Off-duty officer foils bank robbery

Posted at 9:19 PM, Feb 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-27 23:19:02-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- An off-duty police officer was at the right place at the right time, foiling an attempted bank robbery.

The officer is part of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department and happened to be walking into the Mountain American Credit Union in West Jordan Thursday morning.

Officer Casey Davies noticed that the suspect walking out of the credit union matched the description of another bank robbery suspect from Cottonwood Heights.

The suspect is 22-year-old David Parker. As he was being transported to the Salt Lake County Jail, he was met with FOX 13 News’ camera and had some choice words when Annie Cutler asked him about his intentions Thursday morning.

Cutler asked: "Were you planning on robbing the bank this morning?"

Parker responds: "You can get the f--- out of my face how about that?"

Cutler continues: "That's all you have to say?"

Parker responds: "Shut up b---- that's what I have to say."

There was no further response as Cutler asks one more time: "So you weren't planning on robbing the bank?"

Police tell FOX 13 News that Parker has an extensive criminal history and a drug habit. Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robby Russo spoke about the suspect’s history.

"This individual has a heroin habit, and he's a parolee out of Las Vegas, and he has tattoos and is admittedly associated with an Aryan Nation gang," he said.

Ron Talbot was inside the credit union when Parker walked in. He said it was clear almost immediately that Parker was up to no good.

"At first glance, there wasn't much, but something told me to turn back and look at him, and when I did look at him the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I got that adrenaline feeling that something's not right about this guy,” he said.

Davies said he got the same feeling.

"I just kinda got this awful feeling in my gut that something's wrong,” he said. “Something's either just happened inside the bank or it's about to happen outside--just had a really bad kind of an evil feeling when he walked past me."

Davies kept his eyes on Parker and said the suspect continued his odd behavior, walking in and quickly out of other nearby businesses before he allegedly began casing the credit union from a nearby Wendy's. When backup officers from the West Jordan Police Department arrived, Parker was taken into custody.

"Once he got taken into custody, he had some syringes that I saw, and then the gun, and then the note,” Davies said.

The gun Parker had on him was a fake, but police said it was very difficult to tell the difference. Parker was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on robbery charges.

Cottonwood Heights Police are working with West Jordan Police to see if Parker is connected with other crimes, as there has been a streak of bank robberies recently.