Sections

Ex−cop to stand trial in SE Qns. bank robbery

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Friends of retired Detective Athelson Kelson have said his cancer caused him to be depressed, but a psychological test introduced in Queens Criminal Court last week determined that the accused NYPD veteran was mentally fit to face trial on robbery charges.

After more than a month of extensive court−ordered tests with psychologists, Kelson’s attorney, Harold Ramsey, presented the findings to Queens Criminal Court Judge Dorothy Chin−Brandt Oct. 16. The mental health specialists concluded he was mentally capable of standing trial for allegedly robbing a St. Albans bank July 10, a spokesman for the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Ramsey said he would consider having his client examined by his own expert, Newsday reported.

Michael Paladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, which Kelson was a member of, said he had no comment on the development.

Kelson, who retired from the Police Department in 2005, has also been accused of robbing seven banks on Long Island in July and August, but has yet to be charged with those crimes.

During one of the robberies, Kelson was allegedly caught on a surveillance camera with an expensive watch and rings, earning him the nickname the “Bling Bandit,” according to the DA’s office. He was arrested in August on charges of robbing $600 from a Chase bank branch at 205−32 Linden Blvd., the Queens DA said. DA Richard Brown said he was picked out in a lineup following his arrest.

Kelson joined the NYPD in 1973 after serving in Vietnam with the Army and worked in various divisions during his tenure, including the Joint Terrorist Task Force Unit, according to Palladino.

The retired detective has been battling liver cancer for years and several of his union colleagues said he became upset and frightened following his diagnosis and treatment.

“He may have neglected himself. He’s gone through a rough time,” said Kelson’s longtime friend, DEA Executive Secretary Kenny Sparks, following his arraignment.

He is expected back in court Nov. 19, a spokeswoman for the Queens DA’s office said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

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.

This week’s featured advertisers

CNG: Community Newspaper Group