Police: Employees at Wooster bank fight back against suspect who tried to take them hostage


WOOSTER, Ohio (WJW) — Employees of a local bank are credited with overpowering a man who had taken them hostage and holding him on the ground until police arrived.

Capt. Tony Lemmon with the Wooster Police Department says the incident happened only a few hours after the same suspect called to turn himself in while he was in the process of committing another crime.

The first call came just before midnight Saturday from a local Speedway gas station.

The caller tells dispatchers he is in the process of robbing the store.

“I just robbed the place,” says the caller.

“You just robbed the place?” asks the dispatcher.

“Yeah, I’m in the process of doing it right now. I tried to avoid this,” says the caller.

Police arrive and take 37-year-old Larry Munday of Smithville into custody.

“We’ve actually had this with this subject before. He understands what he’s doing is wrong and that eventually he’s probably going to get caught, so he’s told on himself before,” said Lemmon.

Munday was booked into the Wayne County Jail and released Monday morning.

A short time later, dispatchers start getting numerous calls from a Chase bank right across the street from the jail.

An employee tells them the bank is being robbed and that she and a coworker were hiding in a bathroom, but their regional manager and other bankers were out with the suspect.

Another caller tells dispatchers she was in the bank setting up an account and that customers were allowed to leave but that the employees were not.

“He’s still in the bank. He’s moved them back away from the window. One employee just took off running toward the back,” says the caller.

“He started passing notes to one of the employees asking them to contact the FBI, asking them to tell a manager to lock the doors. He eventually takes one of the employees and orders them to take the blinds down in the bank, tells them that if any of the employees try to leave there is a bomb at the bank and it will blow up,” said Lemmon.

“When officers were actually responding, we were told that the employees were fighting with the suspect inside the bank. They (the officers) were eventually let in by an employee of the bank and when they got inside, there were two employees that were actually holding the suspect down,” he added.

The suspect was identified as Munday.

“Maybe not the most safe thing to do,” said Lemmon of the bank employees’ actions.

“We would encourage people to comply so that nobody gets hurt but that was the decision they made and we applaud their bravery in overpowering him and holding him down until we were able to get there,” he added.

Munday is back in the Wayne County Jail. He has not been charged with robbery because he never made any demand for money at the bank.

Police say they did find a knife on the floor after he had been taken into custody, but employees report that he never threatened to use a weapon.

He is currently being held on a charge of aggravated kidnapping with bond set at $500,000.

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