by Max Brantley
Huge hubbub on Kavanaugh in the Heights today as police, fire squads and others responded to a bank robbery about 10 a.m. at a U.S. Bank branch at 5200 Kavanaugh. The robber left a backpack that he said contained a bomb, but the bomb squad handled it without incident.
The robber escaped with an undisclosed amount of money. That set off a lengthy drama as officials cleared the bank and residences nearby to investigate the pack he'd left behind. Bomb squad x-rays showed wires in bag.
At 11:54 a.m., the bomb squad blasted the package with a water cannon and officers began moving in after no explosion followed. The pack apparently didn't contain explosives, but a rig meant to look like one. The neighborhood and traffic began returning to normal about 1 p.m.
When the man entered the bank he told an employee who was on the phone, "Give me the money. I guess I'm going to have to do this the hard way." He then removed a cell phone from his pocket and said as if he was talking to someone, "Activate." He jumped across the counter and grabbed cash. He threatened to kill anyone who called the police, then left the bank on foot, last seen walking on Newton Street.