West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Suspect in Junction bank-robbery attempt now out of jail

Tonight we know what police say happened inside the Junction Bank of America before they circulated a photo of, and arrested, a man they described as a bank-robbery suspect. That 61-year-old man has just been released from jail tonight on his own recognizance, as ordered at his bail hearing this afternoon, despite prosecutors’ request to set bail at $75,000. Here’s what the documents from that hearing say police were told happened just before 911 was called at 11:13 am Wednesday:

(A teller told police) the suspect entered the bank and approached his window. (The teller) noted the suspect’s appearance and the fact he was wearing a backpack which was placed in front of his chest, which caught his attention. He greeted the suspect and asked how he could assist. At this point the suspect reached in front of the backpack and handed a small bag and a note to the teller. The note handed to the teller read something to the effect, “Put large bills in the bag, quickly”.

(The teller) has been employed with Bank of America for approximately five years and has been a victim/witness in two prior bank robberies. Based on his knowledge and experience he quickly grabbed the bag and note. (The teller) stated he felt safety behind the bullet-proof teller window aka “Bandit Barrier.” (He) looked at the suspect and said, “Are you sure about this?” and the suspect replied, “Yes, put it in the bag”. At this point (the teller) activated the silent alarm and stepped away to inform co-workers of the situation.

(He) returned to the suspect to engage him in conversation to stall him leaving the bank. He felt the suspect caught on to his tactic and fled the bank without obtaining any money, also leaving the note and bag.

The documents have no mention of a weapon being shown or implied.

Responding officers quickly obtained the surveillance photo that SPD tweeted a short time later and circulated around SPD. Less than an hour after the robbery attempt, two Southwest Precinct officers who saw the photos spotted a man matching the description at Fauntleroy and Alaska, not far from the bank, and stopped him. The teller was brought to the scene and confirmed he recognized the man as the would-be robber. Police read him his Miranda rights and asked his name; he would not identify himself, the court documents say; officers took him to SPD headquarters downtown, fingerprinted him, and learned his name that way, just before 3 pm. The court documents do not mention any criminal record; we haven’t found one for the suspect in this state, just a Seattle traffic citation last year. He is due back in court Monday afternoon.

31 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Suspect in Junction bank-robbery attempt now out of jail"

  • KT July 28, 2016 (8:25 pm)

    …”Police read him his Miranda rights and asked his name; he would not identify himself, the court documents say; officers took him to SPD headquarters downtown, fingerprinted him, and learned his name that way…”  Ya, but let’s let him out of personal recognizance.  The Seattle justice system.

    • WSB July 28, 2016 (8:32 pm)

      I’m sorry to say that since I was unable to go downtown for the bail hearing, I don’t know what was presented to the judge to make the case for recognizance; the prosecuting attorney’s office mentioned that the suspect’s sister spoke, but it’s not unusual for relatives or spouses to address the judge at these hearings. – TR

  • Overthere July 28, 2016 (8:48 pm)

    Is this not a federal crime? Just hand him over to the FBI and off to federal court. He would not be walking the streets without a decent bail. Ridiculous!

    • Marvin July 30, 2016 (3:33 am)

      It’s knocked down to the state level [Feds don’t really take-on “note jobs”]

  • Confused July 28, 2016 (8:49 pm)

    No criminal record found except a traffic citation but were able to learn his name by fingerprinting him? Does this sound odd to anybody else? 

    • WSB July 28, 2016 (8:57 pm)

      Please note that I only wrote *no criminal record found in this state.* I have not pulled a national search. Also, I don’t *believe* – but don’t know for sure – that print databases are limited only to prints from criminal cases. Will be doing more research late tonight.

    • songstorm July 29, 2016 (6:41 am)

      Not necessarily.  I had my fingerprints taken by the local PD years ago as part of a background check required to work for a school district. I am sure they are still on file somewhere.

    • Michael July 29, 2016 (2:19 pm)

      I believe finger prints are taken for Concealed Pistol Licenses as well.  Fingerprints can be on file for many reasons, not just because someone has a criminal history.

  • ScubaFrog July 28, 2016 (9:36 pm)

    Has he been charged?   What were the charges if anyone knows?

    • WSB July 28, 2016 (10:27 pm)

      No, he has not. This was a bail hearing. Charges could be filed in time for the Monday hearing – or not.

  • Seattlite July 28, 2016 (10:26 pm)

    Great job SPD and bank teller. 

    • Andy July 29, 2016 (4:40 am)

      I agree, the SPD and the bank teller did their duty effectively and are to be commended. But, for this person to be released by the court is outrageous! If he does not appear in court, on Monday, there should be serious consequences for whoever  is responsible for his release. This was not just some petty crime to be dealt with in, what seems to be,  such a lax manner.

  • Thekid206 July 29, 2016 (6:24 am)

    Maybe he has or had a concealed weapons permit at some point and that’s why his prints were in the database. 

  • sc July 29, 2016 (7:31 am)

    When I hired into Boeing in 1978 they took my finger prints.  

