Avon man charged in Sagamore Hills bank robbery

Police: Avon resident was found IN CAR with 'apparent self-inflicted wounds'

by Jeff Saunders | Reporter Published:

Sagamore Hills -- A Lorain County man, arrested after he allegedly robbed the township's Charter One Bank branch Nov. 20, is scheduled for a Dec. 13 pretrial hearing.

Avon resident Dale M. Pratt, 44, is charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery, second-degree felony robbery and fifth-degree felony theft, according to Stow Municipal Court records. He did not enter pleas to several felonies at his Dec. 6 arraignment.

He was being held in Summit County Jail on a 10 percent of $500,000 bond as of Dec. 10.

An attorney for Pratt could not be identified before press time.

According to Police Chief David Hayes, police and the Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District responded to the parking lot of the Target store in the Crossings at Golden Link shopping center Nov. 21 after Pratt was found in his car with "apparent self-inflicted wounds."

Hayes said that a township police detective at the scene realized that Pratt's vehicle matched the description of the vehicle used in the bank robbery, and a bank teller later identified Pratt in a photo lineup.

Fire Chief Frank Risko said store security personnel called 911 about 1 p.m. after security video of the parking lot showed Pratt's vehicle had been there overnight and they found him sitting in the driver's seat covered in blood. Risko said Pratt had lacerations on both wrists and a laceration on his abdomen, apparently made with a bloody 9-inch long knife found in the vehicle. Risko said two suicide notes were also found in the vehicle.

"He was conscious, but barely," said Risko.

Risko said the fire district took Pratt to Cleveland's MetroHealth Medical Center by ambulance. Hayes said Pratt turned himself in at the township police department Dec. 5, the day he was released from the hospital.

Police said the robbery occurred just before 3 p.m. Nov. 20 when a man handed the teller a note, claiming he was carrying an explosive device on him and instructing her to put money into a backpack and not to trigger an alarm or panic button. Police said the teller put $4,179 into the backpack, along with a dye pack that exploded outside the bank.

Police said they found the backpack with the money in it where it was abandoned behind the bank.

The suspect was seen leaving the area in a car.

jsaunders@recordpub.com

330-541-9432

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