An Army staff sergeant home on leave in southwest Florida chased down a suspected bank robber and held him until authorities arrived.
Eddie Peoples was at a Bank of America branch in Sarasota with his two young sons Tuesday when a man walked in with a handgun and demanded cash from the tellers, officials said.
Peoples told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune he sprang into action after the man, identified as 34-year-old Matthew Rogers, threatened his sons.
Rogers went to each of the four bank tellers at the branch and instructed them to put money in a recycled grocery bag, and told them to leave out dye packs or any other trackers, according to the Herald-Tribune.
He waved his gun toward Peoples, who is black, and warned that “the big black guy” shouldn’t try to stop him. Before fleeing the bank, he pointed the gun at Peoples’ kids, Ikaika and Kioni. “The kid will get it” if anyone messed with him, Rogers said, according to the Herald-Tribune.
“I could not let that pass,” Peoples said.
As the robber tried to make a getaway, Peoples left his sons inside the bank and ran to his rented van, which he used to block Rogers’ car in the parking lot. Rogers drove his Honda into the van, trying to bust through it. When that didn’t work, he got out and pointed his gun at Peoples, who twisted the man’s arm, stripped away the gun and slammed him to the ground.
“I’ve been through five deployments. I’ve fought the Muqtada militia, everybody you can think of, so weapons getting pointed at me, it doesn’t really bother me anymore,” Peoples told FOX News in Tampa Bay. “I took the weapon away from him and put him on the ground and the rest was history.
An Army staff sergeant home on leave in southwest Florida chased down a suspected bank…
by Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta / Jun 1, 2011