Charges filed against suspects in West Seattle bank robbery


Documents just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office – both suspects in last week’s Admiral Wells Fargo robbery (which preceded the downtown shooting that sent one to the hospital; WSB coverage here) are now charged with three counts each — robbery and eluding — with bail set at $2 million and a hearing planned July 21st. The charging papers include narrative of how the robbery allegedly went down – and confirmation the robber was NOT wearing a dress after all – read on:

We have edited out the names of the tellers mentioned in the court documents.

On July 1, 2008 at approximately 1010 hrs, a lone WM entered the Wells Fargo Bank located at
2358 California Av SW, Seattle, WA within King County wearing an apparent women’s wig, sunglasses, a darkjacket, dark shirt, dark pants, white gloves, with a black substance smeared on his face. Teller … was behind the teller counter when the suspect entered. (Teller) began to greet the suspect who ignored her as he walked purposefully through the lobby towards the locked gate that secures the teller station area. Based on the suspect’s odd attire and demeanor, (teller) believed that he was about to rob the bank and she immediately pushed her silent hold-up alarm. Seattle Police Communications received a silent hold up alarm from the bank’s security at 1010 hrs.

The suspect approached the locked gate to the teller station area and yelled, “Open the f*ing door!” No one moved, so the suspect hopped over the locked gate and reached into his jacket and pulled out a black semi-auto handgun as he approached (the) teller station. The suspect ordered (teller) to open her cash drawer, which she did. As (teller) began removing money from the drawer, the suspect pointed the gun at her and then shoved her out of the way and grabbed the money for himself. The suspect then moved over to the next teller station and order teller … “Move!” and grabbed the cash from (teller)’s drawer as welL. The suspect then ordered (tellers) to unlock their bottom cash drawers, which they did. The suspect continually pointed his gun at both (tellers) during this time. The suspect grabbed the cash from the bottom drawers as well and then pulled out a black – plastic bag from somewhere on his person. The suspect put the cash from the teller drawers into his bag and
the bank’s west doors and fled northbound on California Av SW.

A subsequent audit of (the) teller stations, revealed a bank loss of approximately $14,134. The suspect ended up taking one, possibly two dye packs from the ban during the robbery.

The documents also go on to describe what happened from there – we’ll add that shortly. ADDED 4:53 PM: Here’s that part of the narrative from the charging papers:

At approximately 1027 hrs, Ofc. Wengard was doing an area search for the suspect vehicle from California Av SW, south on Harbor Av. Ofc. Wengard slowed to check an SUV as it pulled into the 7-11 parking lot near the 2600 BL of Harbor Av. Ofc. Wengard noticed a WM matching the description of the robbery suspect walking ~jB on Harbor Av towards the 7-11 store, just as Ofc. Wilson notified SPD radio that he had a possible suspect vehicle in sight at the same location.

Ofc. Wengard saw that the male had a black substance smeared on his face, as described by witnesses and that he was wearing a dark t-shirt, jeans and sunglasses.

Ofc. Wengard believed that the male was the bank robbery suspect and challenged the suspect at gun-point yelling, “Police!” several times, then shouted, “You in the white hat stop and show me your hands!” The suspect disregarded the orders and turned towards the vehicle parked nearby, moving towards the passenger door. The driver of the vehicle was observed by the officers as a BM wearing a dew-rag, safety glasses and dark coveralls. As the WM suspect moved to enter the passenger door of the suspect vehicle, Ofc. Wilson kicked the open door shut, in an attempt to keep the suspect from getting into the car, however the suspect managed to get into the vehicle and it immediately fled at a high rate of speed. The license plate of the vehicle was observed by officers as W A lic# 441 UHK, with a temp paper plate in the rear window. Both officers were in fully marked standard issue Seattle Police uniforms, driving fully marked Seattle Police patrol cars durng the contact.

Offcers Wengard and Wilson initiated a vehicle pursuit òf the suspects, as it entered the West Seattle bridge, eastbound. Durng the vehicle pursuit, both offcers had their emergency equipment including red/lue overhead lights and polìce sirens activated.

The suspects attempted to elude the pursuing police vehicles as they turned onto NIB 99 from the West Seattle bridge. During this time, the suspect vehicle was traveling at a much higher rate of speed than the posted 35 MPH and was disobeying traffic laws.

The suspect vehicle exited Hwy 99 at Seneca street, into the downtown core. The suspect vehicle traveled the wrong way on one-way streets and disregarded all traffic laws durng the pursuit, placing an untold number of
pedestrians and vehicle occupants in danger.

Additional responding police units joined in the pursuit as it wove through the downtown core and up. into First Hill area of Seattle.

In the area of the 800 BL of Yesler Way, the suspect vehicle pulled over and the driver, the BM in coveralls, bailed out of the vehicle on foot. Officer Wengard, Officer Smith and Officer Sperr captued the fleeing driver and took him into custody. He was identified by his WA Driver’s License as Kevin V. Palmer. PALMER was later transported to SPD Headquarters.

