Armed man becomes irate at bank teller

OKEECHOBEE — A Lake Placid man was arrested at an Okeechobee bank Tuesday after he became upset in the drive-through line then grabbed a handgun and stuck it in the waistband of his pants.

The 36-year-old lineman did not threaten or point the .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol at the two bank employees who were trying to help him, pointed out Deputy Joseph Hall in his arrest report.

After losing his temper at the two female bank employees, the man reportedly “… started slamming things in his truck and mumbling to himself,” stated the deputy’s arrest report.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) deputy went on to detail how the man got out of his silver Ford F-150 pickup, put on a pair of boots and a shirt, placed the pistol in the waistband of his pants and began walking in a northerly direction on South Parrott Avenue.

He walked away from the bank around 6:15 p.m. and left his truck sitting in the drive through, noted the report.

OCSO deputies Brian Cross and John Fisher caught up with the man in the 2100 block of U.S. 441 South.

Deputy Cross took the fully-loaded firearm away from the man, who was then arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and improper exhibition of a firearm.

He was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $1,000. Jail records indicate he has been released on bond.

According to Deputy Hall’s report the man had called the Harbor Community Bank on U.S. 441 South and asked if they would stay open late for him. He apparently told a bank employee he was driving from Miami to Lake Placid and his pickup was out of gas and he needed money.

He was told they would wait for him, stated the deputy’s report.

However, after his arrival the man apparently tried to make a cash withdrawal. But, he was told they couldn’t give him any money due to their seven-day check clearing policy. It was then suggested he try a local cash advance business.

At this point he “… became very upset and started hitting his dash board and yelling,” noted Deputy Hall.

The deputy went on to point out although the man was armed and visibly upset, he never threatened the two women with the gun, never pointed the firearm in their direction or made any threatening gestures toward the women.

Deputy Hall went on to state the man was arrested without further incident, and his truck was towed from the bank.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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