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Turns out bank robbery was 'a joke'

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Covington Police went on high alert when they received word a man was attempting to rob United Bank on Wednesday morning, but when all was said and done, it was determined the would-be robber was engaging in a dangerous game of "just playing around."

According to a CPD incident report, 911 dispatch was notified a man was at the bank at 9100 Dr. M.L. King Jr. Ave., attempting to rob it.

"Upon arrival, other officers and I pulled to tactical positions across the street from the bank for further observation," the incident report states. "... I noted two female bank employees standing outside the front entrance, accompanied by a male subject in a green shirt and shorts. I exited my patrol vehicle and yelled to the employees to ask where the male was that had attempted to rob the bank. The two women pointed at the man in the green shirt, who was now walking back into the (bank)."

Officers entered the bank with their pistols drawn and saw the man in the green shirt standing with an elderly man at the counter.

"The man in the green shirt was looking at me and speaking to the elderly man," the officer states in his report, adding that he yelled to the man to hold up his hands and turn around and walk backward to the sound of his voice.

The man complied and was told to lie down on the floor face first, at which time he was handcuffed.

Bank employees said the man had entered the bank with his hand under his shirt, stating that he had a gun and wanted the money. He then asked who he needed to pass a note to because he wanted all the money, the report stated.

As questioning about the incident continued, officers learned that the elderly man was the suspect's stepfather. He told officers the suspect had diminished brain function due to a car accident several years earlier.

Officers said it was clear that the suspect did not understand the seriousness of what he had done, and stated repeatedly, "I was just playing around," "It was a joke" and "I didn't mean to scare anyone."

The man was given a criminal trespass warning for United Bank and released to the custody of his stepfather.