OC Man charged with robbing bank, holding hostages day after prison release

An Orange County man has been charged with robbing a bank and holding bank employees hostage just one day after he was released from state prison, according to a grand jury indictment returned Wednesday.

Eric Walter Gray has been charged with bank robbery and forced accompaniment. 

Eric Gray, 53, was indicted by a federal jury on Wednesday in connection with the robbery of BMO Bank in Anaheim, California, on May 8. Gray is accused of taking three employees hostage during the incident. (Anaheim Police Department)

According to an affidavit, Gray tried to rob a BMO Bank branch in Anaheim back on May 8, just one day after he was released from San Quentin Rehabilitation Center. After hanging around the bank for several hours, Gray allegedly jumped over the counter, told the teller he had a gun, and demanded money. 

After he got the money, the court documents alleged, Gray ordered the branch manager and two other bank employees into a storage room in the bank, where they "dealt with fear and death threats while the defendant held them hostage until they were rescued," said Krysti Hawkins, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office.

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Court documents said that Gray eventually let the two employees go, but he kept the bank manager in the storage room with him for at least an hour, before surrendering to police. Law enforcement said they found he had cash and drugs on him.

Law enforcement then took Gray to the hospital for a scan, document said, where Gray allegedly tried to escape multiple times, fighting with police and injuring multiple officers in the process.

Gray is being held without bond. He's scheduled to be arraigned on June 24. If convicted of all charges, Gray faces between 10 and 20 years in federal prison.