Man accused of robbing elderly victim at Twin River ordered held

Blackstone Valley

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — A Massachusetts man was ordered held without bail Friday after Lincoln police say he robbed an 80-year-old man at Twin River Casino.

Richard Settipane, 21, of North Reading, was arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. 

A public defender tried to keep Settipane out of jail, citing ongoing grief and substance abuse counseling, but the judge ordered he be held until a bail hearing scheduled for April 4.

According to police, Settipane was seated at a gaming machine near the victim and asked him for a cigarette.

Police say the victim offered Settipane two cigarettes and lit one for him. It was then Settipane forcefully grabbed cash from the man’s hand, causing the victim to fall and hit his head on the gaming machine.

Settipane ran off with approximately $600, police said, but officers were able to track him down using surveillance cameras.

After a brief struggle, Settipane was taken into custody. Police said they found the victim’s cash on him, as well as a plastic bag containing a white, powdery substance, believed to be crushed-up pills.

The victim was treated on scene for minor injuries, including a cut to his nose and right hand. 

Speaking to Eyewitness News following Settipane’s arraignment, Lincoln Police Chief Brian Sullivan said incidents like this don’t happen often at Twin River.

“It is a bizarre incident. This is not an everyday occurrence at Twin River,” he said. “In this incident, the guy’s being kind, giving someone a cigarette, and he took advantage of that.”

Settipane had no previous contact with Lincoln police, according to Sullivan.

Police records in North Reading show Settipane was previously charged with possession of a class B substance and conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws.

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