ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A 35-year-old St. Cloud man faces seven felony charges in connection with a nearly nine-hour standoff Thursday, May 6, at a Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud, Minn., during which five bank employees were held against their will.
Ray Reco McNeary was charged Friday afternoon, May 7, in Stearns County District Court with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and second-degree assault.
Court documents say the five bank employees were pushed, threatened and told they would be killed during the long ordeal. McNeary is not accused of having a firearm, but is said to have threatened to stab one employee with scissors, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities said the incident began shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, with a suspected robbery at the Wells Fargo branch in south St. Cloud.
McNeary came to the bank upset about alleged fraud on his account, the complaint states. The branch manager brought McNeary into his office and could not locate an account, which made McNeary more upset.
The manager pushed a silent alarm in his office, alerting police that the bank was being held up. McNeary held five employees hostage in the building and demanded money and to speak with the FBI, the complaint states.
Prosecutors say McNeary forced the manager to give him money from the bank vault. McNeary allegedly told employees he wanted a “big show” with lots of media attention, and said he’d take the employees “with him.” He told one employee he would use them as a shield, and they would “die together,” according to the complaint.
Shortly after 7 p.m., one employee was able to push past McNeary and run out of the bank. Three others were allowed to leave, the complaint states.
At about 10:30 p.m., after hours of negotiation, law enforcement teams prepared to enter, and the remaining employee ran for the door. Police took McNeary into custody.
All five employees were unharmed, although St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said they likely faced psychological stress from the ordeal.
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said she has been in contact with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and McNeary potentially could face federal charges as well.
McNeary already faced domestic assault charges related to a March incident in which he allegedly hit a woman in the face, causing injuries.