Bank employee commended for fighting off robber

Bank employee commended for fighting off robber (Abilene Police Department via Storyful)

A bank employee in Abilene, Texas, was lauded by police after fighting off a suspect who attempted to rob a branch of First State Bank on the morning of September 24.

The Abilene Police Department released footage of the incident on Wednesday, October 2, showing the suspect walking the employee at gunpoint toward the bank and forcing her into the building. A second employee later arrived and was also forced inside. At that point, the first woman started to fight with the suspect, kicking and hitting him, eventually prompting him to flee the scene without any money.

The employee who tussled with the suspect was named by police as Jill Beatty, a 39-year banking veteran. Beatty was ambushed by the suspect as she arrived at work, and spent 15 minutes inside the bank alone with the suspect before her coworker arrived, police said.

Chief Stan Standridge said Beatty “showed remarkable calm” but, when the other employee arrived, became a “momma bear” in order to protect her coworker. Beatty sustained minor injuries to her face when the robber hit her with his gun, Standridge said.

She received a Certificate of Commendation from Chief Standridge on Tuesday, October 1.

According to police, the suspect, said to be a black male in his 40s or 50s with a “pronounced limp in his left leg,” was believed to be responsible for two other bank robberies in the city – one in April 2015 and another in July 2016.

Police appealed to the public for help identifying the man.

Storyful contacted First State Bank for their response to Beatty’s actions, but they declined to comment.

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