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Fall River career criminal sentenced to prison for Robbery, Assault and Battery of a Police Officer with Intent to Disarm



A career criminal with a criminal record that dates back to the late 1970s who robbed a Fall River bank and attempted to disarm a police officer was sentenced to state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Thomas Halpen, 61, of Fall River, pleaded guilty this week in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with Unarmed Robbery and Assault and Battery of a Police Officer with Intent to Disarm. He was sentenced to 12 to 50 years.

On September 21, 2018, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Halpen, wearing a knit hat with a bear face, glasses and sweat clothes, entered the Fall River Municipal Credit Union. He handed the teller a note demanding money and informed her that he knew where she lived. He was provided in excess of $6,000 with an embedded GPS tracking device.

Within approximately 30 minutes, Halpen was located at a second-floor apartment on Weetamoe street and detained. He was returned to the credit union where he was positively identified. His apartment and vehicle were searched pursuant to search warrants. Located in his apartment was the robbery note, the money and the tracker. The clothing, glasses, hat and other items were found in the vehicle.

Halpen was held in jail for the weekend for a Monday arraignment. On Sunday afternoon, September 23rd, he made a number of unsolicited statements to officers saying that he screwed up, that he needed the money, and that he was going back to prison for life. At approximately 4:00 p.m. on that date, while exiting the bathroom, he lunged at a Fall River Police officer. While attempting to overpower the officer, Halpen tried to remove the firearm from the officer’s retention holster. The officer was able to subdue him and with help from others, he re-shackled Halpen.

According to the DA’s Office, Halpen has been incarcerated many times during the past four decades for crimes ranging from armed robbery to forgery to breaking and entering and assault-related crimes.

The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Thomas Perrino.

“The defendant is a career criminal who should have been in state prison for a prior robbery when he committed this robbery. He clearly is a danger to the public and the sentence ensures that society will be protected from the defendant for the rest of his life,” District Attorney Quinn said.



  1. Fed Up

    September 28, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    District Attorney Quinn He was clearly a danger to the public for the past 5 decades but the Massachusetts ” justice ” system keep letting him out to reoffend. Now he’s a real danger? Armed robbery, forgery ,B&E and assault this state is a joke.

  2. Frank rego

    September 28, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    You wouldn’t spend 5 minutes in Walpole never mind 12 to 50. Your a joke

  3. Fed up too

    September 28, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    And the state is getting worse Fed Up.

  4. Trump Fan

    September 29, 2023 at 6:42 am

    Assaulting a police officer is considered a crime yet officers like Michael Pessoa can chain someone up, beat them and get a slap on the wrist.

    Hold police accountable.

  5. Pessoa sucks

    September 29, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Pessoa had a “god father”. No doubt. Political godfather.

  6. MortisMaximus

    September 29, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    Why is this bacteria still breathing?

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