Woman, 60, Honored by Police After Fighting Off Armed Bank Robber She Was Alone with for 15 Minutes


Jill Beatty doesn’t seem like an action hero. She isn’t physically imposing — actually, she looks more like somebody’s grandmother than a bodyguard.

But last week, the 60-year-old bank employee unleashed her inner Chuck Norris after being ambushed while entering a bank in Texas.

According to CNN, Beatty was one of the first employees to arrive at First State Bank in Abilene, Texas, on the morning of Sept. 24. As she’s done many other days, she began unlocking the building to prepare for the day.

But an attacker was lying in wait.

“As she went to unlock the door, a man jumped out of the bushes with a gun,” CNN reported. “He could be seen on a surveillance video forcing his way inside with Beatty at gunpoint.”

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At first, the woman complied with the criminal. For about 15 agonizing minutes, she was held captive inside the bank, no doubt fearful of what the armed attacker would do next. But when a second woman arrived for her shift at the bank, Beatty decided to act.

“The 60-year-old can be seen on video jostling with the robber, pushing him back toward the door before delivering one final, swift kick,” CNN reported. “The robber struck the top of Beatty’s head with his gun before escaping through the front door.”

It was a gutsy move, but one that worked. The would-be robber decided to high-tail it out of the bank, leaving without stealing a dime and fleeing in a waiting vehicle.

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Even after her heroic actions, the bank employee stayed humble, declining to be interviewed by CNN. Nevertheless, police are hailing her for staying calm when others might have panicked.

“She is a remarkable citizen. She showed remarkable calm. She never lost her head. She in fact negotiated with him,” police Chief Stan Standridge said to KTXS-TV, according to CNN.

Making those accolades official, Standridge presented Beatty with a “certificate of commendation” for her role in the ordeal.

It appears that the attempted robbery wasn’t an isolated incident. Authorities said the suspect may have been a serial bank robber wanted for his role in other crimes in 2015 and 2016.

Although his latest crime was foiled, the suspect is still on the loose.

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“Police described the suspect as an older black male in his 40s or 50s with partially gray facial hair, standing approximately 5’6″, who walks with a ‘pronounced limp in his left leg,'” CNN reported. “He was wearing ‘an Ed Hardy-style shirt’ as well as a black ski mask.”

The bank employee’s decision to engage the armed robber could have gone much differently, of course, but there’s no denying that her actions took serious bravery. This incident shows once again that a will to act can often make a difference, even if the odds seem stacked.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.