Sunday, August 02, 2009

Jim Nicholson: now here's a real American hero

To hell with Key Bank. As of today, I'm glad they haven't had my business for years, and they'll never get it again until they apologize to Jim Nicholson and compensate him.
Seattle bank teller chases robber, loses job

SEATTLE — A Seattle bank teller has lost his job because he ran down a would-be bank robber and held him until police arrived. Jim Nicholson, 30, who had worked for more than two years at a Key Bank branch near the Seattle Center, says he understands the bank's strict policy that employees comply with robbery demands and avoid confrontations.

But he told The Seattle Times that instinct took over when a thin man in a beanie cap, dark clothing and sunglasses pushed a black backpack across the bank counter on Tuesday and demanded money.

Nicholson threw the bag to the floor, lunged toward the man and demanded to see a weapon. The man bolted for the door with Nicholson in pursuit.

He chased him several blocks before knocking him to the ground with the help of a passer-by. Nicholson then held the man until police arrived.

On Thursday, Nicholson was fired. Key Bank spokeswoman Anne Foster declined to comment on Nicholson and his actions.

Police and the FBI discourage such heroics. Bank tellers are trained to get robbers out the door quickly and are advised against possibly escalating a situation over money that's federally insured.

Nicholson said he understands why he was fired.

"They tell us that we're just supposed to comply, but my instincts kicked in and I did what's best to stop the guy," he said. "I thought if I let him go he would rob more banks and cause more problems."

Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the best course for citizens is to be good witnesses to crimes.

"When confronted by a violent criminal, it is best to comply unless they feel their personal safety is in jeopardy. It is possible that taking action and confronting the criminal may lead to the injury of the victim or other bystanders."

"You want tellers to be proactive, but you want them to do it safely," said FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt.

The would-be robber, a 29-year-old transient, has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft and robbery, according to court records. Charges in the attempted robbery were not immediately filed.

Nicholson said he has run after shoplifters while working at other retail jobs.

"It's something I almost look forward to. It's a thrill and I'm an adrenaline-junkie person. It's the pursuit," he said.
Without a weapon, Nicholson saved the bank money, he saved the taxpayers money by doing what law enforcement couldn't have done (respond in time), and he didn't get hurt. Read what he said again: "I thought if I let him go he would rob more banks and cause more problems." He didn't fall for this fallacy that, "Oh, the money is federally insured, the taxpayers can just eat our losses!"

He should be getting the Employee of the Month parking spot and a special letter of commendation from the CEO, not a pink slip. Do you hear me, Henry L. Meyer III?

Good luck to you, Jim. It's small solace that potential employers now know you have the guts to defend yourself and your workplace.


Blogger J-Luck said...

Sucks that he lost his job. It's possible that he could have endangered others, however, and the punishment is just. He admitted this himself, in a local news interview.

Regardless of outcomes though, I give him a great deal of credit for having the balls to attack a potentially armed robber. Clearly he was in the wrong line of work.

With the phenomenon of viral videos, and the instant circulation of news via internet, I'm sure he'll have no trouble finding a sympathetic organization that will hire him, or make him a spokesperson.

Monday, August 03, 2009 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger Al said...

He is what the establishment and woossey girlie men liberals hate. A real man with balls. The ones that put their lives in danger in the trenches to save our freedom so we can sip our lattes and pick up on girls with fake boobs drinking more lattes.

These men once made America possible. They are a relic. Our down-breeding is obvious. So he was a cowboy. While the intellectuals tremble. If I had been a visitor I would have complied and lied on the floor until I could find an opening and get the robber. So I am only a half woos.

Give him a job where he can be appreciated, Guarding moslem terrorists perhaps.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

If the bank had of had the same feeling to protect their money as Jim, we wouldn't be in a recession. Jim should have been promoted to a director position.

If I had any money left after losing it to bad investments I would hire him.

Thanks Jim. Best of luck.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Scorpius said...

The problem here is "institutional thinking". The bank, warned by lawyer's of liability if employees take it upon themselves to stop robbers and get hurt, devise a "zero tolerance" policy against vigilante actions. So, if an employee does and is hurt, the bank has the ability to protect themselves from liability by saying "that is not only not our policy, we strenuously advise against these actions. Look, we fired that guy who stopped the robber and didn't hurt himself".

Then there's the problem of cops not wanting to deal with a possibly wounded/murdered civilian in their quest to stop the robber. They have to cover themselves because if a teller gets hurt in a robbery turned chase they get in the press and then their politician bosses, hurt by the coverage, will yank their chain.

It's not a complicated issue, every good person in our society is in CYA mode constantly due to lawsuits and bad press affecting weak minds to the person's detriment.

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:31:00 PM  

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