Customer Thwarts Bank Robbery

August 18, 2014

By Melissa Blankenship,

Henry County Local  August 13, 2014 —

What started as a routine trip to the bank turned into an encounter Chuck Smith will not soon forget.

In preparation for Saturday evening’s dinner concert event at Smith-Berry Winery, Smith stopped in at United Citizens Bank in New Castle to get change. He was at a teller’s window when a young man walked into the bank and fell in line behind Smith.

“He was waiting. It takes a little time to count out the money,” Smith said. “I thought he was standing a little closer than he should be.”

Suddenly, the man reached over Smith’s shoulder and grabbed a stack of cash. Smith said he didn’t really think about what happened next, he just reacted.

“I said, ‘You’re not stealing my money,’ and I grabbed his arm,” Smith said. “I wrestled with him and got the money out of his hand, then I backed him up against the wall and held him there.”

Smith said it felt like “forever” between the teller hitting the silent alarm and the arrival of the police.

When they arrived, Kentucky State Police arrested Corey Washburn, 21, of Carrollton.

He was charged with robbery, first degree and subsequently housed at the Shelby County Detention Center.

In hindsight, Smith said he is glad no one was hurt and that the situation ended as well as it did, without knowing if Washburn had a weapon or an accomplice waiting outside.

“I briefly thought well maybe I’ll just let him go, but it’s a federal offense and he was really robbing the bank, not me,” Smith said. “But I guess you don’t mess with a farm boy.”

Washburn was video arraigned Monday. He pleaded not guilty, was assigned a public defender and was scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing Aug. 18 at 12:30 p.m.

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