By DAVE COLLINS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Two robbers wearing ski masks and goggles strapped what looked like a bomb onto a credit union executive and ordered him to withdraw money from one of his company’s branches while they stayed at his home with his mother, police said Tuesday.
Authorities released more details of the harrowing story told to them by Matthew Yussman, chief financial officer at Achieve Financial Credit Union. No one was injured in Monday’s ordeal, which prompted a massive police response involving dozens of officers and SWAT equipment as well as school lockdowns and road closures.
The suspects remain at large.
Yussman told police that two men confronted him when he arrived at his home in Bristol early Monday. The suspects bound Yussman and his mother and held them for hours before sending Yussman out at daybreak to get money from a branch of the credit union in nearby New Britain, police said.
When Yussman arrived at the branch, he called a fellow credit union official, who called police. Officers found Yussman in a car outside the branch. The state police bomb unit was called in and rendered the device safe, police said.
Officials on Tuesday were awaiting the results of FBI tests on the device to see if it was a real bomb.
Yussman, 46, was treated at a hospital for exposure to freezing temperatures while having to sit in the unheated car while authorities removed the device, police said. His mother wasn’t harmed.
“There’s no question that this was a very scary situation,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said Monday.
Police withheld many other details, including whether the suspects made off with any money.
New Britain police said Tuesday that they are still trying to confirm whether Yussman was an unlucky victim or part of the plot. Yussman didn’t return a phone message left at his home.
Authorities described the two suspects as men who spoke fluent English and had “distinct accents that were not consistent with being native to Connecticut.” Police did not elaborate.
The suspects fled in a vehicle that appeared to be a white older model four-door Mazda.
Police in New Britain and Bristol are urging witnesses to come forward, along with owners of security cameras that may have recorded the suspects and their car.
New Britain and Bristol police have formed a task force to investigate the plot with the help of the FBI and state police.