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State Police capture Maine bank robbery suspect in Peabody after violent struggle

Brandon Simmons, 34, was arrested Wednesday morning, concluding a multi-state search that began after he allegedly robbed a bank in York, Maine, on Saturday.Massachusetts State Police

The man who allegedly robbed a bank in York, Maine, on Monday, setting off a multi-state police chase, was arrested Wednesday morning after a violent struggle with officers in the lobby of a Peabody hotel, police said.

Brandon Simmons, 34, was taken into custody early Wednesday after he was seen by police fueling a car in Danvers, according to Captain Dennis Bonaiuto, a Peabody police spokesman. When an officer attempted to stop him, he took off, striking them and leaving them with minor injuries, Bonaiuto said.

A state trooper later spotted the vehicle, which Simmons was believed to have stolen, parked outside of the Homewood Suites on Route 1 and police rushed the hotel lobby, according to a statement from Dave Procopio, a State Police spokesman. A brief struggle ensued, and he was arrested around 6:30 a.m. Bonaiuto said.


Simmons was arraigned Wednesday in Newburyport District Court, where not guilty pleas were entered for him on several charges including assault to murder, larceny of a motor vehicle and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, records show. He was ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing Nov. 10.

The arraignment Wednesday stemmed from his alleged robbery of a CVS pharmacy there on Saturday, during which he claimed to have a bomb. He’ll be summonsed to Peabody District Court at a later date to answer to charges related to his struggle with police Wednesday morning, officials said.

He was arrested on four warrants, and currently faces charges in Massachusetts of larceny of a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to Procopio.

The police search for Simmons, of Seabrook, N.H., began Monday evening after he allegedly robbed a Bangor Savings Bank branch in York, Maine, earlier in the day. Police said he made off with an undisclosed amount of money and did not show a weapon during the holdup.


The stolen white van he was believed to have used in the robbery was spotted by a Salisbury police officer around 5 p.m. on Monday.

Simmons allegedly “struck the officer in the face and attempted to flee,” police said.

“The officer struggled with the driver to keep the vehicle in park but the driver was able to shift the vehicle and sped off,” Salisbury police said.

Salisbury police began pursuit of the vehicle, chasing him north on North End Boulevard and into Seabrook, where Seabrook and Massachusetts State Police joined the pursuit.

The chase crossed back into Salisbury, where police abandoned their efforts after it was deemed to be “too hazardous” to continue, police said.

Simmons continued traveling west on Elm Street, where he eventually struck another vehicle at the intersection of Gardner Street before fleeing on foot into a residential neighborhood.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.

Multiple agencies from Massachusetts and New Hampshire were involved in the search for Simmons that was focused on the area of Route 1 and Pleasant Street in Salisbury, officials said.

Salisbury Police Chief Thomas Fowler had appealed to the public for help locating Simmons Tuesday morning.

During the robbery on Saturday of a CVS pharmacy in Newburyport, police said Simmons allegedly slid a note to an employee claiming he had a bomb and demanded prescription drugs.


He was caught on in-store video wearing “a bright blue Nike-branded hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, a navy blue baseball-style hat, gray-colored shoes with white soles and a light blue surgical mask,” authorities said.

Officers responded at about 2:05 p.m. Saturday to the CVS at 13½ Pond St. for the report of a robbery.

Simmons made off with an undisclosed amount of prescription drugs, police said.

A State Police bomb squad searched the white van Simmons crashed in Salisbury and turned up no weapons or explosive devices.

Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

Andrew Brinker can be reached at Follow him @andrewnbrinker.