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Parents Seek Answers Following In-Custody Death Of Autistic Son Tied To NJ, CT, PA Bank Holdups

Tyler James O’Toole
Tyler James O’Toole Photo Credit: COURTESY: FBI

UPDATE: A 23-year-old Cleveland man with autism who was accused of five bank robberies and two other attempts in New Jersey – and suspected in a dozen others in Connecticut and Pennsylvania – has died in federal custody in Chicago.

Federal authorities hadn’t yet explained to his parents how Tyler James O’Toole died after being hospitalized last month, however, according to a published report.

O’Toole was awaiting trial on charges of robbing a bank Glenview, Illinois when he cut off his monitoring bracelet, stole his mother's 2018 Hyundai Elantra and went on a holdup spree last fall, federal authorities said.

The FBI obtained a warrant in U.S. District Court in Newark for the Colorado native’s arrest in November. They made their search public more than a week later, and O’Toole was captured in Queens the very next day.

He died on Feb. 17, according to his obituary.

Mika and Larry O'Toole are seeking answers, their attorney told NJ Advance Media.

They understand the need for investigation first, attorney Rob Kohen said, but “to date, not a single statement and/or explanation has been provided, publicly or privately, regarding the facts and circumstances of Tyler’s death from any federal representatives."

Federal authorities brought O’Toole to court in Newark last November before transferring him to Chicago, where he’d remained detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons, records showed.

A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted him in December for the Illinois bank robbery and for bail jumping.

Prosecutors officially agreed on Feb. 16, the day before O’Toole died, that he could be released from detention because of an unspecified medical condition, records show.

Federal authorities said the New Jersey robberies and attempts were at:

  • PNC Bank branches in Morris Plains and Pompton Plains on the same day, Oct. 8;
  • Chase Bank branches in Aberdeen (Oct. 22) and Lawrence Township (Oct. 27);
  • Citizens Bank branches in Mount Holly (Oct. 27) and Runnemede (Oct. 30);
  • A Bank of America branch in East Windsor (Oct. 22).

O’Toole also was tied to robberies at banks in Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Shelton and Danbury, CT, they said.

In each, O’Toole reportedly passed a note to a teller.

"This is a robbery. Comply and Nobody gets hurt," one of them read, according to a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark. "Give me 20’s 50’s 100’s. NO Trackers or Ink Packs. Put Money in THIS Envelope

"Be fast, Act Normal."

SEE: Parents Need Answers After Autistic Son Accused In NJ Bank Robberies Dies

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