People Video Exclusive: WATCH: Video of Marine Veteran Allegedly Held Captive at Motel for 4 Years that Led Cops to Rescue Him

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

New details are emerging in the case of an 81-year-old Korean War veteran with dementia allegedly held hostage in a Highland Falls, New York, motel room for four years by a man stealing his pension and Social Security checks.

In video filmed by witness Natasha Blanc, a man police have identified as Perry Coniglio, 43, can be seen berating and forcing Marine Corps veteran David McClellan back into a room at the U.S. Academy Motel, near West Point. Police arrested Coniglio on Tuesday, charging him with grand larceny, unlawful imprisonment and other offenses.

Coniglio is being held at Orange County jail on $15,000 bail and is expected to appear in court onJuly 25, ABC 7 reports. He automatically had a not guilty plea entered for him, police say. Calls to the Legal Aid Society of Orange County were not returned Thursday or immediately Friday.

"I'm really grateful that [police] took action because otherwise, no one would have," Blanc tells PEOPLE. "He would have died here."

Police say Coniglio posed as McClellan's caretaker, used physical force to keep McClellan captive in the motel and took the three checks McClellan received each month.

"It certainly rose to the level of criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, which is a good indication that something worse was going on behind closed doors," Detective Joseph Cornetta of the Highland Falls, New York police department, speaking about the video, tells PEOPLE.

Blanc says she heard signs of abuse for years, including screaming and indications of physical abuse. She began videotaping the pair at the suggestion of authorities, who had already launched an investigation after receiving an anonymous tip about alleged financial abuse.

Blanc says she saw McClellan waiting outside his motel room for over four hours for Coniglio to come home and feed him, even during the winter, often partially clothed and barefoot.

She says McClellan was on a feeding schedule and when it was approximately time to eat, he would stand up and hold his bowl out. Police confirm to PEOPLE that Coniglio allegedly fed him just one bowl of cereal a day.

Blanc says neighbors and hotel staff would occasionally feed McClellan because they knew he wouldn't go back inside his room until he had been fed. She says she sometimes bought him pizza herself.

"He called me an angel," she says. "I was like, 'Oh, jeez,' you know? Because you feel so bad, especially like, I've never been hungry in my life."

A witness says McClellan would allegedly wait outside in this chair for his food partially clothed, even during winter

McClellan Believed He Had Been in Hotel for Just Four Days

Police confirm to PEOPLE that because of McClellan's dementia, he was under the impression he had been living in the hotel for only four days, not four years.

"It hits us all," says Cornetta. "We all have fathers and grandfathers. Can you imagine your father being treated like that? It's cruel."

Police say McClellan moved to the hotel approximately four years ago after his house was condemned because he was living alone and, because of his dementia, not taking proper care of the home.

Authorities say that for years, Coniglio allegedly posed as the man's caretaker and trained him to waive his rights in different situations.

"He promoted the victim to verbally identify him as, 'This is my whatever and it's okay to deal with him,'" Cornetta says. "Coniglio posed himself off to everybody for years upon years as his caregiver or guardian, even basically did all the talking."

According to Blanc and authorities, McClellan was taken to the hospital in February after he was found walking around naked. That day, Coniglio picked him up from the hospital, authorities confirm.

McClellan is now in the care of adult services, police say.

This content courtesy of PEOPLE Magazine and is provided by PEOPLE to Haute-Lifestyle.com and used with permission.

For more on this story and other celebrity news: http://www.people.com/article/video-marine-veteran-allegedly-captive-new-york-motel

Haute Tease

  • VIP Grand Canyon Helicopter Picnic Tour Review – High, Mighty and Loving it

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When visiting Las Vegas there's no better VIP experience than buzzing the famed strip by helicopter en route to a tour of the Grand Canyon—especially one paired with a champagne picnic in the colossal canyon, itself. And, no company does this better than Sundance Helicopters that for nearly 30 years has been making passengers feel high and mighty in Sin City.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Iran; California Wildfires; Austria/Somalia; Ophelia; AMPAS; Clinton

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    California Governor Jerry Brown, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris met with residents of hard hit Santa Rosa, California, where nearly two-thirds of this largest city in the famed Sonoma County  Wine Country, has been destroyed by raging wildfires.

     
  • The Lovers Review - A Dramatic Comedy with Perfect Character Driven Performances

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Lovers, from A24, brings to the screen a tale of two lovers and others, of life disconnected, of lost love and rekindled passion, of complications, of endings and beginnings, of the expected and the unimaginable.

     
  • Dr. Christopher Calapai Offers A Tip Sheet of Favorite Natural Skincare Options

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Spring’s unpredictable weather approaching, keeping your skin healthy and glowing can be a challenge. From the heat’s dehydrating effect to humidity’s pore-clogging grief, an at-home facial is sure to provide a quick fix.

     
  • Money News: Wall Street, World Markets Fight Back; Survive Mauling with Minimal Losses

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, on a roller coaster ride that saw rapid and steep declines, nauseating losses, frightening sell offs, violent pitching, and stunning rallies, survived to roar back in the face of major global economic devaluations.

     
  • The Cuban Review – Delightful, A Testament to the Power of Music

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Cuban, from Brainstorm Media, brings to the screen a story on the power of music as it unlocks the memories of a failing mind, and for one moment allows the two to once again be joined.

     
  • High Violet Presents Indie Star Amiee Steven and The Microdance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Another day of fine music. First is Liverpool's rising Indie star Aimee Steven, with a charting follow up to her last single, "Hell is a Teenage girl." Next, The Microdance, follows up their 2015 critically acclaimed "New Waves of Hope."

     
  • NOVA Goes Inside The Mission To Search For Life On The Red Planet

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOOKING FOR LIFE ON MARS, a one-hour special from PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH Boston, will follow NASA's Mars 2020 mission, perhaps the most ambitious search yet for traces of ancient life on the red planet.

     
  • Butcher Boys Review – Serving Up Frenzied Graphic Horror

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Butcher Boys” from Greeks Productions, Kitchen Sink Productions and Texas Chain Saw Massacre writer Kim Henkel, brings to the screen a deeply dark, shockingly graphic horror ride into the depth of modern Satanism.

     
  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

     
  • BRAVE from DISNEY PIXAR Hits the Bull’s Eye with Fun, Humor and Scottish Hilarity!

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BRAVE, DISNEY PIXAR's newest 3-D animated film, brings to the screen in this folklore tale adventure mystery, magic and mystique along with all the great Scottish fun one can handle!

     
  • EBOLA PATIENT THOMAS DUNCAN DIES AT DALLAS HOSPITAL

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Thomas Eric Duncan, the first diagnosed case of Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever, has died in a Dallas hospital less than two weeks after arriving in the United States from Liberia, the West African nation engulfed in a pandemic.

     
  • Bonhams Modern Design and Contemporary Interiors Art Auction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    At a time when our minds are focused on interiors and objects that beautify them, Bonhams' Live Behind-Closed-Doors Modern Design I Art auction in Los Angeles on Thursday 28 May and Thursday 4 June, will offer major signature works.

     
  • Money News: Dow Caught in Bear Trap; World Markets Split 80/20

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average fell to the bear over the past week with limited collateral damage across global markets as the world markets bounced back from the devastating free-fall of the past week. 

     
  • Filth Review – A Voyeurs Kink Rush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Filth," from Magnolia Pictures and Steel Mill Pictures, presents a voyeuristic speed-ball kink journey through the underbelly of an addicted life filled with raunchy sex, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and manipulation in pursuit of fulfillment.