Bank patrons in Sarasota FL. owe a heap of gratitude to an off duty soldier — and it is not for his skill on the battlefield.
Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples stopped by a local bank with his kids, while on a family vacation, and found himself face to face with a gun wielding man who police say was there to rob the bank.
“He’s pointing the weapon right at me, but I don’t care, I’m trying to get my children out of his line of fire,” Peoples said at a press conference held at the Sarasota Country Sheriff’s Office.
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The entire incident caught on surveillance video, Peoples can be seen shielding his children out of harms way by telling them to get under tables and moving chairs to create a wall between the robber and his sons.
Despite Peoples attempts to protect his kids, the gunman caught a glimpse of one of them and turned to threatened one of his boys.
“He can see my son, and my son is looking at him, and he points the gun and says if anyone does anything, the kiddie’s gonna get it,” Peoples said.
After telling his kids to stay put, Peoples followed Rogers outside and headed for his rental van.
“To me, it was just ‘I need to get this guy and he needs to go to jail.’ That’s all it was for me. You don’t point weapons at children,” Peoples said.
Peoples then used his van to block Roger’s car, pulled Rogers out of his vehicle and used martial arts moves, honed in the military, to disarm and pin him to the ground until deputies arrived. “Which was bad for me, because I’m holding the weapon in one hand and a bag of money in the other, just money everywhere,” he said laughing.
The 34-year-old would-be robber was identified by police as Matthew Rogers, and they say he walked out of the bank with “tens of thousands” of dollars.
The gun was a realistic fake and the money was recovered. When Peoples returned back to the bank, his son had an important question. “When I got back to the bank, he stood up and he said, “Daddy, did you get that bad man?” And I said, I got that bad man,” and everyone started clapping in the bank, so that was good.”
Peoples was given an award by the sheriff but his kids gave him an even bigger award — status as Super Dad.