Customers, employees tackle ME bank robber
PORTLAND, Maine -- Customers and employees took down a wannabe robber at a Maine bank before he could get away with the money.
Bill Umbel was standing in line at the bank when he saw 31-year-old Benjamin Porier hand the teller a note, which said he demanded money and claimed to have a gun, according to police.
“I didn't see a weapon, I didn't even know he was robbing the bank, I thought it was a street fight at first,” said Umbel.
It wasn’t long until Umbel realized it wasn’t a street fight and he was witnessing a bank robbery.
“The gentleman walked behind me and slugged the guy that was standing behind the counter and jumped right on top of him and said he was trying to rob the bank. He said he needed some help, so I jumped on the guy too and we held him down until the cops showed up,” said Umbel.
After getting the would-be thief on the ground, he held him down by his feet and arms, customers and employees sat on him and knocked him unconscious.
“When the sergeant arrived at the scene, they were essentially holding him on the ground and at that point there was up to five -- a combination of bank employees and customers that were holding him down on the ground,” said Chief Michael Sauschuck of the Portland Police Department.
Portland’s acting police chief said that while the act was brave, it shouldn’t be duplicated.
“While it's courageous to want to help your neighbor, it's certainly nothing that we endorse. We want to make sure everybody's safe, first and foremost, and we wouldn't think tackling a bank robber in an unknown situation -- or any situation -- would be the appropriate way to handle that,” said Sauschuck.
No one else was injured in the robbery.
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