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March 3rd, 2009
03:28 PM ET

Church deacon, soccer coach, father - bank robbery suspect

Editor’s Note: Tune in tonight for a full report by David Mattingly on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Steve Brusk
CNN

Bruce Windsor is known as many things: church deacon, soccer coach, father. But facing potential financial problems, he’s now known as something else: alleged bank robber.

Police say the 43-year-old owner of a real estate company walked into the Carolina First Bank in Greenville, South Carolina late Thursday with a mask and a handgun. In court documents filed Friday, police said he forced two bank employees into an office at gunpoint and demanded money. Police arrived minutes later with the suspect still inside, touching off a tense 90-minute standoff before he released the hostages and surrendered.

His actions were “out of character” for a man who has never been in trouble with the law before, according to family and friends. His tearful sister, defending him as he stood before a judge, said “he must have just snapped under the pressure”

In his initial appearance for a bond hearing, rather than the dress shirt he would wear to work, Windsor was in an orange jail jumpsuit, shackled and with his hands cuffed. In a quiet voice, he answered “yes, sir” as the judge explained the charges to him: two counts of kidnapping, one count of robbery, and two counts of pointing firearms at a person, charges that could carry more than 30 years in prison if convicted.

A detective told the judge Windsor said he had been experiencing financial problems. But police spokesman Corporal Jason Rampey told CNN they could not yet say for certain if money problems were the motive for the alleged robbery.

Attorney Sidney Mitchell told the judge he was “a model citizen, up until yesterday, and we’ve obviously got a lot of talking to do with him”. Mitchell said he had been married for 16 years, and had four children. His oldest child is 11.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Steve Brusk
soundoff (One Response)
  1. GF, Los Angeles

    What this man did was horrible. Aside from attempting to rob the bank, he held hostages. Luckily for them they weren't killed. As much as he was a model citizen before the incident, punishment must be served or others will follow suit.

    March 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm |