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2nd Arrest In ATM Robbery



By CANDACE J. SAMOLINSKI The Tampa Tribune

Published: Jul 12, 2006

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the second suspect has taken into custody, and Temple Terrace police have scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference to discuss the case. Stay with TBO.com for updates.

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TEMPLE TERRACE - Stan Jackowski stood outside a bank on Fowler Avenue early Tuesday with a pistol pointed at his abdomen and wondered, "What if?"

What if he had followed his instincts against stopping at the ATM at 2:30 a.m.? What if, instead of trying to reason with the young men who stood before him, he simply had handed over his wallet and the cash he had withdrawn? What if he never again saw his wife of 36 years, Shirley?

Jackowski sat in the living room of his Valrico home Wednesday and pondered an even bigger question: What if the gun had not misfired?

"I probably wouldn't be here," said the 60-year-old truck driver. "I guess my wife was right when she said my guardian angel was watching over me."

Temple Terrace police identified the two men late Wednesday night as Sherman L. Bryant, 17, of Tampa, and Brandon J. McMillan, 16, of Brandon. Authorities arrested Bryant on Wednesday night and were searching for McMillan. They are accused of robbing Jackowski and a man who asked that his name not be released.

The robberies happened less than 24 hours apart outside the Wachovia bank at 5880 E. Fowler Ave. as the men left the ATM, said Lt. Chris Jeffords. Images of the robbers were captured by a surveillance camera in the ATM.

The first robbery was at 6:19 a.m. Monday as traffic clogged Fowler Avenue near 56th Street. That victim, who is 45 and from Thonotosassa, was forced to withdraw additional money, Jeffords said. The robbers shoved him and threatened to shoot him. He was robbed of $250.

In Jackowski's case, he stopped at the ATM, which he has used about once a week for several years, on his way to a job. He made the stop to avoid late-day traffic but ended up spending the afternoon at his doctor's office.

Looking back on his ordeal, Jackowski said he wishes he had done what police recommend: Just hand over the money.

"I saw them and I thought, 'They don't look so bad.' So, I told them, 'You don't have to do this. Just walk away and let me finish my business,'" he said. "The bigger one said, 'Give it up or I'll shoot you.' Then he lifted up his shirt and the gun was under there. He pointed it at me and pulled the trigger."

When the gun didn't fire, the teenagers began beating Jackowski. He's nursing a bruise where he was kicked in the area of his right kidney as he lay on the ground. His face was bruised and scratched. He was robbed of $60.

"One of the fellas was beating the tar out of me while the other one went through my pockets," he said. "I didn't fight back. I [was] trying not to get them mad."

Jackowski holds a concealed weapons permit but was not carrying a firearm because he was on his way to work and his employer does not allow workers to be armed.

At first Jackowski was hesitant to talk publicly about the robbery, then he asked himself another question: What if his story helps to stop the thieves before someone is killed?

"I hope somebody will please call the police if they know them," he said.

Anyone with information about the robbery can call Temple Terrace police at (813) 989-7118.

Reporter Candace J. Samolinski can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 865-4842.

- Janq

Lessons to be learned:
* If you're going to do something then commit to it.
Invest in a proper locking device or even better a car sfae for those times & places where onsite carry is not allowed. Otherwise odds will likely work against you. Life sucks that way.
* Don't visit ATM's at off/oddhours such as middle of the night and early in the AM. Hell I personally just use plastic for most everything and rarely ever hit up an ATM unless going out for a haircut or night out to the club, and even then I try to use the drive through rather than walk-in and do so ahead of time during primt time day light hours.
 
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