Fury of Slain Brink's Guard's Son As Andrew Cuomo Grants Getaway Driver Clemency

The son of a Brink's guard who was one of three victims in a 1981 robbery has criticized former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for offering the possibility of a parole hearing for one of the men involved in the attack, hours before he left office.

David Gilbert, 76, a former member of the radical left-wing Weather Underground group, was one of six people to whom Cuomo granted clemency on his final day as governor before stepping down amid a string of sexual harassment allegations.

Gilbert was an unarmed getaway driver in the robbery in which Brink's guard Peter Paige was killed, as well as Nyack police officers Sgt. Edward O'Grady and Waverly Brown in a subsequent shootout.

Gilbert has served 40 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence after being convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree for his role in the robbery.

In a statement, Cuomo cited Gilbert's "significant contributions" to AIDS education and prevention programs while incarcerated, as well as his work as a student tutor, law library clerk, and paralegal assistant.

"it makes me sick," Michael Paige, the son of the Brink's guard who was shot dead during the $1.6 million robbery, told Pix 11 regarding Cuomo choosing to offer Gilbert clemency.

"I still can't comprehend why the governor would commute the sentence of a domestic terrorist who was responsible for the murders of two police officers and a Brink's guard," Michael Paige said.

"You can't say, 'Oh, he was just a driver!'" he added. "These guys had an intricate plan. They had men with machine guns."

This is not the first time that Cuomo has commuted a sentence for someone involved in the Brink's robbery.

In 2016, he granted clemency to Judith Clark, allowing her to go before the parole board after being handed a 75-years-to-life sentence. Clark, another getaway driver, was eventually freed in 2019.

Kathy Boudin, another person convicted in the attack, was also released in 2003 after receiving a 20-year sentence, following a plea deal. Boudin and Gilbert's son, Chesa Boudin, was elected the district attorney of San Francisco in 2019 and had campaigned for years for his parents' release.

Michael Paige has dismissed the idea that Gilbert or any of the other Brink's robbers and murderers have changed.

"The person now is the person who did what they did 30 or 40 years ago," Paige told Pix 11. "The person who participated in the plan."

"For [Cuomo] to do this in the last hours of his administration, he's a coward," added Paige. "He doesn't have to account to anybody."

Others also criticized Cuomo for commuting Gilbert's sentence.

Arthur Keenan Jr., a retired detective with the Nyack Police Department who was injured in the 1981 shootout, called the decision "absurd."

He told The New York Times Monday that Cuomo "is stabbing all of law enforcement in the back, and when I say all, I'm talking about federal, state, local—all across the whole country—because he's a traitor."

Cuomo also received criticism from both political parties.

New York State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, a Democrat, said in a statement: "The outgoing Governor's decision to grant clemency to one of the Brinks murderers is a slap in the face of everyone in Rockland who lived through the horror of seeing Rockland County victimized by the domestic terrorists of the Weather Underground.

"With the 40th anniversary of the Brinks Robbery coming up in just two months, Cuomo's decision rubs salt in the wounds of the friends and family members who still grieve the loss of Sgt. Edward O'Grady, Officer Waverly 'Chipper' Brown and Brinks guard Peter Page."

Mike Lawler, Republican member of the New York State Assembly, added: "His decision only confirms what I've always believed about him: Andrew Cuomo is a coward and an awful human being. Only a sociopath, such as Andrew Cuomo, would think that David Gilbert, a man who participated in a heinous attack on law-abiding citizens and law enforcement alike, deserves to be eligible for parole."

A Cuomo spokesperson has been contacted for comment.

cuomo clemency david gilbert
Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The son a Brink’s guard who was killed in a 1981 robbery has criticized Cuomo for commuting the sentence of a getaway driver on his final day as New York governor. Getty Images