Philip Pariso, phony bomber, was discharged from military for drug abuse
Before he allegedly held employees of a downtown Minneapolis bank hostage with a bomb hoax, 33-year-old Philip James Pariso was a senior airman in the United States Air Force, where he faced a court martial and discharge for injecting prescription drugs, according to Air Force court documents.
In February 2006, Pariso was sentenced to 60 days confinement and a bad-conduct discharge from the military, records show.
The case began when Pariso's brother called 911 after finding him lying outside of his bathroom, struggling to breathe, according to court records. By the time emergency responders got Pariso to a hospital, he had stopped breathing entirely, but they were able to revive him. Meanwhile, police responding to the emergency call found a syringe on the bathroom counter.
Pariso later told a military judge he mixed water with pills of Tylenol #3 -- a prescription drug containing codeine -- melted the concoction down, and shot it into his arm, according to the court records. He also admitted that he was not currently prescribed to the drug, and he "definitely wasn't using it in the way it was prescribed."
Pariso appealed the ruling, arguing the punishment was excessively harsh for the crime, but the appellate judge affirmed the original opinion in July 2007.
In an unrelated case, Pariso was also convicted of possessing injection equipment last year in Hennepin County. On November 18, he was sentenced to one year of probation.
According to charges filed Monday, Pariso walked into M & I Bank just before noon Friday and asked to speak with a banker about reopening an account. Once in the banker's cubicle, he told two employees his bag contained a bomb, and they were being held hostage. Police talked Pariso into surrendering the hostages after about a half hour, only to discover he had no bomb.
Pariso is currently being held on $250,000 bail, facing one felony for kidnapping, and two for making terroristic threats. The maximum sentence for the three charges is 26 years in prison.