By EMMALEE C. TORISK
and Kalea Hall
Police believe drug addiction led to Irene and Frank R. Consiglio’s involvement in Wednesday’s robbery of a 66-year-old woman. Their son already was in custody for other crimes.
Irene Consiglio, 46, a special-education teacher and track coach at Poland Middle School, was arrested Wednesday on charges of complicity to commit robbery, and for fleeing and eluding police. Frank R. Consiglio, 45, was arrested Thursday on charges of robbery and possession of drugs.
“They do whatever they have to do to feed their habit,” said Sgt. Glen Riddle, a Boardman Police Department detective investigating the robbery. The motive for the robbery, he said, likely was narcotics addiction.
The address listed for both is 3900 Mercedes Place in Canfield.
Irene Consiglio, after a brief pursuit by police, provided them with her husband’s name, and also identified him as the man in the robbery, which occurred in the parking lot of the Sandwich Factory restaurant on Market Street.
Police — who were familiar with the couple’s son, 20-year-old Frank J. Consiglio II — initially doubted Irene Consiglio’s admission of her husband’s involvement, and believed that she was trying to cover up for her son.
Frank J. Consiglio II, who lists the same Canfield address as Irene and Frank R. Consiglio’s, is in the Mahoning County jail on a host of charges. He has been in jail since Sept. 20, charged with receiving stolen property, expired license plates, criminal damaging, theft, obstructing official business and driving under suspension.
At 4 p.m. Oct. 24, Frank J. Consiglio II will appear in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman. In addition, a jury trial for charges of receiving stolen property has been set in the court for 10 a.m. Oct. 28, and a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in Canfield Mayor’s Court for charges of criminal damaging.
The police report does not list a place of employment for Frank R. Consiglio, but Irene Consiglio has worked at Poland Middle School for the past 13 years.
David Janofa, Poland schools superintendent, referred to the robbery as “an unfortunate situation,” and one that is now “in the hands of law enforcement.”
“We’re certainly allowing the law-enforcement agencies to work through their dealings with her and her situation, and we’re doing what we need to do to take care of our kids and our staff,” Janofa said. “As a community, this has just been unacceptable behavior ... and the immediate thing is to make sure the kids understand that this behavior is unacceptable, and that they feel comfortable and safe in the school.”
Janofa added that Irene Consiglio hasn’t been in the school building for a couple of weeks because of “an unrelated matter.”
Police allege Frank R. Consiglio forced the 66-year-old Columbiana woman to the ground and robbed her of her purse — which contained $900 in cash, a $1,500 check, a $60 check, and multiple debit and credit cards — as she was getting into her car about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The victim, who asked not to be identified, said she’s since realized that it’s absolutely vital for people, especially women, to be more aware of their surroundings.
She said that maybe if she’d been standing sideways while unlocking her car, she could’ve seen the assailant before he knocked her to the ground. It was only at that moment — when she hit the pavement — that she realized that anything had happened, she said in a phone interview Friday. She added that she screamed and yelled during the attack, attracting the attention of others, who immediately helped her off the ground and also contacted police.
“I felt like I was so safe, and never would’ve dreamed anything like this would happen to me,” she said. “But those people were so wonderful to me. You hear that people don’t want to get involved, but if it wasn’t for their fast action, they wouldn’t have had that success right away.”
After the purse was stolen, Frank R. Consiglio got into a silver Hyundai with a temporary tag, which officers pulled over on U.S. Route 224 within minutes of the robbery, police said.
The car, which was driven by Irene Consiglio, fled as the officer moved to step out of his cruiser to approach, and was chased by police until it was pulled over into the Blue Wolf Tavern banquet center lot on Lockwood Boulevard. Riddle said she pulled over as the car was running out of gas.
At that time, police say, Frank R. Consiglio jumped out of the car and ran into the woods behind the banquet center. Police searched for him Wednesday, but didn’t find him until about 9 p.m. Thursday, when following up on calls from the public at a CVS pharmacy on Market Street.
Police also discovered a white pill broken into three pieces, along with a straw with an unidentified powder residue, in a pocket of his pants. The pill was identified as alprazolam, which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Bond for Frank R. Consiglio has been set at $13,250, Riddle said, adding that he will appear in Boardman court Tuesday morning. He remained jailed Friday.
For Irene Consiglio, bond was set at $16,000, which she posted. She was arraigned Thursday.
Their son remains jailed.