The Chicago Tribune detailed a pretty weird story last week, of a Harwood Heights attempted bank robbery. The suspect being held in custody, Andrew Johnston, reportedly demanded $2,500-3,500 dollars from the bank tellers stating that he was robbing the place wearing a black mask and holding a phone to his face. He told them apparently that a family member had been kidnapped and a family member was dealing with gambling issues. He also reportedly was not carrying any gun. According to the article a customer in the drive through lane was alerted by one of the terrified tellers. “The teller stated that she was “really scared” and put her hands up, telling investigators that the suspect mumbled so fast at times she couldn’t understand his words, according to the complaint. She told investigators that she looked out the drive-up window and saw a customer holding up his phone, motioning to the teller as to whether she needed him to call the police, the complaint said. The teller stated that when she nodded “yes” toward the customer, Johnston appeared to notice and left the bank without taking money, according to the complaint.” The police were able to catch the fleeing suspect with a detailed witness description of what he looked like and what car he was driving in.
The stranger part of the story comes after the arrest where the suspect Johnston seemed to feel genuine remorse for what he had done, after hearing how traumatized one of the bank tellers was. According to Harwood Heights deputy chief John DeVries, “So after I showed him to the tellers, the one teller was really emotionally upset, very hysterical about what was going on. I walked him back to my squad car and I said, ‘Did you see the face of that young girl who works here for probably $10 an hour, how shook up she was?’ He asked me if I could please walk him back to the window so he could apologize, sincerely, to this woman for what he did to her,” DeVries said. “And he did — he was very sincere about it. It’s in my report, and when the federal agents came I made sure that was noted because I found that was impressive on my part as a policeman. So kudos to him.” The apology was very unusual according to DeVries, saying he had never seen something like it in over 30 years of investigative work in the town.
Lets be happy that no one was physically hurt though obviously our best goes out to the traumatized bank tellers who had to face the possibility of robbery and danger to their persons. Knowing the mental damage the suspect caused, it’s also good though that he seemed genuinely remorseful for it and I hope he can get his life on track and not put himself and others in these types of situations again. The article didn’t mention whether his story about the gambling or kidnapping were confirmed or found to be fabricated.