ST. THOMAS, V.I. – V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Henry Carr III
ruled that there was sufficient evidence to move forward on robbery and
weapons-related charges against Darwin Puello-Mateo.
arrest on Feb. 23, Puello-Mateo, 18, of Contant, made his initial appearance in
court Friday morning to be advised of his rights on one count each of
first-degree robbery, carrying of firearm, disturbance of the peace threat, possession
of stolen property and grand larceny stemming from a Jan. 18 armed robbery
characterized Puello-Mateo as a risk of flight and requested that he be placed
on a curfew.
concurred that Puello-Mateo was a flight risk and maintained his bail at
$75,000. He also ordered him to abide by a number of court-imposed bail
conditions, which include a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew from Monday to Friday and
house arrest on weekends.
to Det. Shenika Simon’s probable cause fact sheet in support of Puello-Mateo’s
arrest, the victim told police that he was in the area of Contant Knolls when
Puello-Mateo asked him for a ride to the bottom of the hill. The victim stopped
his vehicle, Puello-Mateo got in and they began to travel southward in the area
of Ember’s Guest House.
they were traveling along the Moravian Highway, the victim decelerated to
travel towards the area of Maternal Child Healthcare. Then, Puello-Mateo pulled
out a gun, pointed it towards the victim and demanded that he stop the vehicle.
A struggle ensued between the two as the victim tried to wrest the gun from
Puello-Mateo, but he was unsuccessful. Puello-Mateo then threatened to shoot
the victim and “bust his head off,” according to Det. Simon.
then demanded that the victim remove his jewelry – worth $11,750 – and he
complied. Puello-Mateo also took an envelope containing $17,600 that was inside
the vehicle and then fled on foot. From a police photo array, the victim
positively identified Puello-Mateo as the person who robbed him at gunpoint, according
to Det. Simon.
scheduled to make his second court appearance on Mar. 9 for his arraignment
hearing, at which he will formally answer to the charges.