Man gets 20 years in prison in attempted bank robbery

2 others charged in attack on teller with stun gun

April 02, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A 23-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a bizarre robbery attempt that was foiled with the help of a passer-by.

Kevin E. Lee of the 5900 block of Bland Ave. was sentenced by Chief Judge John G. Turnbull II for attempted armed robbery after Lee admitted to trying to steal the key to a Reisterstown bank from a teller by knocking her unconscious with a stun gun.

Assistant State's Attorney Adam D. Lippe said Lee and two accomplices planned to knock out the teller, Lori Jancasz, tie her up and put her in the trunk of their car. They planned to use her key to enter the drive-through booth of the First Union Bank in Reisterstown, tie up another teller inside and take the cash, he said.

But Lippe said that instead of knocking out Jancasz, the stun gun sent electric shocks through her body, burning her skin and making some of her hair fall out.

Lippe said yesterday that the scheme was hatched by a former First Union teller, Monique Torian, 21. She is scheduled to be tried May 21 on attempted robbery and assault charges.

Lippe said that Torian invited Jancasz to lunch Dec. 27. Torian had quit working at First Union about two months earlier.

Torian and Jancasz were not close friends, but Torian knew that Jancasz handled cash at the bank and had a key to the drive-through window booth, Lippe said.

On Dec. 27, Torian drove Jancasz to Chartley Shopping Center about 11 a.m., told Jancasz she had to run an errand, got out and walked away, he said.

Within minutes, two men jumped into Torian's Nissan Maxima and one began applying a stun gun to Jancasz's neck and head, police said.

"They had planned to tape her up, put a huge blanket over her, put her in the trunk of the car, take her key and rob the bank," Lippe said.

But a passer-by, Henry Redwine, 71, of Reisterstown, saw the men from the wheel of his pickup and backed the truck into their getaway car, according to police and Lippe. "He was the guy who saved the day," Lippe said.

The two men sped off in their dented Mitsubishi Gallant, Lippe said.

Jancasz identified Torian's husband, Eddie Torian, as one of the assailants and Monique Torian confessed, Lippe said.

Eddie Torian, 21, who surrendered later that day, is scheduled to be tried on charges of assault and attempted armed robbery May 16.

Lee's lawyer told Turnbull yesterday that his client had cooperated with police, surrendering voluntarily shortly after the incident and admitting his guilt.

But Lippe said Lee showed no remorse and might have inflicted more serious injuries if it weren't for Redwine's heroics.

"As far as Mr. Lee is concerned, it was just greed and sheer stupidity," Lippe said. "He showed absolutely no regard for the victim."

Jancasz, 35, appeared in court yesterday with a full head of shoulder-length hair. After the sentencing, she thanked Redwine.

Redwine, a retired landscaper and maintenance worker, said he felt compelled to act because he didn't want the two men to escape.

"I just put my truck in reverse and let them have it," he said.

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