He Robbed a Bank, Then Got Away In a Taxi. Now He'll Spent Nine Years in Federal Prison.

On November of last year, 36-year-old Joseph Lamon Williams of Houston stood in line like any other customer at the Wells Fargo at Coit and Alpha, just off LBJ. When it was his turn, he presented to the teller the following note:

"IF I HEAR THE CODE FOR BANK ROBBERY YOU DIE. YOU HAVE 05 SECONDS TO PRODUCE $ NO 1 OR 5. Top + 2nd TILLS. NO ALARMS. NO DYE PACK. NO TRACERS. IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG OR IF IM FOLLOWED I WILL COME BACK IN + RANDOMLY SHOOT CUSTOMERS."

At which point, according to the feds, he raised his shirt and pointed to what appeared be two handguns tucked into his pants. He told the teller, "You see these? I want it now. I specifically told you in my note I don't want any ones or fives, put them back." Williams, is turns out, was very picky. So the teller did what he said, put back the small bills, and Williams grabbed the cash. When he was done, he once again raised his shirt and said, "Make sure you remember this."

I will let the U.S. Attorney's Office finish the end of this story.

Williams left the bank in a taxi cab which took him to a nearby apartment complex, where he transferred into another cab. The cab took Williams back to an area near the bank where he got out. Shortly thereafter, a responding officer with the Dallas Police Department arrived and Williams ran toward the officer with what appeared to be a handgun in one hand. The officer ordered him to drop his weapon, however Williams refused to drop the weapon and continued advancing, causing the officer to fire his weapon at Williams, striking him in the leg and grazing his head. After Williams' arrest, law enforcement examined the weapons and determined they were actually 4.5 millimeter caliber pellet guns that are very similar in appearance to, and closely resemble, real hand guns.

Taxi-cab getaways, turns out, are quite common. (Wonder if it was CNG-powered.) Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater sentenced Williams to 109 months in federal prison.


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