It wasn’t the wine he was drinking that afternoon as he rode in the front seat of her car on their first date back in 2016 that apparently gave her pause about the match. It wasn’t even his abrupt request to stop at a bank in North Attleborough.
The moment when prosecutors said she began to wonder about Christopher Castillo, the Rhode Island man she met on a dating app, came when he ran from the bank toward her Nissan Maxima "sweating and carrying the hat, sunglasses, a gun, and cash.”
He gave the panicked woman an order — “[Expletive] go!"
Frightened by the gun, the sudden infusion of cash, and the sweaty man in her car, the woman drove away, but only until she saw the blue lights of pursuing police cars behind her. She pulled into the parking lot of a Dunkin’ and got out of the car, allowing police to pull Castillo out and arrest him for armed robbery at the bank, along with other charges, including assault and battery on a police officer.
According to prosecutors, Castillo went into the bank on that December afternoon, pulled back his jacket to reveal a pistol -- an antique .44 caliber weapon owned by a relative -- and demanded $1,000 cash from the teller, who obliged. Police found the gun and a hat in the woman’s car; the $1,000 in cash was in his wallet.
Castillo pleaded guilty to the charges just last month -- on Jan. 28, more than three years after the incident.
Bristol Superior Court Judge Raffi Yessayan ordered Castillo, who is from the village of Chepachet in Gloucester, R.I., to serve three years in state prison for the armed robbery. Once he is released, that will be followed by two years at the Bristol County House of Correction for kicking and spitting on the police officers as they were arresting him.
The woman, who was described in court as a homeless person driving with Castillo to pick up her child at school when he decided to rob the bank, the Sun Chronicle newspaper reported in 2016, was initially charged as being an accessory. But authorities ultimately dropped the charges against her, and described her as someone who was not part of the plan.
"The female driver of the Maxima gave a statement to police that she had met the defendant through an online dating app and had just met him in person for the first time that day,'' Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office said in a statement. “She panicked and drove off, but when she saw the blue lights of the police cruisers, she immediately pulled into the parking lot and got away from the car. She was not charged in relation to this incident.”