Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gun Beats Bomb in Bank Robbery

(From WXYZ.com) -- An attempted bank robbery in Canton played out like a scene from a movie Monday when a man who police say claimed to have a bomb was stopped by a customer armed with a pistol.

The drama started just after the Comerica bank on Michigan Ave. opened around 9 a.m. Police say 54-year-old man Joseph Webster from Washtenaw County walked up to a teller and handed her a note claiming he had a bomb strapped to his body.

The fast-thinking teller hit the silent alarm while filling a bag with $1 bills -- until, police say, Webster demanded "bands of 50s and 100s." Another teller saw the situation unfolding and alerted Nabil Fawzi, 39, a long-time customer.

Fawzi, who spent six years in the Lebanese army, took matters into his own hands.

He tells WXYZ.com he pulled out a .9 mm handgun (for which he had a CCW permit), racked a bullet in the chamber, pointed it at Webster and announced, "You are not robbing this bank!"

The startled Webster countered with, "but, I have a bomb" -- but Fawzi wasn't impressed. "I don't care. You are not robbing this bank!" was the reply from the other side of the gun. He then forced the Webster into a chair and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

Police tell WXYZ.com there were no injuries, no issues with Fawzi's CCW permit, and no bomb found at the scene.

Webster was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and charged with one count of bank robbery, one count of armed robbery, and a habitual third offense. He faces 25 years to life in prison.

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