Memorial marks 40 years since deadly Brink's armored car robbery at Nanuet mall

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Wednesday marks 40 years since the Brink's armored car robbery in Rockland County that left two police officers and a security guard dead.

NYACK, Rockland County (WABC) -- Wednesday marks 40 years since the Brink's armored car robbery in Rockland County that left two police officers and a security guard dead and several others wounded.

The county held its annual service at the Brink's Memorial in Central Nyack, with turnout higher than usual to mark the solemn occasion.

It comes as a parole hearing is scheduled this week for one of the robbers whose prison sentence was commuted earlier this year by then Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

On October 20, 1981, 10 terrorists stole $1.6 million in cash from the vehicle at the Nanuet Mall, killing Brink's guard Peter Paige and wounding Brink's guards Joseph Trombino and James Kelly.

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Less than an hour after Paige's killing, two Nyack police officers, Waverly Brown and Sgt. Edward O'Grady, stopped a truck at a roadside checkpoint and were killed in an ambush.

A task force tracked down those responsible, and nine people associated with the Black Liberation Army and the radical group the Weather Underground were convicted.

The 10th was killed during a gunfight with police, and two others were convicted of conspiracy and racketeering related to the robbery.

Trombino survived his injuries and continued to work for Brink's for two decades. He nearly died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and was ultimately killed on September 11, 2001, while making a delivery to the North Tower.

David Gilbert was sentenced to 75 years in prison, but in August, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted Gilbert's sentence just hours before he resigned.

"We were all in dismay for what the former governor did as a parting shot walking out the door, and it's something that's going to hurt for a long time," Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said.

Gilbert's son, Chesa Boudin, is the district attorney in San Francisco and has lobbied for his father's release.

Mary Crowley, whose brother was killed, has a different message for the parole board.

"He thought nothing of leaving his own child and coming and committing these murders, so where's the justice?" Crowley said. "He needs to stay in jail."

The families have given their statements but know little about the hearing, which is scheduled for this week. A decision could come as soon as next week.

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