An 81-year-old Marine Corps vet has been held hostage in a Highlands, New York motel room for four years. The idiot who held the old man prisoner did so in order to steal benefits checks.

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The tragedy came to an end Tuesday, when Perry Coniglio was arrested. He’d been living in the room next door to the (as of yet unidentified) vet at the motel, which–shockingly–is adjacent to the local police precinct.

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Coniglio, who is 43, intimidated and abused the man, who police say is suffering from an advanced case of dementia.

Police Chief Jack Quinn noted that the veteran received a “tremendous amount of money” through the mail. He was getting Social Security benefits, his pension checks, and was receiving food stamps.

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Coniglio has been incarcerated in the county jail, and will face trial for grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment. If there’s any justice in this cold cruel world, Coniglio will end up sharing a cell with someone who has a soft spot for a vet. He’s due a good beating with a pillowcase full of batteries.

Coniglio was arrested during a police raid. He was taken at gunpoint while the confused Marine sat on a bed in the cluttered room. It may be worth noting that this could well have ended the way many police videos have ended lately, with a cop shooting a suspect, and I doubt anyone would have complained.

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The cops had been tipped off by neighbors who had given them video of the old man being beaten outside of his motel room.

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The real question is how did this go on for so long? Four years? That’s absurd. Someone at the motel had to be wise to the situation. It is hard to believe that it can happen next door to the police station, and just around the corner from West Point.

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