FBI arrest suspected bank robber following stand-off in Akron

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 11:39 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A high-speed chase turned into a tense swat situation that ended peacefully on Friday.

Authorities told 19 News the suspect they were after robbed a bank and he’s now behind bars. 19 Investigates obtained the exclusive video of the stand-off and an interview with a witness.

Ken Robinson said it was a little before 11:30 in the morning when the suspect came speeding down Carnegie Avenue in Akron. He said the man crashed into a fire hydrant and hit two cars.

Dramatic video obtained exclusively by 19 news shows the moments a bank robbery suspect lost control of his car, dragging a fire hydrant along with him.

“There was water spraying up in the air basically and it was going everywhere, and it flooded everything out,” said Robinson.

Ken Robinson lives a couple of blocks away from his sister and when he got a call that police were chasing a dangerous fugitive through her backyard, he came running to her rescue.

“It was scary,” Robinson recalled. “My sister was hyperventilating she was so scared, and I told her just go lock yourself in the bedroom and I will stay here and if he comes in, I won’t let him get to you.”

The FBI said on Friday morning police responded to a bank robbery at the Apple Creek Banking Company in Canal Fulton. Authorities said the suspect took off with cash and highway patrol chased him into Akron. Akron police got involved too and he ended up crashing on Carnegie Avenue. Before Robinson knew it, that man was barricaded in his sister’s shed and her house was surrounded by dozens of troopers, Akron police officers, and FBI agents.

“They had this whole area surrounded and they knew he was in there and so he started taking items out of the shed and throwing them at the police,” Robinson said. “It was unbelievable. It was almost a suspension of disbelief to believe what I was seeing. I mean the guy took a corn hole table and threw it at a police dog and hit the police dog.”

Robinson saw the whole thing and he says the standoff came close to ending tragically.

“He got down on all fours behind some of the stuff that we had in my sister’s shed where you could not see his hands and the police were saying, ‘Let me see your hands, let me see your hands, come out, come out!’ And he looked at one of the officers and he said, ‘It’s either gonna be me or you today. One of the two of us is not coming out of this.’”

Robinson said there was a point where he feared for his and his sister’s safety.

“I was armed in the house so I was there willing to protect my sister but that’s the last thing I would ever wanna do,” Robinson said. “I was armed but obviously when you’re in a situation like that you start weighing out could I actually do that? Could I do that? Yeah, I could do it for her, maybe not for me, but for her, I could.”

Eventually, Robinson says authorities sent in a German Shepherd, and the suspect gave up when the dog started biting him.

“I’m very grateful I mean given the climate that we live in, the interactions between police and some of these nefarious people we’ll see is often the things of nightmares, they really are and I’m just so glad nobody got killed, the bad guy went to prison, no police got hurt, to me this was the absolute best outcome you could ever ask for,” said Robinson.

The FBI has not released the suspect’s name, but he is in custody. They said charges are pending.