GREENWICH, Conn. — A muscular and heavily tattooed 34-year-old California man who worked as a model and was a big hit on Instagram was extradited to Connecticut and arraigned Friday on charges in connection with three robberies in Greenwich back in April, police said.
David Byers was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Friday after he was flown in from San Diego, Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said in a statement.
Byers pleaded not guilty to two counts of bank robbery and one count of violating the Hobbs Act in connection with two bank robberies and one gas station robbery committed between April 24 and April 26 in Greenwich, Berry said.
“Greenwich Police arranged with the FBI to have Byers transferred in federal custody to Connecticut so that he could be arraigned for the crimes committed in Greenwich,” Berry wrote in an email. Greenwich police credited the FBI and the San Diego Sheriff's Office with apprehending Byers in California just days after he fled Connecticut.
Byers posed for numerous shots for photographer Michael Stokes, who has an Instagram account filled with photos of muscular men. The case, involving the brazen robbery of the same bank twice in two days combined with the photos of Byers, who was often shown scantily clad and/or atop a motorcycle, captured national attention. His image was even used on the cover of a romance novel.
The crazy crime spree began Monday, April 24, when Byers robbed a Citgo gas station in Cos Cob, Greenwich police said. On each of the next two days, he robbed the Chase Bank branch on East Putnam Avenue in Riverside at gunpoint, police said.
Byers was last spotted in Greenwich on April 28, when police determined he was at the JHouse and descended on the establishment in an attempt to take him into custody, police said.
But Byers took off in a Range Rover — becoming airborne twice — as officers chased him onto I-95, where he abandoned the vehicle and ran across three lanes of highway traffic to escape capture, police said.
Armed police officers went door-to-door and searched backyards and helicopters flew overhead as the manhunt continued in nearby Greenwich neighborhoods, but Byers eluded capture, police said.
Police said Byers stole another Range Rover in Port Chester, N.Y., and fled to Harrisburg, Pa., where he also eluded capture by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Byers then fled cross country, police said. He stole a vehicle in Yuma, Ariz., and was eventually traced with the help of the FBI to San Diego, where he was taken into custody and arrested May 3, police said.
Byers, a resident of Solana Beach, Calif., was held without bond for his next court date of Oct. 11.
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