This story comes courtesy of My Fox Tampa Bay.
SARASOTA – A U.S. Army soldier visiting family in the Bay Area is being called a hero. Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples foiled a bank robbery in Sarasota.
At around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Peoples and his two children stopped at the Bank of America on Bee Ridge and Beneva Roads. Suddenly, Sgt. Peoples realized someone was holding up the bank.
“He waves the gun at one of my children. So after he walked out of the bank, I followed him out here,” said Peoples, speaking with FOX 13 in the parking lot of the bank after the entire ordeal.
Outside of the bank, Peoples jumped into his white rental van and cornered the suspected bank robber, who was trying to get away in his green Honda. Both men got out of their vehicles.
A woman, who didn’t want to be identified, stumbled upon the confrontation. She described seeing the armed suspect threaten Peoples with the gun.
“He’s got a bank bag and a gun and he’s pointing it at the gentleman in the white van,” she said.
Sgt. Peoples was not deterred.
“I’ve been through five deployments. I’ve fought the Muqtada militia, everybody you can think of, so weapons getting pointed at me, it doesn’t really bother me anymore,” he said. “I took the weapon away from him and put him on the ground and the rest was history.”
Deputies arrested 34-year-old Matthew Rogers. He is charged with armed robbery.
“Every time I get deployed, I always tell my children I’m going to fight the bad men. When I walked back in the bank, my oldest boy said ‘did you get the bad men?’ and I said ‘yep, I got the bad men’ and everyone applauded,” Peoples said.
Rogers has a long criminal history, including arrests for burglary, auto theft and reckless driving.