Sunday, August 2, 2009

Conviction or Bust

The post below has nothing to do with the common theme of MotoPhotoAdventures but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

Below is an article which was published today in the Seattle Times. It’s about a bank teller named Jim Nicholson who was fired from his job for chasing down and catching a bank robber. In the defense of the bank there are many reasons why the banks have rules against tellers doing such heroic acts. Some may say that Mr. Nicholson may have put others in danger through his actions but he also had the courage and fervor to act on his own conviction. Mr. Nicholoson exhibited behavior that should be celebrated and not punished. It just seems that too many people lack the fortitude to take a stand on principal and are willing to sell their morals to the highest bidder.

Our society seems to openly promote us to look the other way when others are in harm’s way. It’s an issue that plagues America. It starts in our schools with bullies terrorizing others and continues on the streets where the week and less fortunate are taken advantage of every day. I think as a population we need to focus more on what is right and wrong and worry less about law suits and financial gain. I spent a year in Iraq back in 2003 and have seen ugliness beyond disbelief but in that same place I witnessed immeasurable courage, kindness and love. As a people, I believe we must begin to look beyond ourselves. We must grasp the concept of humanity and fight for the common good. It begins with simple work of charity and manifests its self to a more splendid world.

Seattle bank teller chases robber, loses job

via the Associated Press from the Seattle Times

Sun Aug 2, 1:24 pm ET

SEATTLE – A Seattle bank teller has lost his job because he ran down a would-be bank robber and held him until police arrived. Jim Nicholson, 30, who had worked for more than two years at a Key Bank branch near the Seattle Center, says he understands the bank's strict policy that employees comply with robbery demands and avoid confrontations.

But he told The Seattle Times that instinct took over when a thin man in a beanie cap, dark clothing and sunglasses pushed a black backpack across the bank counter on Tuesday and demanded money.

Nicholson threw the bag to the floor, lunged toward the man and demanded to see a weapon. The man bolted for the door with Nicholson in pursuit.

He chased him several blocks before knocking him to the ground with the help of a passer-by. Nicholson then held the man until police arrived.

On Thursday, Nicholson was fired. Key Bank spokeswoman Anne Foster declined to comment on Nicholson and his actions.

Police and the FBI discourage such heroics. Bank tellers are trained to get robbers out the door quickly and are advised against possibly escalating a situation over money that's federally insured.

Nicholson said he understands why he was fired.

"They tell us that we're just supposed to comply, but my instincts kicked in and I did what's best to stop the guy," he said. "I thought if I let him go he would rob more banks and cause more problems."

Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the best course for citizens is to be good witnesses to crimes.

"When confronted by a violent criminal, it is best to comply unless they feel their personal safety is in jeopardy. It is possible that taking action and confronting the criminal may lead to the injury of the victim or other bystanders."

"You want tellers to be proactive, but you want them to do it safely," said FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt.

The would-be robber, a 29-year-old transient, has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft and robbery, according to court records. Charges in the attempted robbery were not immediately filed.

Nicholson said he has run after shoplifters while working at other retail jobs.

"It's something I almost look forward to. It's a thrill and I'm an adrenaline-junkie person. It's the pursuit," he said.

Information from: The Seattle Times,


  1. Not sure whether to laugh or cry...

    Regarding your June 26 blog post, you might enjoy reading this little write-up I did after the BMW RA rally a few years ago:

    Enjoying your blog!

  2. RYC: "The lady in the basement reminds me of my X Girl Friend. Maybe I dated her?"

    Good Lord, Rob.....I sure hope not! Nah, for SURE I know ya didn't date her. Besides her severe drinkin' problem, she's gotta be the butt-ugliest, the nastiest (yep, even meaner than ME!), the most miserable piece of hermit-like trash I've ever met.

    She's gotta be 45+ yrs. old but has NEVER hadda job in her entire life; has NEVER hadda place of her own; NEVER leaves the basement unless she's goin' out to replenish her stock...but mostly she just gets one of her alcoholic brothers to do that for her; has NEVER been married/had kids (which I've gotta admit is a pretty damn smart move for a drunk) 'n the ONLY boyfriend she's ever had was another useless piece of shit alcoholic whom I've dubbed Googly-Eyes (cuz due to HIS excessive drinkin', thats exactly what his eyeballs do!).

    Oh, the stories I could tell!!!

  3. I’m impressed. This was written with passion and conviction. This is why the underbelly of society thinks it can get away with anything these days. I’m proud to be listed as one of you followers.

  4. Runner- I had a chance to read your write up and I did enjoy it. I love my cycle, there is a mystic edge in riding but I also love the people I meet while out and about.

    MeanDonnaJean-The women under the stairs seems like she would be a real catch. I will tell you this, you have the best stories!

    Scribe816- Thanks for the compliment, that article really got to me. Glad to have you around sharing your thoughts!

  5. It is hard for me to pass judgement on the bank's actions... I mean this guy not only could have been killed but could have also caused others to die, had the robber had a gun and started shooting.... I see your point of view but not sure I can fully agree with it...

  6. Baron, Well said mi amigo. I understand your point and it is most likely more valid then my own. My point is that doing the right thing is often a gamble. In the end the world is a better place for the bank tellers actions. If we as a populace did the right thing more often and took those risks then the world would be a better place.
    Either way Baron, I am glad you voiced your opinion. Interesting story none the less.

  7. very interesting story indeed and I thank you for posting it...our ability to see different points of view is what makes us successful as a country, society, nation and continent