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    Somerville bank robbery suspect arrested in Providence; DNA evidence helps crack case

    Somerville police released this image of the bank robbery suspect earlier this month.
    Somerville Police
    Somerville police released this image of the bank robbery suspect earlier this month.

    When a heroic passerby knocked into a man fleeing police in Somerville’s Davis Square earlier this month sending the man’s backpack slamming to the ground, he paved the way for Thursday’s arrest of a 32-year-old Providence man who had allegedly robbed a bank in the square, terrorizing civilians and exchanging shots with a police officer before sprinting off.

    In a statement, US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office identified the suspect as Daniel Rosado. His arrest ended a three-week search in which officials put up a $20,000 reward for tips leading to his capture.

    The FBI praised the civilian for trying to stop the suspect as he fled on May 1, knocking to the pavement the backpack, which contained key DNA evidence allegedly tying Rosado to the crime.

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    “Thanks to the extraordinary courage of a concerned citizen, who attempted to tackle Rosado, causing him to drop his backpack, we were able to determine his identity,” Boston FBI Field Office Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta said in a statement.

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    Investigators found a Webley revolver loaded with four rounds of ammunition in the backpack along with two cartridge casings and more than $500 — plus Rosado’s DNA, according to Lelling’s office.

    The FBI tweeted that Rosado was “safely taken into custody without incident” at 6:25 a.m. Thursday in Providence.

    He has been charged with armed bank robbery, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Lelling’s office said.

    Rosado made an initial appearance Thursday afternoon in US District Court in Boston and was ordered held pending a detention hearing May 31, records show.

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    He did not enter a plea, and his public defender didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.

    “Today’s arrest and charges put an end to a three-week search for a dangerous and reckless individual,” Lelling said in a statement, adding that Rosado allegedly “callously threatened the lives of dozens of innocent people” and “instilled fear and endangered the lives of members of our community for his own greed and selfishness.”

    Court records allege Rosado robbed Middlesex Federal Savings Bank in the bustling Davis Square section of Somerville, firing a round into the ceiling and yelling “get down,” “everybody on the ground,” “second drawer, hurry up,” and “give me money or I’ll shoot,” Lelling’s office said.

    Frightened customers and employees hit the floor as Rosado tossed a backpack at a teller and demanded cash, authorities said.

    The teller put money in the bag, and a customer managed to exit the bank and flag down a police officer, the statement said. The officer entered the bank and pointed his gun at the suspect, ordering him to freeze.

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    Rather than comply, Lelling’s office said, Rosado allegedly “faced the officer, pointed his gun in the officer’s direction, and fired one shot. The officer shot back.” No one was hit.

    Prosecutors said that as Rosado fled down College Avenue, “a bystander, noticing that Rosado was being pursued by a police officer, attempted to tackle Rosado, which caused Rosado to drop his backpack. Rosado kept running, and witnesses eventually lost sight of him.”

    Also during the investigation, authorities learned of a January motor vehicle stop involving Rosado in East Bridgewater, according to an affidavit filed in the case. An East Bridgewater officer who viewed footage of the robbery “identified the bank robber as ROSADO, the driver of the car he stopped on Jan. 14, 2019,” the filing said.

    Also a bank employee identified Rosado in a photo array, the affidavit said.

    Rosado has a criminal history, which showed convictions for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, larceny from a person, witness intimidation, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon, according to the court filing.

    If convicted on the pending federal charges, Rosado faces maximum prison terms of 25 years for the robbery and 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also faces 10 years to life if convicted of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, “to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed,” prosecutors said.

    Mike Bello of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.