An article Wednesday incorrectly identified a man arrested in a bank robbery. The suspect is William McCollough of Dallas, D.C. police said.
Two marines, one named Outlaw and the other Banks, teamed with several others yesterday in tackling an alleged bank robber in a tactical "sandwich" maneuver in which they recovered $900 and held the suspect for police.
Inside the suspect's shoulder bag, police said, the men found two pistols and a homemade bomb that D.C. police later detonated.
"Response first and think later," was the word from Marine recruiting Sgt. Kenneth Outlaw, minutes after he tackled William M. Stoner, 41, of Dallas, who was charged with bank robbery in connection with the robbery of the Madison National Bank at 615 12th St. NW. "We probably would have done the same thing all over again."
The incident started about 10:20 a.m., police said, when a man entered the bank, handed a teller a note asking for large bills, and showed the teller a shoulder bag he was holding with a gun inside it.
The teller handed him $900, and the man left. The teller activated an alarm, but in the meantime a young woman customer who saw the transaction followed the man outside. She ran up to four men, three of them Marine and Navy recruiters in uniform, standing outside the armed forces recruiting office next door to the bank, and told them a bank robber was escaping.
Navy Chief Petty Officer Richard James, 24, was talking with Outlaw and Marine Sgt. Rodney Banks, 31, both of whom were trying to persuade ex-Marine Venson Prescott to reenlist.
"The bank has just been held up and there goes the guy who did it, the one with the hat on," the woman told the group, according to interviews.
The four ran around the corner after a man in a hat and grabbed him near 11th and G streets NW. The woman, whose name is being withheld by police, realized she had pointed out the wrong man, and then spotted another man walking hurriedly down F Street whom she believed to be the robber.
The man, who was trying to remove his shirt underneath a shoulder bag he had hanging from his neck, was at 10th and F streets when the marines arrived.
"It was kind of like a sandwich," Banks said. Prescott ran in front of the man and grabbed him low, Banks said, while Outlaw tackled him from behind. The operation was performed without words, Banks said. "We didn't need to talk about it," he said. "The marines are a team. We're trained to act together."
Stoner was held on the ground by Outlaw, a six-year veteran who lives at Bolling Field; Banks, a 12-year veteran of Bolling Field; James, of Southeast Washington; and Prescott, of 16th Street SE.
Inside the bag, police found two pistols, a homemade explosive device and $900, police said. The D.C. police bomb squad later detonated the device, police said.
Stoner, who police said told them he had arrived in town only a day before the robbery, was ordered held on $15,000 bond by a D.C. Superior Court magistrate. Stoner's lawyer could not be reached for comment.
For the recruiters, yesterday was a break from their humdrum daily work. "It's not a job," said Banks, quoting the Navy recruiting slogan. "It's an adventure."
Prescott apparently agreed. But he reenlisted as a Marine instead.