Woman, 60, Honored by Police After Fighting Off Armed Bank Robber She Was Alone with for 15 Minutes


Jill Beatty doesn’t seem like an action
hero. She isn’t physically imposing — actually, she looks more like somebody’s grandmother
than a bodyguard. But last week, the 60-year-old bank employee
unleashed her inner Chuck Norris after being ambushed while entering a bank in Texas. According to CNN, Beatty was one of the first
employees to arrive at First State Bank in Abilene, Texas, on the morning of Sept. 24.
As she’s done many other days, she began unlocking the building to prepare for the
day. But an attacker was lying in wait. “As she went to unlock the door, a man jumped
out of the bushes with a gun,” CNN reported. “He could be seen on a surveillance video
forcing his way inside with Beatty at gunpoint.” At first, the woman complied with the criminal.
For about 15 agonizing minutes, she was held captive inside the bank, no doubt fearful
of what the armed attacker would do next. But when a second woman arrived for her shift
at the bank, Beatty decided to act. “The 60-year-old can be seen on video jostling
with the robber, pushing him back toward the door before delivering one final, swift kick,”
CNN reported. “The robber struck the top of Beatty’s head with his gun before escaping
through the front door.” It was a gutsy move, but one that worked.
The would-be robber decided to high-tail it out of the bank, leaving without stealing
a dime and fleeing in a waiting vehicle. Even after her heroic actions, the bank employee
stayed humble, declining to be interviewed by CNN. Nevertheless, police are hailing her
for staying calm when others might have panicked. “She is a remarkable citizen. She showed
remarkable calm. She never lost her head. She in fact negotiated with him,” police
Chief Stan Standridge said to KTXS-TV, according to CNN. Making those accolades official, Standridge
presented Beatty with a “certificate of commendation” for her role in the ordeal. It appears that the attempted robbery wasn’t
an isolated incident. Authorities said the suspect may have been a serial bank robber
wanted for his role in other crimes in 2015 and 2016. Although his latest crime was foiled, the
suspect is still on the loose. “Police described the suspect as an older
black male in his 40s or 50s with partially gray facial hair, standing approximately 5’6″,
who walks with a ‘pronounced limp in his left leg,’” CNN reported. “He was wearing
‘an Ed Hardy-style shirt’ as well as a black ski mask.” The bank employee’s decision to engage the
armed robber could have gone much differently, of course, but there’s no denying that her
actions took serious bravery. This incident shows once again that a will to act can often
make a difference, even if the odds seem stacked.

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