The WM suspect in the passenger seat of the vehicle, jumped into the driver’s seat and fled in the vehicle. Again, Offcers began pursuing the suspect. vehicle, now occupied only by the WM robbery suspect. During this portion of the vehicle pursuit, officers could see that the driver was armed with a handgun as he was driving. This was broadcast over SPD radio to all officers.

The suspect vehicle, driven by the W 1M suspect, was pursued back into the downtown core, from Yesler Way, down to Alaskan Wy NIB, then to Spring St, where a short time later, the suspect became stuck in vehicle traffc in the 100 BL of Spring St. Officers surrounded the suspect vehicle, mid-block in the middle of Spring St, between 1 Av and 2 Av. The suspect was still visibly armed with a handgun while he remained in the vehicle. Officers gave continual orders for the suspect to drop the gun and surrender, but the suspect refused.

After a short standoff, the suspect raised the gun and pointed it in the direction of several officers. At that time, several officers fired on the suspect, apparently striking him and causing him to slump over in the driver’s seat. Additional commands were given to the suspect, which he continued to ignore and the suspect then sat back up in the seat with the gun again. Officers again fired on the suspect. After the second volley of shots, the suspect subsequently surrendered and was taken into custody. Aid was sumoned for the gunshot wounds to the suspect and he was transported to HMC a short time later. The suspect was identified as.Douglas Cox (DOB 10:”7-57) Cox currently is being treated at HMC for several gunshot wounds. He is in stable condition at the time of this report. A white Ford van parked on the north side of Spring St. was also
struck by gunfire.

Cox has reportedly improved to satisfactory condition. Palmer is in the King County Jail. They will answer the charges against them at the hearing set for July 21st.

6 Replies to "Charges filed against suspects in West Seattle bank robbery"

  • miws July 7, 2008 (7:27 pm)

    Okay, for those that still believe the Police used excessive force on this piece of trash, he defied orders, from an Officer, with weapon drawn, to surrender at the 7-11 on Harbor Av, and then he and his buddy put dozens of innocent people in danger by initating a high speed chase, then again with Cox refusing to surrender, which put people in the 1st/2nd Av Spring St area in harm’s way as well.


    On a somewhat personal level, if this incident, exactly as played out, would have happened a little more than fifteen years before, (yeah, I know, a long time ago) I would have had a front row seat, having worked at the parking garage that exits midblock on Spring.



  • Scott B. July 7, 2008 (10:21 pm)

    Thanks for posting the narrative, WSB. It was an interesting read. Maybe it will help us help the SPD with their policies.

    I thought the SPD had a non-pursuit policy. This shows that the SPD itself must think that policy is misguided.

    I thought police officers weren’t supposed to point their guns at people unless they were willing to shoot them. In this case, it seems obvious that the SPD officers were confronting the bank robbers. I’m guessing the reason the bank robbers were allowed to drive off unshot was because of concern that the SPD officer(s) would suffer legal and financial repercussions.

    Readers might find it interesting to google for
    New York City Police Department Stakeout Unit
    to see how much the tide has changed.

    The account of how multiple SPD officers (whose standard sidearm is a Glock .40 caliber S&W semi-automatic pistol AFAIK) fired on a stationary suspect (part of the explanation may be that he was in a car, so window glass was presumably in the way for at least the initial bullets, which, BTW, probably were jacketed hollowpoints) only to have him revive, Jason-like, which required another dose of lead, is bizarre. And he survived.

    They don’t have very good aim, or their ammunition’s ballistics were insufficient, or they felt constrained by potential legal and/or financial repercussions. Perhaps it is a combination, but I think we can all guess at the predominant factor.

  • JanS July 7, 2008 (11:55 pm)

    Scott B…I’m not sure I understand your post. Are you saying that the SPD was wrong to shoot at a suspect coming at them with a gun? (Yes, a pellet gun, for sure, but how did they know that at the time?). Or are you saying they did the right thing, and thank-you.? There were a lot of factors that day that you or I may not know about…especially when they were downtown…and with lots of bystanders in the vicinity. I surely wouldn’t second guess them…and two more criminals off the street, it seems to me.

  • mike July 8, 2008 (1:11 am)


    “As the WM suspect moved to enter the passenger door of the suspect vehicle, Ofc. Wilson kicked the open door shut, in an attempt to keep the suspect from getting into the car, however the suspect managed to get into the vehicle and it immediately fled at a high rate of speed.

    The cops are standing right there, with two patrol cars, slam the door to the getaway car, and yet the suspect, armed with a bb gun “managed to get into the vehicle” and speed off?

    “Ummm, 7-11, donuts….Doh!”

    Nice work guys. Thanks for putting thousands of people at risk.

  • sls July 8, 2008 (11:50 am)

    Geeze, maybe we should let the criminals do whatever they want. It would be so much safer and nicer if the police didn’t even respond to alarms………… What a world.

  • Pelicans July 8, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    Mike-The robbers put people at risk. The cops did their job. Period. Get over it. Way to go SPD.

Sorry, comment time is over.