Men Honored For Preventing BA Bank Robbery

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6

By Margaret Stokes,

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Less than a month ago, three men tackled a man they thought was about to rob a bank. It happened at the RCB Bank at 71st and Garnett in Broken Arrow.

The man was wearing a ski mask when he walked into the bank, armed with a gun.

Thanks to the heroism of the RCB Bank manager and two bystanders, the man never made it past the foyer door.

On Tuesday, the men were honored by the community and law enforcement.

Bank manager Brent Carol first noticed the man walking into the bank from the window of his front office.

"I was at my desk that faces the entryway and all bankers have been on a high state of alert lately, and in walks at 5:10 on a Thursday afternoon, a gentleman wearing a black ski mask and that is certainly something that gets your attention," said Carol.

Dusty Day was a customer who had just enough time to make a deposit before an engagement that evening. Little did he know what he was walking into.

"I just kinda noticed everyone's expressions changed and I turned around and looked and saw a guy coming through the door, and saw the bank manager actually wrestling at the door with him," said Dusty Day, bank customer.

By that time both Day and Carol realized the man had a gun, and another bystander, Baldomero Tavera, joined the struggle and actually took the gun away.

"I didn't even know they were in the bank. They were just two men in there doing normal banking business and when you look at one of them being about 6'4" and 240, obviously in good shape, the other 5'10" and 220, stocky and strong build, you know that you are very fortunate to have men of that character as well, as physical ability, come to your aid," said Carol.

On Tuesday the three men were honored by the FBI and the Broken Arrow Police Department.

"We don't generally advise people to jump into situations like this. Sometimes when things go too far you may have no choice. And that was the case here, these guys had no choice," said Chief Todd Wuestewald, Broken Arrow police.

For Dusty Day, this incident has changed the way he banks.

"I'm a little bit more alert and I'll probably use the drive-through more often now. There's no reason to go inside," said Day.

56-year-old John Duran is in the Creek County Jail awaiting his court date. For now, RCB says it's continuing to beef up security.