A local man was nailed by police after he tried to attack tellers at U.S. Bank with a hammer, the shirtless assailant blasted with pepper spray as he turned on officers.
The suspect, Arlan Pinkard, 32, was subdued by police officers as he stood inside U.S. Bank on Chancery Street around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a hammer still in his hand. Police hit the suspect in the face with pepper spray after he came toward them when he was told to drop his weapon.
The pepper spray, which filled the bank lobby with its vapor, floored the suspect and also left officers, who took him to the ground, worse for wear with mouths and eyes full of the choking substance. Pinkard was treated outside the bank by ambulance personnel for the tear gas exposure.
According to preliminary reports, Pinkard walked into the bank and jumped the teller counter. He then grabbed a hammer from behind the counter from a spot where construction was taking place. The suspect then began chasing employees from behind the counter, yelling threats as he brandished the hammer.
Police were called immediately, with employees inside the building encouraging police to hurry since the robber appeared to be infuriated and out of control. Police say there was damage to the inside of the bank caused by Pinkard who was apparently taking out his rage on items within the bank as he was chasing the tellers.
The rage, police suspect, carried over from a domestic incident in which he was involved just minutes before on Kirby Street, located less than five minutes from the bank. Police were actually taking a report on the domestic incident on Kirby Street when they got the alarm about the suspected bank robbery. Officers arrived at the bank within two minutes of the alarm.
Charges were pending against Pinkard at press time. However, police admit they may have problems with charging robbery since they arrived on the scene before the suspect could issue demands for money. However, he is likely to face multiple counts of aggravated assault for threatening tellers and police with the hammer, plus he could face charges of making terroristic threats. While perhaps avoiding bank robbery charges here, federal authorities may end up filing robbery charges on him since their bank robbery statute is much broader. It also carries more prison time.