Police: Robber sexually assaulted hostage at Illinois bank

National

This booking photo provided by the Rockford, Ill., Police Department shows Nicholas August, 39, who was charged Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, with armed robbery, aggravated criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. He is being held on $2 million bail. Police say he entered a Rockford, Ill., bank on Friday, took a woman hostage and sexually assaulted her during a standoff with police. (Rockford Police Department via AP)

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A man armed with a pellet gun who took a woman hostage inside an Illinois bank sexually assaulted her before surrendering to authorities following a six-hour standoff, police said Saturday.

Nicholas August, 39, of Rockford, was being held Saturday at the Winnebago County Jail on $2 million bond. He is charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault, armed robbery and aggravated unlawful restraint, according to a statement from police.

The woman, a 39-year-old bank employee, was treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

August entered Heritage Credit Union in Rockford, about 2:30 p.m. Friday and threatened employees with a pellet gun that resembled a real gun, according to police. He took the woman hostage before ordering other employees out of the building, the Rockford Register Star reported.

Negotiators from Rockford police and the FBI talked with August during the standoff, and a Winnebago County SWAT team was brought to the scene. August surrendered to police around 9 p.m. Friday. The hostage left the building with him and was ushered away by officers.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said Friday the robbery and hostage situation appeared to be random. He said investigators don’t believe the bank employee was targeted.

August was wanted on warrants for aggravated domestic battery and a probation violation before his arrest Friday, police said.

Rockford, which is located about 90 miles (144 kilometers) northwest of Chicago, is the largest Illinois city outside the Chicago area, with a population of roughly 147,000.

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