College Park Man Charged in Arlington Bank Robbery
Police: Suspect denied robbing a bank before being accused of it.
A 26-year-old alleged bank robber was taken into custody Wednesday morning approximately five minutes after a witness called police.
Nathaniel Rush, 26, of College Park, Md., was arrested and charged with bank robbery and is currently being held without bond.
Rush entered the PNC Bank at 4401 Wilson Blvd. on Wednesday wearing a red-and-purple wig, a bright yellow shirt, a black hat and sunglasses, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
"He drew attention to himself," Sternbeck said.
Rush presented a teller with a note that stated, "Bank robbery, no dye," and had a picture of a gun on it, Sternbeck said.
The teller gave Rush an undisclosed amount of cash and he left the building, Sternbeck said. A witness watched him leave and followed him at a safe distance while on the phone with police, Sternbeck said.
In a nearby alley, Rush — who had on several layers of clothes — began changing his appearance when a dye pack exploded, covering the cash and Rush's face and shirt with red paint, Sternbeck said.
Rush noticed several people were watching him, and began heading toward the Ballston Metro station, Sternbeck said. He left the cash behind.
The witness followed him and soon pointed him out to an officer who happened to be in the area for a traffic stop. The officer approached Rush, drew his gun and physically put him on the ground after the man refused to do so on his own, Sternbeck said.
"The suspect had evidence of red dye on him and he looks up at the officer and utters the words, 'You have the wrong guy. I didn't rob a bank.' Something along those lines. And this is without the officer saying anything about a bank robbery," Sternbeck said.
This happened about 5 minutes after the first call came in reporting the robbery at about 9:46 a.m., he said.
Sternbeck would not say if Rush has a criminal history.
Rush did not have a weapon on him, Sternbeck said.
"As soon as you observe a criminal act, please call police immediately," he said. "Don't take the law into your own hands. So, this citizen did the right thing in contacting police immediately when he saw something."
This is twice in as many weeks where a routine traffic stop has been anything but. Last week, an Arlington officer stopped a car to issue a seat belt warning and ended up delivering someone's baby.