Woonsocket man to serve 20 years in state prison for first-degree robbery at LA Fitness, gun charges


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Woonsocket man has been sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 20 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) stemming from a violent first-degree robbery in an LA Fitness parking lot in April of 2022.

On February 27, 2024, at a hearing before Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent, the defendant, Anthony Richardson (age 21) pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. At the hearing, the defendant also entered guilty pleas resolving several other pending cases, including similar cases of larceny and for carrying a pistol without a license, conspiracy to carry a pistol without a license, and possession of a firearm with altered identifying marks.

At the hearing, the Court sentenced the defendant to 40 years, with 20 years to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI), with the balanced suspended with probation.

“This defendant demonstrated over and over again that he was a very real threat to public safety,” said Attorney General Neronha. “In 2022 alone, the defendant committed multiple acts of robbery and larceny, one of which caused the victim significant bodily harm. It is essential that we hold accountable those who demonstrate patterns of committing serious crimes and endangering the lives of others in the process. I want to thank the Providence Police for their collaboration and diligence in helping bring this defendant to justice.”

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant arranged to purchase a gold chain from a victim he met through Facebook Marketplace and robbed the victim in an LA Fitness parking lot.

On April 10, 2022, the defendant and the victim met at an LA Fitness parking lot in Providence to orchestrate the sale of a gold chain to the defendant after connecting on Facebook Marketplace. The defendant and an unknown passenger arrived at the parking lot in a black Acura with a heavy tint. The victim approached the passenger side door of the Acura with the gold chain wrapped around his hand to prevent it from being snatched. The passenger then attempted to grab the chain from the victim’s hand as the defendant began to drive away.  The victim, unable to free his hand from the chain, was dragged several feet before he eventually freed himself. The defendant and the passenger then fled the scene with the chain, leaving the injured victim behind.

“I commend the vigilant efforts of our investigators for holding this defendant accountable for his actions,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “The women and men of the Providence Police Department are committed to ensuring public safety throughout our city and state and will continue working each and every day to remove dangerous criminals from our streets.”

Special Assistant Attorneys General Michael S. McCabe and Alec Y. Lengyel of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Robert Melaragno and Charles Matracia of the Providence Police led the investigation and prosecution of the case.