CLEARFIELD – The last of three men involved in a robbery scheme that targeted a Walmart employee was sentenced Monday during colloquy court.
Ronald Charles Pinto, 18, pleaded guilty to felony robbery and conspiracy along with misdemeanor unlawful restraint, assault, terroristic threats and harassment before Judge Paul Cherry, who sentenced him to a total of six months to one year in the county jail with four years consecutive probation.
Pinto was also ordered to complete anger management counseling and pay restitution of over $500.
The charges stem from an incident in October in Clearfield as Pinto, Jonathan P. Pennington, 20, of Madera and Michael Joseph Young, 19, abducted a man in Curwensville, took him first to a bank and then to Walmart in an effort to get money they claimed he owed them.
Last month, Pennington pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced to 12 months to 36 months in state prison. Young also pleaded guilty and was given 24 months to four years in state prison.
According to the affidavit, Pinto first met the victim at a parking lot in Curwensville. The two then traveled in a truck to Irwin Park where Young and Pennington entered the vehicle and prevented the victim from escaping.
Pinto was the driver while Pennington was in the front seat, keeping the victim in the middle of the front seat. With Young in the back seat, they traveled to a bank in Clearfield.
On the way, Young placed a rope around the victim’s neck, making it hard for him to breathe. Struggling with the rope, the victim placed his feet on the dash of the truck in an attempt to escape, the victim told police. Eventually Young let go of the rope.
Pennington punched the victim in the face before they made it to the bank.
When they arrived, they took the victim’s wallet and tried to use his bank card to get money but there were no funds available because the victim, a Walmart employee, had not yet been paid.
Pennington said he would be hanging onto his wallet until the victim was paid and Pinto took his phone, changing the password so he could not access it.
Pennington hit the victim in the leg with the rope and a hatchet. Pinto burned him with a cigarette as they drove on to Walmart in Clearfield.
Pinto had downloaded an app on the victim’s phone, which would allow him to get money from his paycheck early, the victim explained.
While at Walmart they threatened to chop him up and put his body parts on his parents’ porch or into the river, police said.
Pennington and Pinto used his card to purchase $120 worth of merchandise at Walmart while Young accompanied him to the service desk to get funds from his paycheck, according to the complaint.
Staff at Walmart realized there was a problem, pulled the victim aside and called police.
After this, the trio exited the store and left the parking lot prior to police arrival.
The victim reported that they had taken approximately $1,200 from him but Pinto claimed he still owed another $1,800.
After the incident, Pinto continued to threaten the victim on social media, according to the complaint.