A West Warwick man charged with robbing a Cranston Bank on Monday is out on bail after a high-speed chase through Johnston and Cranston ended with a crash in a wooded area, proving that police teamwork leads to arrests and you can't make a left onto Fletcher Avenue from Atwood Avenue at 60 miles per hour in a Chevrolet Caprice.
Roland Reynolds, 42, is now facing a first-degree robbery charge brought by Cranston Police and charges of eluding police and resisting arrest brought by Johnston Police, who also filed several driving citations against him.
Officers from the Johnston Police Department located and helped Cranston Police arrest the suspect in the May 20 robbery of Admirals Bank on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston, according to Johnston Dep. Chief Daniel Parrillo.
It all started aroun 9 a.m., when Cranston Police issued a call to surrounding departments to be on the look-out for a gray vehicle seen leaving the scene of the robbery.
Parrillo said Johnston Officer John DeAngelis saw a car with the registration plate reported by Cranston traveling on Plainfield Pike, and alerted headquarters.
DeAngelis also reported that the driver of the car, later identified as Reynolds, "abruptly performed a left turn into the Petroil parking lot, drove through the lot at an excessive speed, and exited the lot onto Atwood Avenue."
A few minutes later, Officer Jeffrey Freyer reported seeing the car parked next to the pay phone at the Gulf Express gas station at 1190 Atwood Ave., and pulled into the parking lot.
Reynolds then sped away from the store, Parrillo said, leading Freyer on a chase on Atwood Avenue back across the town line into Cranston.
DeAngelis, who was near St. Rocco School, reported that he saw Reynolds speed by at an estimated 75 mph.
Freyer reported that he saw Reynolds drive through a red light "failing to slow or stop."
Johnston Officer Mario Mennella Jr. picked up pursuit of Reynolds's car on Atwood Avenue near Plainfield Pike, and reported that Reynolds crossed over the double yellow lines on Atwood Avenue as he approached Fletcher.
Reynolds then "tried to take a left onto Fletcher Avenue, which is impossible doing 60, [and the car] went right into the woods," Parrillo explained.
Freyer estimated the car came to rest about 100 feet from the road.
Mennella arrived at the scene and, with his gun drawn, waded into the brush to get Reynolds, Parrillo said. Mennella reported that Reynolds shouted, "Just shoot me, I want to die."
After the Johnston officer holstered his weapon, he wrestled with Reynolds for a few minutes before Freyer arrived to help.
"It was a battle," Parrillo said of Mennella's struggle with Reynolds. "He went right at [Mennella]."
Parrillo said that officers found about $10,000 in cash in Reynolds's car.
Cranston and Johnston officers presented Reynolds for arraignment later that day in Third District Court, Warwick.
Reynolds pleaded not guilty to the Johnston charges, and was released on bail until a scheduled pre-trial hearing on May 31. He was released on bail in the Cranston case, and is scheduled for a hearing on July 22.