East Providence Police arrest man after drunken threats, update 'Bandit' and bank cases

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Robert Lewis, 34, of 99 Walnut St., was arrested by East Providence Police on several charges early Sunday morning, Oct. 14. Mr. Lewis was charged with two felonies following the alcohol-fueled incident, including making bomb threats and other false reports as well as threatening a public official.

Events began Saturday night, Oct. 13, at the same address when police responded to a 911 call made from the residence. Once on the scene, police found Mr. Lewis and his girlfriend both to be intoxicated. The decision was made for officers to escort the female involved in the matter to her residence. Her car was left at the 99 Walnut St. address.

At or around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, according to East Providence Lt. Raymond Blinn’s account of the matter, Mr. Lewis called both the Rhode Island State Police and the East Providence Police via 911 and stated he was going to “kill” a police officer and/or “blow” his own head off if law enforcement returned to his home.

The decision was made to convene the East Providence SWAT Team to handle the incident, but before it was brought together, Mr. Lewis surrendered to officers on site and he was taken into custody.

Once at East Providence headquarters, Mr. Lewis told the arresting officers he was “connected” and a member of the “mafia” and that he would have one of them killed as a result of the situation. The threat generated the second of the two felony charges, along with making the false reports.

In addition, police charged Mr. Lewis with making crank/obscene phone calls; providing false information to 911; disorderly conduct/indecent exposure for displaying his genitals to police; and domestic vandalism for causing damage to his girlfriend’s automobile.

Bank robbery updates

On Monday, East Providence Police also provided updates on the recent notable bank robbery/embezzlement cases to happen in the city.

The notorious “Bearded Bandit,” aka Justin Worley, the bank-robbing suspect who made numerous heists in the area for the better part of six months, remains in custody in Massachusetts prison after he was captured Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 19, at the Motel 6 just across the Rhode Island line in neighboring Seekonk.

The same day, as they helped bring the “Bearded Bandit” series of robberies to a close, East Providence detectives arrested Jennefer Gomes, 27, of 137 Oak Crest Drive, Riverside. Ms. Gomes is the female suspect who entered the Columbus Credit Union in Riverside at just after noon on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and claimed to have some sort of explosive device. She left with about $3,000 is cash. She remains in custody in Rhode Island at the ACI.

The East Providence Police Department continues to be involved in both investigations.

In addition, as East Providence detectives investigated the Columbus Credit Union robbery, an employee, Crystal Lynn Ferreira, 26, admitted to stealing more than $300,000 from the branch. Federal authorities have taken over the embezzlement case.

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.