Bond set at $500K for bank robbery suspects


Bond was set at $500,000 Tuesday morning in Delaware Municipal Court for two men who police say robbed a downtown Delaware bank late Monday morning.

Alonzo D. Groce, 19, of Columbus, and Jonathan E. Leon, 24, of New York, were arraigned by Municipal Court Judge Marianne Hemmeter Tuesday via a video conference from the Delaware County Jail.

Groce has been charged with aggravated robbery, with a firearms specification. Police say Groce entered the PNC Bank at 40 N. Sandusky St., produced a handgun and demanded cash.

A Delaware police detective said in court that the hammer was pulled back on the gun and there was a round in the chamber and two in the magazine. The detective said that, although no one was injured during the bank robbery, it could have easily resulted in violence.

Police told Hemmeter that Groce has no criminal history. Groce’s mother was in court Tuesday morning and Hemmeter allowed her to speak about her son.

Groce’s mother told the judge the crime was the result of “wrong place, wrong time, wrong people” and said her son would not be a flight risk.

Hemmeter ordered Groce’s bond be set at $500,000 and said she would require the full amount, not the usual 10 percent.

Hemmeter then spoke to Leon, who has been charged with complicity to commit robbery, with a firearm specification. Prosecutors told Hemmeter than Leon has an violent criminal history, including time served for assault and robbery in Franklin County.

Police said Leon was the getaway driver in the robbery.

Leon told Hemmeter he did not full understand the severity of his situation until he read the charges being brought against him.

He told the judge he was in a “cloudy state” and was in Delaware to see if he’d like to move here.

Hemmeter set his bond at $500,000, citing his violent history and no ties to the area.

Hemmeter added that Leon’s charge includes a repeat violent offender specification and said it could add a decade of prison time to any sentence if he is found guilty.

Hemmeter scheduled the men for preliminary hearings on Sept. 3.

After the bank was robbed, the two men allegedly drove east in a car on U.S. 36/State Route 37 with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

Local law enforcement agencies cooperated to stop the vehicle in the area of Polaris Parkway and South Old State Road. Leon was taken into custody shortly after the men abandoned the vehicle. Groce was arrested a couple of hours later, according to police, in a drainage ditch in the area of Polaris Parkway.



By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

No posts to display