By Angeljean Chiaramida
---- — NEWBURYPORT — Two Seabrook men will await their trials for armed robbery in jail, deemed a danger to the public as they face charges that they allegedly held up a gas station armed with a syringe.
Jerry Dow, 22, of 70 Washington St., Seabrook, appeared before Judge Allan Swan for a dangerousness hearing yesterday morning at Newburyport District Court. He is charged with larceny over $250 and armed robbery for allegedly holding up a Newburyport gas station on April 12 armed with a blood-filled syringe he claimed was infected with the AIDS virus.
A similar hearing was held on Wednesday for Nathan C. Eaton, 31, of 22 South Main St., Seabrook, who is also charged with larceny over $250 and armed robbery.
Yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Maura Bailey called Inspector Charles Eaton to the stand to relate the evidence found during the investigation that led to the two men being charged with the crime. Inspector Eaton testified that in a follow-up interview with Dow, he admitted committing robbery, being addicted to drugs and using needles to inject them.
According to court documents, Dow and Nathan C. Eaton allegedly pulled up to the Shell Station on Storey Avenue on April 12 around 9:30 p.m. in a red minivan. After exiting the vehicle, they entered the gas station, with one dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt and the other in a black hooded sweatshirt. Both wore the hoods up to cover their heads.
The gas station clerk reported the suspect wearing the red sweatshirt held a hypodermic syringe in his hand that contained a red fluid, and threatened: “Give me all your money. This needle has AIDS in it,” according to court documents. After receiving the cash, the same suspect told the witness: “Don’t call anyone or we’ll come back and kill you.”
Upon arrival at the gas station, police reviewed the business’s video surveillance camera footage, which corroborated the witness’s testimony.
Police were able to track Dow and Eaton down, in part, because the station attendant gave police the minivan’s license plate numbers. With the information, police learned the vehicle, a 2003 Red Dodge Caravan, is registered to Jessica Gosselin of Seabrook, and put out an alert to area law enforcement to watch for the vehicle.
Seabrook police soon reported the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Seabrook by Gosselin. The suspect in the car theft was Nathan Eaton, Gosselin’s former boyfriend. After reviewing the surveillance video, Gosselin identified her vehicle, Dow, as the man wearing the red hoodie brandishing the syringe, and Nathan Eaton, as the man wearing the black hoodie.
In a photo array, the gas station attendant was also able to identify Dow and Nathan Eaton as the suspects involved in the robbery.
On the night of the robbery, Salisbury police discovered the red minivan abandoned at Main Street’s Mobil on the Run gas station, and later towed it back to the Salisbury Police station. Police found a baseball hat covering the cup holders in the car, according to court documents, and under the cap they found a hypodermic syringe with a red liquid in it.
During yesterday’s hearing, Bailey presented as evidence a photo of the syringe containing a red fluid.