The sister of the alleged armed robber whose mom ordered him to surrender says that as soon as their mother recognized him on the news from surveillance footage, she gasped, “Oh, my God, what is Marchell doing?!”
The family immediately phoned suspected baker-turned-bandit Marchell Rountree, 50, of Bellport, LI, and told him to get home fast, the sibling told The Post on Wednesday.
The sister, who asked that her name not be used, said that when Rountree arrived, she had only one question for him: “Why?”
“He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I showed him the picture, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’
“I said, ‘Did you have a gun?’ and he said no,’’ insisting that he used his cellphone to simulate a weapon in the string of robberies, the sister said.
She said she and their 67-year-old mom told Rountree to turn himself in.
“He said, ‘OK, give me an hour,’ and he just sat there thinking about it for an hour,” the sister said.
“At 2 a.m., I put him in the car and dropped him off at the 5th Precinct.’’
She added, “I sat there . . . I wanted to make sure he went in.”
Before her brother surrendered, the sister said, “He apologized for hurting our mom. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and I said, ‘I’ll see you,’ and he said, ‘I’ll see you if I ever get out.’ ”
A surveillance camera shot of Marchell Rountree robbing a Long Island business.
The sister said she was the first to recognize her brother in the TV news video of a Valero gas-station robbery in East Patchogue on April 24.
He was wearing a surgical mask to try to hide his identity, but it slipped down at one point and exposed his nose and part of his mouth.
“I took a picture of him with my cellphone,’’ the sister said. “I could recognize everything about him: his mannerisms, his clothing. I had no doubt. I got up and came to my mom’s house’’ to show her.
Cops said Rountree later told them that his mom recognized him because “lots of people saw my picture, but a mother knows her child.”
Rountree, a father of six adult children who worked in a bakery, had kicked a crack addiction but relapsed in February and lost his job in March, the sister said.
The sister said neither she nor her mom plans to bail Rountree out or even show up to his court hearings.
“He’s a good person, and we want him to get help. It’s tough love from here on out,” she said.
The sister added that she is “sorry to all the people he robbed and scared to death.”