Broken-hearted American holds cashier hostage

Posted at 01/12/2014 4:13 PM | Updated as of 01/13/2014 3:44 PM

MANILA — (UPDATED) A foreigner held a cashier hostage in Paradise Apartelle in Timog Ave., Quezon City on Sunday.

The cashier, Alma Cordero, works in the apartelle, where the foreigner was staying.

The hostage-taker was identified as Robert Mark Stasaitis, 57, a retired US Navy. He went to the apartelle drunk after his Filipina girlfriend broke up with him.

Stasaitis has been overstaying in the country and was supposed to go back to the US on January 14.

According to one of Cordero's co-workers, the foreigner gave them a piece of paper containing names of women he wanted to talk to. He also threatened to kill himself if he didn't get to talk to the women.

"Meron siyang problema sa babae. May sinulat siya sa isang notebook na gusto niyang magpakamatay. Meron din siyang binigay na mga number na tawagan daw 'yun," the co-worker said.

They also believe that Stasaitis was not in his right mind since he also had a knife with him.

P/Supt. Lemuel Obon, chief of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Kamuning Station, led the negotiations, which went on for more than two hours. It ended peacefully after police succeeded in arresting Stasaitis.

Obon said the 57-year-old American already had initial plans of committing suicide inside the apartelle, but after realizing he could not do it himself, he held Cordero hostage thinking police authorities would kill him for that.

The American told investigators that his Filipina ex-girlfriend took all his money after breaking up with him.

"Sabi niya he really wanted to die. Dahil hindi niya kayang gawin sa kanya, gusto niya pulis ang gumawa nun. Biktima daw siya ng maling pag-ibig, meron siyang babaeng sinasabi na nawala lahat ng pagaari niya, lahat, pera. Naloko daw siya," he said in an interview over radio dzMM. "In fact, nag-attempt siya doon sa kanyang room sa apartelle. Naglaslas siya sa kanyang braso, pero di niya naituloy. That's why bumaba siya doon sa reception desk para gawin 'yun doon ng mga pulis na magreresponde.

But to the hostage-taker's dismay, police did not shoot him dead. Oban explained that they have procedures to follow, and the police also value the life of any suspect.

"Kase daw in their country, kapag may gumawa ng kasalanan na ganyan, snap of a finger, puwede nang kunin ang buhay ng suspect. Kaya sinabi ko, it will not happen. Kasi sa sa atin we value life here. Gusto kong matapos ang insidente nang walang masasaktan," Oban said.

He said that they are just trying to finish getting documentary requirements from the suspect before they turn him over to Quezon City Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit which will then contact the US Embassy.

The American is now facing illegal detention raps, and may also face cased of frustrated or attempted murder.

Meanwhile, authorities said Cordero, who was not harmed during the incident, is still resting after the traumatic hostage-drama.

"Pinagpapahinga muna natin dahil sa traumatic ang incident. Saka na lang namin siya pinapapunta sa dito station para kunan ng statement," he said. -- with reports from Henry Atuelan, dzMM; Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBNnews.com