Jesus Ventura first made headlines back in March when the then-firefighter walked into Fire Station No. 45 near West Commerce and Sylvan Avenue, removed his pistol from its holster, and began waving it around recklessly, pointing it at at lease one firefighter, according to a police report. The gun went off, but no one was hurt.
Ventura, 37, was arrested and placed on leave by the city but was out of jail by April 10, when he walked into the Chase Bank at 1881 Sylvan Avenue and asked if he could use the restroom. He left the bank lobby but soon returned and was greeted by a teller.
"I am sorry do do this to you, I really am," Ventura told her, according to an affidavit. "Give me all the money."
The teller, in her second week on the job, stared at Ventura as he repeated his demand several more times. "Give me all the money," he demanded, angrily, and raised his black backpack as he continued demanding money. The teller fearing he had a weapon, gave Ventura the money. He took a $20 bill from the money and slid it underneath the glass to the teller. "Here is a tip for you," he said.
Ventura was arrested shortly after the robbery. He was fired by the fire department a week later. And today, he pleaded guilty to the bank robbery, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.
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