A decorated and retired police detective who may be gravely ill was charged Friday afternoon with robbing a St. Albans bank in Queens Criminal Court.
Athelson “Kevin” Kelson, 59, a Queens resident, was arraigned on third-degree robbery charges for allegedly stealing cash from a Chase branch at 205-32 Linden Blvd. on July 10, the Queens district attorney said. Kelson is a Vietnam War veteran who earned a Silver Star and served with the NYPD for 33 years, according to the Detectives Endowment Association.
Kenny Sparks, the Detective Endowment Association secretary and a longtime friend who was at the arraignment, said he was shocked at the allegations because Kelson had worked a decade catching criminals as a detective in the Intelligence Division.
“This is not the Kevin Kelson I know. It is not the Kevin Kelson the rest of the detectives know,” he said outside the court.
Kelson, who retired in 2005, is also accused of robbing at least three banks in Long Island, according to the DA. He was remanded by the court and was ordered to undergo psychiatric and ontological tests to see if he is fit to stand trial.
Sparks said Kelson was diagnosed with cancer and noted that he had lost a lot of weight. He would not go into detail about the extent of his colleague’s illness but said that he was frightened after being diagnosed.
A follow-up court date was set for Sept. 12. If convicted, Kelson faces up to seven years in prison, the DA said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.