SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A man who was disguised as a woman while robbing a bank is behind bars Thursday after leading law enforcement officers on a chase through two counties, Seminole County deputies said.
Officials said Gumersindo Reyes Jr., 51, was disguised as a woman when he entered a Chase Bank on State Road 436 Wednesday afternooN. Casselberry Police Chief Larry Krantz said Reyes passed a note to the teller demanding money and implying he had a weapon in his backpack.
According to a police report, the note, which was written in Spanish, said: “I have sufficient weapons to kill everybody here — give me your car keys, I want unmarked bills and nothing electronic because if so I’ll start to shoot.”
According to the report, he then left the bank after receiving a $1,000 in cash.
A deputy was driving by when Reyes ditched the disguise in the men’s restroom of a neighboring Pollo Tropical.
“(The deputy) noticed somebody coming out of the bushes. The deputy immediately confronted the individual, exited the car and saw bizarre behavior,” Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said.
The deputy attempted to subdue Reyes by deploying his Taser, investigators said. A foot pursuit ensued between the deputy and Reyes across State Road 436 and into an apartment complex, authorities said.
Investigators said as the deputy reached for his firearm to order Reyes to the ground, Reyes reached for the gun. The deputy was able to regain control of the weapon, and as the altercation continued, the deputy deployed his Taser a second time, but was unable to subdue Reyes, authorities said.
Resident Corey Reid witnessed the altercation.
“At that point, I didn’t know what could happen,” said Reid. “They were tussling on the floor.”
Deputies said Reyes then ran from the complex and got into the deputy’s patrol vehicle. A chase then ensued between residential areas of Orange and Seminole counties, deputies said.
The pursuit ended in Maitland after investigators said Reyes had already crashed into numerous civilian vehicles.
According to an arrest report, Reyes admitted to deputies that he robbed the bank and stole the patrol vehicle, but that he is a “victim of circumstance” and did those things because he panicked and needed money.
Officials said Reyes has a criminal record in Puerto Rico, where he was charged with attempted murder and robbery, but has no criminal history in the United States.
There were no injuries reported.
The Sheriff’s Office is expected to release body camera and dashboard camera video Thursday.