to surrender. When detectives arrived at his home, he identified himself from the images after being informed of his Miranda rights. At the time of his arrest, he had a vial of Xylocaine, an anesthetic for which he had no prescription.
About two hours later, Boston Police on patrol in Chinatown spotted Venable and recognized him as resembling the surveillance images that police had also distributed internally. He agreed to be questioned at the District A-1 station. He allegedly identified himself from a surveillance image taken just before the convenience store robbery, but stated that he was just standing outside and didn’t take part in the robbery.
Puopolo was represented by attorney Edward Krippendorf and Venable by attorney Joseph Moore. They will both return to court on Jan. 22.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.