Teen charged with attempted robbery has troubled past

·5 min read

Jun. 12—Eighteen-year-old Robert Anthony Hanna was born to homeless parents, then placed in foster care before being adopted by his aunt.

Today, court records reveal his aunt fears him enough to not want him in her life, and a few days ago Hanna reportedly caused fear in a local man after allegedly pointing a gun at him and demanding the keys to his vehicle in broad daylight about a block from the Kalispell Police Department.

Hanna is currently lodged in the Flathead County Detention Center on $100,000 bail after being charged with felony attempted robbery and misdemeanor theft after two incidents Tuesday afternoon.

He is scheduled for an arraignment on the charges at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17, in Flathead County District Court.

According to a charging document, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, Kalispell police officers responded to a report of a disturbance involving a weapon taking place in a parking lot near the intersection of Second Avenue and Third Street East.

An officer spoke with the victim, who was clearly upset and breathing heavily. The victim said he was at the library that day and went out to his vehicle, which was parked east of the library near a bank. He said he walked by a man who asked him for a cigarette.

When the victim reached his vehicle, opened the driver's door and placed his backpack and laptop into it, he said the man approached him. He said the man asked him if the vehicle was his and asked him to give him the keys. The man lifted his shirt, allegedly pulled a handgun from his waistband, and pointed it at the victim.

After the victim began walking back toward the library, he said the man followed him. The victim saw two people on Third Street East and yelled to them to call 911. When the victim turned and looked, the man was gone.

The victim told police he was in fear for his life and believed he would be killed by the man.

Ten minutes later, having heard the description of the suspect broadcast over the radio, Kalispell Police Capt. Bret Corbett saw a man matching the description walking on Fifth Avenue East, three blocks from the parking lot.

Corbett saw the man approach the porch of a residence, kneel down and pick up several packages before walking away from the residence. When backup arrived, Corbett called out to the man, detained him, and identified him as Hanna. Corbett reported Hanna had a handgun and allegedly admitted to pointing it at the victim earlier.

Officers investigated the packages in Hanna's possession and spoke with the owners of the residence from which Hanna allegedly took them. The owners said Hanna stole the packages and they provided officers with their video surveillance.

Also in the charging document, Flathead County Deputy Attorney Andrew Clegg reported Hanna's lengthy criminal past, including more than 18 misdemeanor offenses (theft, possession, criminal mischief, obstructing, runaway, etc.) between 2018 and 2020 when he was a juvenile.

The complaint also reported that on June 11, 2020, Hanna assaulted a peace officer and was later convicted by a jury of that offense, his first felony, on Oct. 8, 2020, along with a partner or family member assault and resisting arrest.

Hanna was committed to the Pine Hills Correctional Facility until he turned 18, which was about 2 1/2 months ago. At the time of this offense it was reported Hanna was living out of a vehicle.

Clegg wrote that Hanna presents a clear danger to the community, has no residence or employment, and reported chemical dependency issues.

COURT RECORDS paint a troubling picture of Hanna's young life through his recent imprisonment.

According to other court documents filed in the case involving the assault on a Kalispell police officer, a caseworker at Pine Hills, a treatment and youth rehab center, Hanna was released on March 28 and taken to Kalispell on a bus.

The caseworker, Tracey Juhl, wrote Hanna planned on living with friends. She also wrote an application was sent to Ray of Hope, so he had the option of living there.

In other documents from Pine Hills, it was reported Hanna's biological parents were homeless and his father was very abusive. Hanna's aunt, who later adopted him, said his father was in jail or prison during the youth's life and had mental health and substance abuse issues. The report indicated information on Hanna's mother was very limited.

When Hanna was 2 years old, Child Protective Services got involved and Hanna was placed in a foster home. Hanna's adoptive mother, then his aunt, said the biological parents had a chance to regain custody of him, but they failed the requirements. When Hanna was 4, parental rights were terminated and his aunt adopted him.

In a document from March 2021, probation officer Matthew Wall wrote Hanna, based on information he received from Pine Hills staff, had done well in the facility, including vocational training, mental-health services and substance abuse services.

But Wall also reported his adoptive mother's stance on not allowing Hanna to stay at her home after his release. Wall reported his opinion that Hanna would have a better chance of remaining sober and law abiding if he were to continue substance abuse and mental-health treatment in the community and find a more structured and secure living arrangement.

In court documents from the assault on the Kalispell police officer and attempted assault on his adoptive mother, Hanna allegedly told another officer he had used meth and hadn't slept for a week.

He then punched an officer in the face and had tried to punch his adoptive mother. She reportedly said she was terrified of Hanna and didn't know what to do with him any longer.

Scott Shindledeckermay be reached at sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com or at 406-758-4441.

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