Marine veteran held hostage in motel room for 4 years

HIGHLANDS, N.Y. –  A man held an 81-year-old Marine Corps veteran hostage in his
squalid motel room for at least four years in order to steal his benefits checks,
authorities said Thursday.

Perry Coniglio was arrested Tuesday in his room adjoining the victim’s at a motel in
Highlands. The motel sits next door to the police station in the Hudson Valley town,
about 50 miles north of New York City.

Coniglio, 43, used brute force and intimidation to get the mentally diminished veteran
to cooperate with him, police said. The elderly man has advanced dementia, according
to police.

Police Chief Jack Quinn said the veteran received a “tremendous amount of money”
each month in Social Security benefits, pension checks and food stamps, though
investigators would not divulge the exact total.

The veteran was taken to a hospital for evaluation. His name hasn’t been released by

Coniglio was being held Thursday in the Orange County Jail on $15,000 bail. The
charges against him include grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment. The Legal Aid
Society attorney representing him wasn’t available for comment.