Secure in the cab of his big Food Town rig, Leo Lisk didn't feel a thing yesterday when a car carrying three alleged bank robbers fleeing police at up to 80 mph smashed into his truck.
The truck dragged the stolen 1986 Oldsmobile for almost 100 yards down the center lane of the eastbound Anthony Wayne Trail, before stopping at Woodsdale Avenue by the Toledo Zoo.
The three Toledo men suspected of robbing the Fifth Third bank in Maumee piled out of their car - one of them bleeding from a facial laceration - and tried to run from police officers scrambling to catch them.
“The three guys inside the car all got out and ran,” Mr. Lisk of Swanton said. “And the cops, carrying shotguns, were running after them. It was pretty dramatic.”
Maumee Lt. Mike Fortney, left, shows the Oldsmobile that ran into a semi to end an auto chase on the Anthony Wayne Trail.
Another Food Town driver, Bob Beehner of Sylvania, had been following Mr. Lisk in the right lane. He saw the Oldsmobile coming up fast in the center lane and cut in front of his own rig.
“All of a sudden I hear this squeal, and there's this car going in front of me,” Mr. Beehner said. “It stunned me for a minute, and I had to lock up my brakes to keep from hitting them.”
After a brief foot pursuit north on Woodsdale, the alleged robbers were collared by two pursuing Maumee officers and a Lucas County sheriff's deputy. Cash and three handguns were recovered.
The suspects are Anthony Rogers, 35, who has no known address, Tjuan Anderson, 20, 414 Boston Pl., and Richard Hackney, 22, 106 West Delaware Ave.
They are being held in the Lucas County jail without bond on federal charges of armed bank robbery.
The three are scheduled to make initial appearances in U.S. District Court today.
Maumee police and the FBI say the men were wearing ski masks and armed with handguns when they entered the bank at 520 Conant St. about 9:25 a.m. They jumped over the counter and filled a large, black gym bag with cash.
A bank customer at the drive-through window saw what was going on and alerted police via his cell phone.
Inside the bank, where police said there were only a few customers, one of the men fired a shot into the floor, but authorities couldn't say if it was deliberate or an accidental discharge of the weapon, Maumee Detective Sgt. Gayle Lohrbach said.
The suspects used two cars in their attempted getaway, both stolen from Toledo, FBI Special Agent Lou Genide said.
They abandoned the first vehicle, a Cadillac, at the intersection of John and White streets in Maumee and transferred to the Oldsmobile they had positioned there.
Maumee police Lt. Mike Noble said the seriousness of the crime justified the risk of a high-speed pursuit by his officers.
“We had three armed men in ski masks fleeing from a bank robbery, where a shot had been fired,” he said.
Lieutenant Noble said a second citizen with a cell phone had called police from the intersection of Ford and Broadway streets to update them on the location of the fleeing suspects. “The tips were very helpful. The involved citizens made a big difference,” he said.