WILKES-BARRE — A Philadelphia man’s hope of being released from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility was short-lived Tuesday.
Alexander Ramirez, 29, appeared in Central Court for a preliminary hearing on drug trafficking charges. When bail was modified from $75,000 straight to $25,000 unsecured, which permitted his release, city police immediately filed charges accusing Ramirez of restraining and pistol-whipping Gregory Thompson inside a Wilkes-Barre residence July 19.
Ramirez, also known as “Country,” remained at the county lockup for lack of $50,000 bail on the latest charges.
According to the new criminal complaint filed Tuesday:
Police responded to the South Main Street branch of Community Bank on July 19 after Thompson asked bank employees to call 911.
Thompson claimed he went to 171 Charles St. to drink beer and hang out with friends. He said several people inside were trying to set him up with a woman when Ramirez and another man he knows as “Randy” accused him of stealing.
Thompson alleged Ramirez struck him in the head with a pistol and continued to assault him with “Randy.” He claimed Ramirez also ordered others in the house to assault Thompson.
Ramirez told Thompson to go to a bank and withdraw $500, and return to the residence with the cash.
Ramirez ordered Rich Kasperitis to go with Thompson to the bank, and called another man for a ride.
When they arrived at the bank, Kasperitis waited outside and Thompson entered, asking a bank employee to call 911.
Police found Kasperitis hiding behind a clothes rack inside Dollar General on South Main Street.
Kasperitis said he was afraid of Ramirez and went to the bank with Thompson out of fear Ramirez would harm him.
“Randy” has not been identified.
Ramirez was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm, simple assault, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and harassment.
Ramirez was initially arrested by city police during a traffic stop July 21 when officers allegedly found illegal drugs in his vehicle.
In the traffic case, Ramirez waived charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and tampering with evidence to county court.