Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012
By JOHN A. WINTERS
Two suspects were arrested during an early Monday bank robbery attempt in downtown Newnan that involved Newnan Police officers firing two shots at one suspect.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred around 8:30 a.m. at the BB&T bank branch office on Jefferson Street. The branch is located across the street from the Newnan Police Department and Wadsworth Auditorium.
The suspects now face not only armed robbery charges, but two counts of kidnapping for forcing two employees into another room and holding them against their will, authorities said Tuesday.
The shots were fired in the parking lot of the bank at a suspect who had run out of the building and was attempting to escape. That suspect was captured behind the bank as he ran toward the nearby Wishbone restaurant, said Sergeant Jim Beneke with the Newnan Police Department. Investigators also found a fake gun nearby.
Deputy Police Chief Rodney Riggs said two officers each fired one shot at the fleeing suspect after the suspect refused to surrender and officers saw a gun. Witnesses said at least one of the shots fired came from a shotgun. The other suspect was apprehended inside the bank.
Both suspects were taken to the Coweta County Jail after the Monday morning incident. Riggs identified them as Cedric Barber, 47, of Newnan, and Demetrius Malone, 21, of East Point. Both men are charged with armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Employees were opening the bank just before 8:30 a.m. when the two suspects “rushed the employees and forced their way into the bank,” Riggs said. Two employees were taken into another room and one was tied up.
“They were in the process of taking money when police arrived,” Riggs said.
Police were first alerted by a driver who called Coweta 911 after seeing suspicious activity, Riggs said, adding police were already setting up a perimeter when the first suspect came out.
BB&T Senior Vice President Don Phillips said, “We are grateful that our employees are safe and commend the actions of the Newnan Police Department. They did an outstanding job.”
Riggs said both men are charged with weapons possession because both participated in a crime where a weapon was used. The same holds true for the kidnapping charges.