Bank teller loses job after chasing would-be robber - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bank teller loses job after chasing would-be robber

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Key Bank teller Jim Nicholson was fired two days after chasing down a would-be robber Key Bank teller Jim Nicholson was fired two days after chasing down a would-be robber
SEATTLE, Wash. - Key Bank teller Jim Nicholson said he knew he was violating bank policy by chasing down a would-be bank robber last Tuesday, but instincts kicked in.

Two days later, the two-year employee was fired.

The Washington State resident says he sized-up the suspect and demanded that he show a weapon.

"I said, 'Well, show it to me.' He didn't react. I lunged towards him, he backed off and at that point I ran around the counter and chased him," said Nicholson.

Bank customer Rion Peoples knows Nicholson and couldn't believe he was fired for chasing after the suspect.

"I just can't believe he'd get fired for doing something that I feel was right," Peoples said.

Last Tuesday at the Queen Anne branch, a man put a bag on Nicholson's counter and ordered him to fill it with money.

Nicholson threw the bag on the floor and demanded to see a weapon.

When the man stepped away, Nicholson ran around the counter and chased him.

"The whole time I was running after him I was shouting, 'Call the cops. He tried to rob the bank," recalled Nicholson. "Once I brought him down, there was a whle crowd of people and the cops arrived probably within 30 seconds of me taking him down."

Nicholson says he used to chase shoplifters when he worked retail.

"I've always chased after people and caught them. I felt confident in this situation I could do it again," says Nicholson.

FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt trains bank employees and says employees and citizens shouldn't engage with the robber.

"In no way do we suggest physical confrontation with the robber." said Gutt. "Too many things can go wrong."

When Nicholson returned to the bank, his colleagues were relieved.

"They said 'That was awesome, but you're probably in big trouble,'" said Nicholson.

Key Bank says it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, though a statement was released by Northwest Director of KeyCorp Marketing and Communications Anne Foster. 

"Money, which is insured, can be replaced," wrote Foster, "Lives cannot."

Nicholson said he thought he might get a reprimand, but never expected to be fired.

"The reason I chose to break the policy was, again, because I felt confident that I could apprehend him, that I could stop him from doing this again," he said.

Jim Nicholson is currently unemployed.

He said a police officer at the scene suggested he apply to become a cop.
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