A Bristol credit union employee’s harrowing experience was detailed on “Dateline.”
Four years ago, Matt Yussman was taken hostage in his home before a fake bomb was strapped on to him in a botched robbery attempt.
NBC Connecticut’s Caitlin Burchill sat down with him Friday to check in.
Yussman said things will never be quite the same for him since the events of Feb. 23, 2015, but he chooses to talk about what happened to heal, and the help other people.
“They picked the perfect house because you know my neighbor’s house right there have no windows there,” Yussman said.
“There was no way anyone was going to see anything and that year was so much snow.”
Four years ago February, Yussman’s home was a crime scene. Two masked men held him and his mom hostage in her attached in-law apartment.
“I literally spent that whole night in her apartment, blindfolded, zip tied,” he told NBC Connecticut.
In the morning, police said Yussman was tasked with robbing the bank where he worked in New Britain with what he thought was a bomb strapped to him.
“Longest minute of my life is when I’m sitting there and I’m staring at my phone and it’s saying 10:59 and you think you’ve got one minute to live. That was pretty awful,” he said.
In a moment that played out like a movie, police intercepted Yussman, and the suspects left the state.
Yussman said while he knows police had a job to do, it was the months following that fateful day that were the worst.
“The 12 hours were just awful, being held at gun point, seeing my mom held at gun point going through all the trauma was just intense, but it was over in 12 hours. For the next nine months I was considered a suspect,” Yussman said.
“They had told me kiss my mother goodbye and I refused to do so,” he said.
“You know four years later and I still don’t want to give in to them. I’m not giving them the satisfaction of making me scared.”
The suspects sought out his daily routine by stalking him on social media. While he’s not scared, Yussman says he’s more careful now, and tries to stay aware of his surroundings.
While he still works at the same credit union, he now also speaks to folks around the country about safety after his experience.