Rockford Register Star, Ill.
Police have identified the man who they say threatened credit union employees and held a hostage for nearly seven hours Friday as Nicholas August of Rockford.
August, 39, has been charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated unlawful restraint. He is being held in Winnebago County Jail on $2 million bond. He surrendered and was taken into custody shortly before 9 p.m.
According to Rockford police, August entered Heritage Credit Union, 5959 E. State St., about 2:30 p.m., threatened employees with a pellet gun and took a 39-year-old woman who works for the credit union hostage before ordering other employees out of the building.
The woman he took hostage was treated for non-life threatening injuries at a hospital. Police said she was sexually assaulted during the standoff.
Police said the pellet gun resembled a firearm. Rockford police, Winnebago County sheriff’s police, Illinois State Police, Rockford Park District Police and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation surrounded the credit union as hostage negotiators established contact with August.
August also was wanted on unrelated warrants for aggravated domestic battery and probation violation, police said.
August has had numerous run-ins with police and the criminal justice system in the last 15 years.
Winnebago County judge Gwynn Gulley approved an order of protection against him on Dec. 17. On Thursday, Gulley approved an extension of that protection order, which was filed by a woman who was living with August in Rockford. The Register Star is not naming the woman because she is a potential victim of domestic violence.
August is wanted by Rockford police for a felony domestic battery charge involving the same woman. The charge was filed Dec. 18. The following week, August appeared along several other wanted fugitives in a Rockford Crime Stoppers media alert.
Various other women have filed at least 10 requests for protection orders against August since 2002 in Winnebago County. He was convicted of violating an order of protection in Winnebago County in 2009. August is currently serving probation on a 2018 domestic battery charge in Boone County. His probation case was transferred from Boone County to Winnebago County on Dec. 13.
Authorities said Friday night that they did not believe August knew his hostage before the standoff. “We don’t believe the victim was targeted,” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
The woman walked out with her hands in the air shortly before 9 p.m. and was followed by August, who dropped to his knees with his hands raised before he was swarmed by SWAT team members.
The standoff unfolded Friday afternoon when the gunman entered the credit union and demanded that people leave, police said. It’s unknown how many people were inside when he arrived, O’Shea said.
Authorities shut down traffic in all directions near the intersection of East State Street and Mulford Road as they setup a perimeter around the credit union. Roads reopened about 9:30 p.m.
Staff writers Isaac Guerrero and Georgette Braun contributed to this report.
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