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Demented US Veteran Held Hostage in New York Motel for Four Years

© Fotolia / mario beauregard / Almost half of the US population believes that police officers should carry more military equipment
Almost half of the US population believes that police officers should carry more military equipment - Sputnik International
A United States Marine Corps veteran, aged 86, was held hostage for four years in a motel room while a man collected his Social Security benefits, pension checks and food stamps.

Perry Coniglio, 35 was arrested by Hudson Valley police, some 50 miles from New York City. According to WABC TV, Coniglio held an 86-year-old Marine Corps veteran with advanced dementia captive in a motel room, while he cashed the senior's benefit checks.

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Reports note that the veteran was a "perfect victim," as, according to police, he received a "tremendous amount of money" from social benefits, had no friends or relatives, and was in the late stages of advanced dementia. When police asked the victim how long he thought he had been held captive, he said "four days," while evidence points to closer to four years. 

The perpetrator was taken into custody during a police raid, after neighbors spoke up, one providing video of the veteran being physically abused by Coniglio.

The video footage of the raid shows the senior held in a cluttered room with stacked furniture and overthrown plant pots.

"The guy who was arrested who lived next door, he was giving him just one bowl of cereal a day, he would stick him back in the room with a stick, wasn't bathing him, the old guy would just be walking around here naked, just terrible," a neighbor told reporters.

Coniglio is charged with unlawful imprisonment, grand larceny, criminal possession of a weapon, endangering an incompetent person, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police did not comment on the length of the abuse, at a motel just steps away from the police station.

The victim was taken to the hospital. According to detective Joseph Cornetta, a number of veterans have offered to help the victim, while county Adult Protective Services is currently locating a new residence for the veteran.

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