I'm not sure whether two recent bank robberies say much about the difference between bank customers and credit union customers, but they might. A woman in Florida walked in on a stick-up of a Wells Fargo branch, retreated to her car, then chased the crook's truck down the interstate, called a license plate in to the cops, and kept on the guy's tail until the police took over and nabbed him. In classic Good Samaritan fashion (or out of an excess of caution), she refused to be identified. The police shook her hand, even though the company line is to discourage "civilians" from playing cops and robbers.
The credit union customer, also a Floridian, wasn't an observer of a crime, he was its victim, and he took the law into his own hands.
One suspected robber is dead and his 19-year-old accused accomplice is facing charges after a man they tried to rob Friday outside a bank in Seminole County pulled out a gun and opened fire in self-defense, authorities said.
Justin Slivinski, 24, of Oviedo was shot to death late Friday night when, deputies say, he and accomplice Austin Lee Harvey of Altamonte Springs tried to rob a man at a Fern Park drive-through ATM.
at about 10:20 p.m. at the Fairwinds Credit Union on Fernwood Boulevard between U.S. Highway 17-92 and Oxford Road.
When they brandished knives, the victim pulled out his handgun and fired, a Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.
He shot Slivinski twice. Slivinski was taken to Florida Hospital Altamonte, where he died.
Harvey took off on foot after the shooting but a tipster led deputies to him, record state. He was arrested Saturday afternoon and faces attempted armed robbery and murder charges.
Deputies said the murder charge was added because the attempted robbery contributed to Slivinski's death.
The customer wasn't charged because he was obviously acting in self-defense. One lesson of these incidents might be that it's not smart to rob either banks or credit unions, but it's really not smart to rob a credit union customer driving a truck, particularly when you're not packing.
The reader who alerted me to the story about credit union customer intoned the age-old adage, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight!" Wise counsel, that. However, many bankers may not know that the foregoing rule is only one of 26 rules for conducting a gunfight, the other 25 of which have been preserved for posterity at a website lovingly devoted to the Browning 1911 .45 automatic combat pistol. Among my personal favorites:
1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap – life is expensive.
3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.”
10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. Have a plan.
13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.
18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)
19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
25. You can’t miss fast enough to win.