'Soul Patch Bandit' caught, accused of killing infant son in Newport News

Soul Patch Bandit accused of murdering son

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- A man dubbed the "Soul-Patch Bandit" was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Petersburg, accused of robbing at least six banks in the Richmond area.

Police said the accused robber is 25-year-old Artur Kharendzyuck.

"I saw the cops out here and looked back inside and told them I don't think this is a good time to come outside," said Jessica Holland, a witness in Petersburg.

Petersburg Acting Police Chief William Rohde says Kharendzyuck was caught trying to rob a Wells Fargo. The bank called police to report a suspicious person.

Chief Rohde said they caught him without much of a chase.

"When we saw that they picked the gun out of the bush, at that point I'm thinking he could be made it in the building," said Melissa Quinn, who works near the Wells Fargo.


But, the "Soul-Patch Bandit" wasn't only wanted in the Richmond area.

Police in Newport News were also looking for him in connection to the murder of his 1-year-old son.

On the night of October 20, emergency crews were called to the 300 block of Charles St. Officials were told that a 1-year-old child was not breathing. That child was taken to Portsmouth Naval Hospital and placed on life support. The 1-year-old did not respond to treatment and later died the following day. 

The Special Victims Unit obtained an arrest warrant charging Kharendzyuck with one count of second degree murder.

Public records lead 13News Now to the Trellis at Lees Mill Apartments in Newport News where investigators remained tight-lipped, not confirming if their presence was related to this case.

People in the area say police had been there since at least 2:30 p.m. Neighbors who saw his picture and spoke to us said he lives at the complex with his mother.

When Kharendzyuck's son died, they all heard about it, which surprising given their interactions with him.

"He was a good dude, very quiet, calm, and in and out the house working and stuff. That's all I knew about him. Whenever he speaks, he's very polite," said a neighbor in Newport News.

Law enforcement at the apartments waited outside for several minutes before making their way inside one of the units.

From the outside, investigators can be seen taking pictures and walking around.


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