ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 38-year-old Nicholas August asked a Winnebago County Judge to represent himself in court Monday. August is accused of holding a woman hostage during a nearly 7 hour standoff at a Rockford bank on Friday.
Investigators told Eyewitness News he entered the Heritage Credit Union on East State Street around 2:30 p.m. and ordered everyone to get out. However, he took a female employee hostage.
Police say during the standoff, August sexually assaulted the hostage. Shortly before 9 p.m., hostage negotiators convinced August to surrender. Once he was in custody, police discovered he was armed with a pellet gun.
August is now charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated unlawful restraint.
In court Monday, August told the judge he wished to represent himself, but was told he would be appointed council first and can change attorneys at a later date.
He was ordered held on a $2 million bond, plus $150,000 for a previous charge of strangling a household member.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara released a statement Monday morning, saying, “As more details from the Heritage Credit Union incident continue to emerge, I want to be clear: It was not peaceful. My greatest concern is that the survivor receives all the support and resources she needs. The incident highlights the need to continue our fight to end domestic and sexual violence.”
August has a lengthy criminal past: he pleaded guilty to felony charges that were issued in 2002, 2011, 2014, and 2019. Those convictions include reckless discharge of a firearm, resisting a peace officer, endangering the life of a child, and multiple counts of domestic battery.
Multiple women have filed emergency orders of protection dating back to 2004. According to Winnebago County court records, August is currently facing a protection order that was filed on December 17, 2019. An emergency order was granted. He’s due back in court for that case on January 22.
His next court appearance for his most recent crime will be January 29th.
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