Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ex-Marine recalls Thwarted Bank Robberry note: Normally, our staff focuses on topics and concerns that address the immediate city of Milton, GA. However, there will be times when we believe certain individuals need to be recognized for their positive contributions to society; no matter where the reside. In our view, Timothy Armstead is a hero. ->

By S.A. REID / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Published on: 07/11/07

Former marine Timothy Armstead was already upset about money missing from his account when he walked into the Washington Mutual Bank branch near South DeKalb Mall Tuesday.
But his bad day turned into an even worse day for an armed robber.

Armstead, who recounted his heroics on Wednesday, said he was the only other person in the bank when a man walked up to a teller's window and demanded $2,000. The man held a fire extinguisher and gave the teller five minutes to get him the money.

"The next thing I hear was a guy saying, 'If you don't give me the money, I'm going to blow up the place,'" recalled Armstead, 27, of Decatur.

Armstead, who is now the owner of a janitorial business, felt his six years in the Marines, including two tours in Iraq, prepared him to handle the situation.

After the teller brought the cash, the robber put the pin back in the extinguisher and turned to walk out the door, swinging it just wide enough for Armstead to follow.

"I looked at his neck to see if I could put him in a chokehold," Armstead said. Once he had the robber under control he administered a lecture, telling him, "It's stupid what you're doing. You're wasting your life ..."

Armstead held the man until police arrived to take him to the DeKalb County Jail. Steve Martin has been charged with armed robbery, according to police.

"What I did was something to stop all the stupidity going on," Armstead said.

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