I woud like to see the guy after he got slammed to into the pavement!!
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Sheriff Tom Knight today presented a Certificate of Recognition to United States Army Staff Sergeant Eddie Peoples for disarming and subduing the man who robbed the Bank of America, 3600 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, on Tuesday, May 31, 2011.
Above, Sheriff Tom Knight and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples
Peoples was in the bank with his four- and six-year-old sons when an armed man threatened customers and tellers and demanded cash. As the suspect left the bank, Peoples followed him outside and blocked the getaway vehicle with his van. The suspect pointed his weapon at Peoples, who quickly took the weapon away and put the man on the ground. The weapon turned out to be an authentic-looking replica of a handgun.
Peoples, who has been deployed on multiple occasions to Iraq and Kuwait, is currently stationed in Vicenza, Italy. He and his wife Abra had just arrived in the Sarasota area on Monday with their children to visit family.
At today’s ceremony, Sheriff Knight said, “Due to the willingness of Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples to react immediately while disregarding his own safety, the perpetrator was apprehended before he could victimize anyone else.”
The bank robber, 34-year-old Matthew Rogers, is being held in the Sarasota County Jail without bond charged with Armed Robbery and Attempted Armed Carjacking.
SARASOTA, Fla. — An Army staff sergeant home on leave in southwest Florida chased down a suspected bank robber and held him until authorities arrived.
Eddie Peoples was at a Bank of America branch in Sarasota with his two young sons Tuesday when a man walked in with a handgun and demanded cash from the tellers, officials said.
Peoples told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune he sprang into action after the man, identified as 34-year-old Matthew Rogers, threatened his sons.
"The only thing that went through my mind was, 'Don't let them get hurt,'" Peoples told the paper.
Rogers went to each of the four bank tellers at the branch and instructed them to put money in a recycled grocery bag, and told them to leave out dye packs or any other trackers, according to the Herald-Tribune.
He waved his gun toward Peoples, who is black, and warned that "the big black guy" shouldn't try to stop him. Before fleeing the bank, he pointed the gun at Peoples' kids, Ikaika and Kioni. "The kid will get it" if anyone messed with him, Rogers said, according to the Herald-Tribune.
"I could not let that pass," Peoples said.
As the robber tried to make a getaway, Peoples left his sons inside the bank and ran to his rented van, which he used to block Rogers' car in the parking lot. Rogers drove his Honda into the van, trying to bust through it. When that didn't work, he got out and pointed his gun at Peoples, who twisted the man's arm, stripped away the gun and slammed him to the ground.
"I've been through five deployments. I've fought the Muqtada militia, everybody you can think of, so weapons getting pointed at me, it doesn't really bother me anymore," Peoples told FOX News in Tampa Bay. "I took the weapon away from him and put him on the ground and the rest was history."
Sarasota Sheriff's deputies arrived and arrested Rogers, who is charged with armed robbery. The gun turned out to be a realistic toy.
"Every time I get deployed, I always tell my children I'm going to fight the bad men. When I walked back in the bank, my oldest boy said 'did you get the bad men?' and I said 'Yep, I got the bad men' and everyone applauded," Peoples told FOX.
'Piece of cake,' soldier says
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight presented Peoples with a certificate of recognition at a press conference on Wednesday.
The sergeant is home on leave because his father-in-law is ill, reported the Herald-Tribune. He will return to work later this month.
Compared to being in a war zone in the Middle East, thwarting the bank robber was "a piece of cake," Peoples said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.