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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Former Marine foils heist by tackling bank robber

A 41-year-old Kirkland man who tackled a bank robber during a heist will be honored for his heroism by the Bellevue Police and the FBI today at City Hall.

Kristopher Beal was at the Bank of America inside the QFC at 10116 NE Eighth St. after 2 p.m. on Feb. 27, when he noticed the customer at the next teller's window behaving strangely and the teller assisting that customer emptying her cash drawer. Beal made eye contact with that teller and mouthed the words, "Are you being robbed?"

She nodded. Beal, a former Marine, stepped over and bear hugged the suspect from behind. When he attempted to struggle, Beal threw him to the floor and held him until Bellevue Police officers arrived moments later. The suspect was carrying a knife, pepper spray and a flare gun.

Bellevue Police normally advise against citizens putting themselves in harm's way during a violent crime, but Beal had combat experience and, at 6 feet 4 inches and 200 pounds, a significant size advantage over the suspect.

In inventory control at Crate & Barrel in Bellevue, Beal told police, "I work here, and I just didn't want that happening in my city."

Police Chief Linda Pillo applauded Beal's bravery. "While we ask citizens to be vigilant and call 911 when they see something suspicious, I certainly respect Mr. Beal's willingness to risk his own welfare to capture the bank robber. I can't emphasize enough how much citizen involvement assists in the overall safety of our community."

The suspect was interviewed and booked into King County Jail. His identity and further details are being held pending charges by the King County Prosecutor's Office.

This afternoon the Bellevue Police and FBI will present Beal with a Civilian Law Enforcement Merit Award at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Officer Seth Tyler
Phone: 425-452-4129
E-mail: bellevuepd@bellevuewa.gov

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