    Also as a volunteer at the Federal Archives on Sand Point Way my fingerprints were taken for a higher clearance so I could work with original documents.   

  • smokeycretin9 July 29, 2016 (8:50 am)

    so technically he didnt “rob” the bank.  lol

  • Mike July 29, 2016 (9:36 am)

    Wow, that teller has some serious cojones.  Well done.

  • JanS July 29, 2016 (10:56 am)

    I can’t say much, but…I know this guy pretty well. He is not a hardened criminal. Totally out of character for him. His fingerprints could have been there for a number of reasons, including a job. Local resident, who is having some physical and mental problems. Please don’t judge if you do not know him. And to the person who ASSumes that he won’t show up in court…he will. As I said…not a hardened criminal.

    • ScubaFrog July 29, 2016 (1:25 pm)

      This man’s suspected of bank robbery.  That’s a very serious crime.  He allegedly robbed a bank in my community.   Please don’t ask us ‘not to judge him’.   We can be empathetic to this man’s plight – but we can also condemn his actions in the strongest sense, without being chastised for it.

  • Double Dub Resident July 29, 2016 (12:25 pm)

    No one assumed anything JanS. They said IF he doesn’t show up,  not he’s NOT going to show up, there’s a difference,  you just assumed he said the latter.  And they have a point, this person you know pretty well committed (at least attempted to commit) a pretty serious crime. And IMO shouldn’t have been let out. I don’t care if it is supposedly out of character, he still committed it. 

  • wscommuter July 29, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    What many who are howling at his release on personal recognizance either don’t know – or choose to ignore – is that fact that our jails (downtown and at RJC) are jammed.  Judges are tasked every day with making incarceration decisions for newly arrested accused persons being mindful of the King County Jail’s limited resources.  I know nothing about this case other than what I read here on WSB.  But for a first offense, non-violent fact pattern (no gun – just a note), this is a lower-tier offense that will likely be charged as a Robbery 2.   Perhaps appalling to hear this, but there are so many more offenders who are either overtly violent, or prone to disappear, or charged with much more serious offenses who do fill our jails.  Not enough room to keep everyone who gets arrested. 

     Don’t like this outcome?  Cool.  Vote for more taxes to build another jail.  Otherwise, your opinion isn’t worth a whole lot.   

  • Double Dub Resident July 29, 2016 (2:40 pm)

    Neither is yours wscommuter

  • Forcemajeure July 29, 2016 (3:29 pm)

    Homedude does not get a pass from me either. I have a mental illness but you dont see me stealing from corporations.

  • LStephens July 29, 2016 (7:27 pm)

    I’ll bet the bank teller didn’t think he was a great guy either.   Can’t even begin to imagine the fear the teller must have felt in that situation.  

  • thee July 29, 2016 (8:57 pm)

    HE
    ROBBED
    A
    BANK.

    The fact that he was terrible at it really means nothing here. Call the feds. 

    –thee

  • dsa July 29, 2016 (10:21 pm)

    I have never liked those plastic screens, but the actions of that teller are stellar, so I have changed my mind about the screens.

    BTW, I think the suspect attempted robbery and failed. 

  • West Seattle Hipster July 30, 2016 (7:11 am)

    Wow, would love to see the reason why this guy was PR’d for I thought was a serious offense.  My disappointment at his lax treatment by the judge is offset by some of the hilarious comments on the article.

  • flimflam July 31, 2016 (1:38 pm)

    just stop with the “i know him, he’s a good person” comments whenever someone commits a crime. someone chimed in similarly in the post about the “good guys” that tried to throw someone of a bridge during a road rage fight.

     this guy robbed a bank and doubtlessly scared the heck out of the poor tellers. 

  • Wheat August 7, 2016 (1:32 am)

    Well, he’s dead now so I guess all of these comments were a waste–yes, he actually is dead.

    • WSB August 7, 2016 (1:53 am)

      That was discussed in other threads, but I never had confirmation – the police and prosecutors we asked said it was news to them, and it never turned up on the Medical Examiner’s media line. However, I do now finally see an obituary.

  • Boo August 11, 2016 (6:47 pm)

    I just want to point out that the hateful comments on here (some supportive, thank you) have been heart wrenching as we searched for my brother for days only to find out that he is no longer with us. Depression is an awful thing that took his mind to places and made him do things that were out of character.   He is my best friend, a good guy to the core. I’m very sorry for this incident and I went to the bank manager in person when I was searching for him to apologize and hoped the teller was ok too. My brother needed some help and we were going to get that for him and do whatever he needed.     I’m crushed that we couldn’t help him in time and I just wish and pray for people to be kind and know that you don’t always know the whole story.  He’s never done anything wrong in his entire life.  This is not to be excused but rather we needed to find him the help he needed.   All I ask is for people to be kind with their words.  I will miss him dearly as will the friends and community he so dearly loved.  

  • miws August 11, 2016 (7:57 pm)

    Boo, condolences to you and all who loved your brother….

    Mike

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