Teen was held hostage; 4 charged in Valley Center robbery

10/20/2012 7:28 AM

08/08/2014 10:12 AM

Authorities alleged Friday that one of four robbery suspects now facing federal charges in a Valley Center bank robbery held a 15-year-old boy hostage in his home for two hours after Thursday’s robbery.

Officers were going door to door in a Valley Center neighborhood a few blocks from an Intrust Bank branch after the robbery, which occurred about 12:24 p.m. Thursday. A homeowner reached authorities and said one of the robbers had broken into his house and tied up his 15-year-old son, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

The teen was home alone because school was not in session, Sedgwick County sheriff’s Maj. Michael Oliver said. Oliver said the teen’s father became concerned when he couldn’t reach his son by phone and that he knocked on a window of his home and got no response. He then contacted nearby Kansas Highway Patrol troopers.

Authorities, aided by dozens of officers who had swarmed on the town after the robbery, caught all four suspects, including the one who fled from the boy’s home after a trooper went to the door.

The suspects are facing federal bank robbery charges and could face charges in state court, Oliver said.

Valley Center Police Chief Mark Hephner said during a Friday news conference with Oliver that a Valley Center officer fired two shots at one of the fleeing suspects but didn’t wound the suspect. Hephner declined to comment on why the officer fired. The shooting will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office.

As for the entire incident, considering no officers or citizens got hurt, “it’s really a success story,” Hephner said. “It went as well as can be expected.”

Oliver said that at least one weapon had been seen during the bank robbery and that authorities recovered a handgun.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a news release Friday that three men and a woman have been charged in connection with the robbery.

Henry J. Adams III, 31; Terry G. Revels, 49; Dlaney M. Nixon, 23; and Veronica K. Johnson, 34, were named in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita. Adams, Revels and Johnson are from Wichita; Nixon is from Valley Center.

Adams, who had theft, forgery and aggravated escape convictions, had been discharged from the Kansas Department of Corrections in September, records show. Revels, who authorities allege is the suspect who held the teen hostage, has been on parole less than a month after serving prison time for a 1992 aggravated robbery. Nixon also had been on parole less than a month after serving time for theft, forgery and burglary.

According to the affidavit, Nixon and Revels came into the bank wearing ski masks and hooded sweatshirts and carrying black bags. Johnson, the lookout, waited outside in a Cadillac.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s news release, “One of the robbers yelled for the tellers to ‘get down, get down,’ and pointed what appeared to be a black handgun at them.” The robbers went over the counter and took cash before fleeing.

Officers found the Cadillac nearby on Main Street and chased the car before it stopped on Sheridan, just southwest of the bank. Three men ran from the car in different directions.

One of the suspects threw cash as he ran, Oliver said. It wasn’t clear whether authorities recovered all of the money.

Oliver said people who find cash that might have been stolen in the robbery should call 911 or contact Valley Center police. Oliver said he didn’t know how much money was stolen.

Officers arrested Nixon after a foot chase. Officers found Revels hiding in a pickup and arrested him. Oliver said officers used a police dog to subdue the man who ran from the home.

Officers arrested Adams and Johnson after stopping a blue Infiniti near where the robbers abandoned the Cadillac.

All four suspects are expected to appear in federal court in Wichita on Monday. If convicted, they each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bank robbery charge.

They also could face a number of charges in Sedgwick County District Court. Investigators plan to present their case to the District Attorney’s Office early next week, Oliver said.

Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle

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