NEW BRITAIN - A Hartford man was sentenced to 17 years in prison followed by eight years of special parole Monday for taking hostages at gunpoint during a failed Newington convenience store robbery last year.
Albert Gonzalez, 22, was one of two men who attempted to rob the 7-Eleven at 335 Willard Ave. on April 22, 2016. A clerk pressed the store’s panic button, alerting police, authorities said.
Responding officers could see Gonzalez and Guillermo Casada, 19, also of Hartford, holding the clerk, who was bleeding from the head, at gunpoint.
Gonzalez was carrying a handgun, while Casada was holding a shotgun, which he had used to hit the clerk, police said. A patron was also assaulted and being held.
Newington officers surrounded the store with the help of state police and police from West Hartford, Wethersfield, Berlin and Rocky Hill and were able to talk the suspects into surrendering.
The suspects surrendered by waving a white towel around 3 a.m., he said.
Both men faced numerous charges, including criminal use of a firearm, first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree threatening and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Gonzalaz pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and attempted first-degree robbery with a firearm. He was sentenced Monday in New Britain Superior Court to 15 years for the attempted robbery charge and 17 years for the kidnapping charge.
The sentences will run concurrently, court officials said. He was also sentenced to eight years of special parole when he is released from prison.
Casada pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and attempted first-degree robbery with a firearm. Casada is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.