Alleged bank robber told judge to perform sex act, officials say
A Maryland man caught within two minutes of allegedly robbing a New Freedom bank on Friday might have been given bail. But his own words — many of them profane and worrisome, authorities said — put the kibosh on his chance for release.
During his video arraignment Saturday morning at the York County Central Booking Unit, 53-year-old Aaron Ornstein told on-duty District Judge David Eshbach to perform an oral sex act, the York County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
"He was problematic from the minute he walked in (to booking)," said Sgt. Shannon Martz of the sheriff's office.
She described Ornstein as uncooperative and said he made a number of profane statements.
Southern Regional Police said that prior to the exchange with the judge, Ornstein had already left his mark inside their headquarters Friday afternoon.
He urinated in Southern Regional's holding cell, then started taking apart a bench in the cell, placing nuts and washers from the bench into a floor drain, according to charging documents.
Ornstein and wife Andrea Danielle Martin, 36, both of 613 Holly Ave. in Edgewood, Maryland, are charged with bank robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with physical evidence. Ornstein also is charged with institutional vandalism for the alleged holding-cell tantrum.
'Worrisome' statements: Eshbach told The York Dispatch it wasn't the alleged bank robber's profane comments that concerned him.
He said Ornstein's comments about himself and about police convinced the judge he might be a danger to himself or others and that he might not show up for court proceedings.
Ornstein specifically told the judge he wasn't feeling good about himself, the judge confirmed.
The judge said he had a discussion with Ornstein about perhaps setting the man's bail at $1 million — which is the bail amount he determined for Martin — but that once he got through the bail colloquoy, he had too many concerns to set bail, even at such a high amount.
Ornstein was remanded to York County Prison without bail, and Martin remains there on her $1 million bail.
Eshbach said magisterial district judges, when setting bail, go through what's called a bail colloquoy, meaning they ask defendants a number of questions designed to determine whether those defendants will appear for court and whether they are a danger to the community or to themselves.
Alleged threat: While in the Southern Regional holding cell, Ornstein yelled "that he would kill all us police officers," Detective Richard Blais II wrote in charging documents.
Ornstein also yelled that he has "psychotic problems and hears voices in his head telling him to do things," documents state.
"Ornstein is an obvious threat to society and holds no connection to Pennsylvania," Blais wrote in charging documents.
The detective requested high bail for Ornstein, noting in charging documents that the man has an "extensive" 10-page criminal history that includes charges of robbery, assault, arson and resisting arrest.
The robbery: Southern Regional Police allege Ornstein robbed the PeoplesBank at 26 E. Main St. about noon Friday while Martin waited outside in a red Nissan Maxima sedan.
The two were caught less than two minutes after the robbery on Miller Park Drive — a dead-end street — where officers found Ornstein using a drill and fiddling with the license plate on the back of his vehicle, charging documents state.
Police said they later found a stolen Pennsylvania license plate tossed in some brush along the road where the couple was arrested and that it appears Ornstein was putting his Maryland tag back on his vehicle. A witness to the bank robbery had reported the red Nissan as having a Pennsylvania plate, police said.
Ornstein matched the description of the bank robber and was arrested right away, police said.
Martin was patted down, at which point officers discovered a white plastic bag stuffed down the front of her pants, but she told officers it was a colostomy bag, charging documents state.
Cached cash: Both were taken to the Southern Regional police station, where Martin was placed in an interview room.
Once in there, she pulled the white plastic shopping bag from her pants and threw it in a corner, then slid a chair in front of it in order to hide the bag, according to police.
Police subsequently obtained a warrant to search Martin for the cash. That's when she started pulling "large amounts of loose and bundled money from her genital area," according to charging documents.
In all, police found $2,037 in cash on Martin, police said.
It is unclear whether Ornstein and Martin have retained attorneys.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.