BENNINGTON — A Bennington man is being held without the right to bail after his alleged involvement in a pistol-whipping and robbery in early November.
Casey Gras, 34, was arraigned Monday in Bennington Superior Court. He is being held without bail at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. An arrest warrant was issued for Gras on Nov. 16, and he was arrested on Nov. 25.
Bennington Police received an early morning 911 call Nov. 1 from a victim hiding in a closet after several individuals allegedly broke into a residence at 329 School St., robbed and pistol-whipped him in the head. Police Officer Cory Kingston contacted the victim and observed a laceration to the victim’s forehead.
One of the perpetrators was identified as Gras, an acquaintance of the victim. The victim did not know the identity of the other individuals. However, he told police that they said they were from Springfield and Plainfield, Mass. One of the unidentified individuals claimed to the victim during the incident that he was a “Latin King.”
The victim was allegedly robbed and assaulted by Gras and other individuals while walking on Beech Street and later at the 329 School St. residence. The victim claimed he was pistol-whipped by all individuals, kicked while on the ground and had firearms pointed toward him. At some point, the victim lost consciousness. The assailants took the victim’s wallet and identification, bank cards, $210 in cash, a gold necklace and the key to the victim’s vehicle, where more valuables were allegedly stolen .
There has been a recent uptick in violent crime in the Bennington area where a perpetrator or group have claimed to be associated with the Latin Kings from the Springfield area of Massachusetts in some way.
According to the police affidavit, the Latin Kings are a violent gang engaged in criminal activity, including murder, prostitution and selling large quantities of illegal drugs.