Dye pack explodes after man tries to rob bank Tear gas, smoke released as robber flees with little or no money

June 23, 1996|By Kathleen B. Hennelly | Kathleen B. Hennelly,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A man attempting to rob the Bradford Federal Savings Bank Friday fled the Ellicott City bank with little, if any, money when an exploding pack discharged tear gas, red dye and red smoke.

Less than an hour later, Howard County police detained several people who had been driving on Bethany Lane toward Route 99, but they were later released.

By yesterday, no one had been charged.

Sgt. Steven Keller, Howard County police spokesman, said that about 11: 15 a.m. Friday, a man held up to a teller at the bank a manila envelope with the message: "I HAVE A GUN!! FILL BAG NOW!!"

The teller gave him money, including a dye pack, police said.

Michael Hasiuk, manager at C & R Paint Supply Inc., next door to the bank at U.S. 40 and Bethany Lane, said he watched as a man fled the bank.

"He jumped off the wall there, and the pack exploded," Hasiuk said.

"He tried to pick up the money, but it was blowing around everywhere. I had to go and pick it all up after I called the cops."

Police would not say how much money was in the envelope or whether the man got away with any money.

The man fled in a black car that appeared to have been waiting for him in a parking lot adjacent to the bank, Hasiuk said.

Two other people, a man and a woman, were in the car, he said.

"I saw their car sitting there with people in it and I thought it looked suspicious," Hasiuk said. "I guess my suspicions were correct."

Police described the robber as black, in his late 30s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and with a slim build and mustache.

He was wearing a white T-shirt with a logo, a baseball hat with a red bill, black jeans and dark glasses, police said.

The bank also was robbed in April.

Pub Date: 6/23/96

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