Bond sought for bank robbery suspect
May. 31, 2003
By Ryan Slight
A Springfield bank robbery suspect with reported martial arts prowess should receive bond based on his "incredibly" strong community ties, his lawyer argued Friday in federal court.
Ryan L. Tyger turned himself in to Springfield police on May 16 after a Great Southern Bank holdup. The action indicated the defendant would also show up for court appearances, Springfield attorney David Mercer said. "He self-surrendered, stepped up to the plate and took the responsibility of turning himself in," Mercer said during Tyger's preliminary and detention hearing at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Springfield. However, federal officials felt the 28-year-old man accused of robbing the Great Southern branch bank at 1955 S. Campbell Ave. on May 5 should remain in U.S. Marshal custody. Even if Tyger were granted the requested $25,000 bond, he would have to report to the Greene County Jail, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Bunch said.
The defendant was sentenced to a year in county jail Tuesday on a probation violation. The sentence would run concurrently with any federal sentence Tyger may receive. "But I'm not advocating that he be released on bond," Bunch said. U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England determined that enough probable cause existed for Tyger's case to proceed in federal court. The judge told attorneys he would take Tyger's detention under advisement. Court personnel did not expect England to make an official ruling by late Friday. According to an affidavit filed by Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent William J. Mitchell, a man wearing a cap and sunglasses robbed the bank branch around 3 p.m. May 5. The robber reportedly entered the bank, approached a teller and said, "Give me all your money, big bills, and hurry up." He leaned on a counter and repeated the words "hurry up."
The teller did not observe a weapon on the suspect, who fled the bank once he had the cash. Surveillance camera images of the robbery were shown in news reports. "After the robbery, six different individuals have contacted law enforcement officers, and indicated the individual depicted in the bank surveillance photograph is Ryan Tyger," Mitchell said in the affidavit. Tyger surrendered to Springfield police nearly two weeks later. Officials said his admissions were videotaped. The defendant recently obtained successful treatment for methamphetamine addiction, and could find adequate housing if released, Mercer said. "He is someone who has a tremendous amount of history and family in this area," the defense attorney said. However, Bunch questioned whether Tyger had enough financial support to obtain a residence.
A pretrial services report citing concerns with a possible bond release noted that Tyger is trained in martial arts. But Mercer said Tyger's skills in that area should not affect his detention.
Come on, KFSS, come up with something better to put here. So what if he's trained in the martial arts? Did he use it in the crime? If he some kind of super-criminal, kung-fooling his way through the police? No. He's just a criminal who happens to know a martial art. Who knows? Maybe it's SCARS he trains in.
I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear and permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye on its passing, and where it has gone, only I will remain.