Reporting Michael Rosenfield
NASHUA, NH (CBS) — A father and son have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at a bingo game in Nashua, New Hampshire.
The Blessed John Church had rented out the Eagle’s Wing Function Center for their weekly Saturday night bingo game.
One of the bingo volunteers tells WBZ-TV he was counting money and getting payouts ready when the suspect came in to the bingo office.
“He just waltzed right in, threw a lunch bag cooler at me and said ‘throw the money in the bag’,” says the man who does not want his name revealed. “I just sat there staring at him.”
The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Charles Preston, then allegedly flashed a gun and said ‘This ain’t a joke, put the (expletive) money in the bag.’”
The volunteer says the church members were stunned.
“The gun is right in my face and before you know it he’s shaking and he pulled the trigger twice in my face,” said the man.
Preston then apparently put the gun down and started to grab some of the $15,000 in the room.
Another bingo volunteer then took the gun. They say that was Preston’s mistake.
“I just jumped up and yelled ‘Mother (expletive) you’re mine now’ and I just went to town on him and I took him out,” said the man.
Others helped pin Preston down, who then attempted to break free by scaring the bingo group even more.
“When I had him in the reverse headlock, choking the daylights out of him, he yelled ‘I got a bomb.’”
The bingo workers kept Preston down until police arrived.
Investigators would also arrest his 20-year-old son Justin who was outside.
The two live just a block away.
The men were arraigned Monday. The older Preston is being held on $75,000 bail and his son on $25,000.
“It was a great job done by the employees,” said Nashua Lieutenant Denis Linehan. “It’s something that we don’t encourage, is to get involved with somebody that appears to be armed or is armed.”
Nobody was hurt. There was no bomb and the gun turned out to be a fake.
“This is not right,” said the volunteer who put Preston in a headlock. “The economy is not right, doesn’t give the people the right to go around and try to steal money that doesn’t belong to them.”
“I’m just trying to piece everything together,” said Rachael Preston in a phone call with WBZ-TV. She is the daughter of Charles and the sister of Justin.