Quick thinking and a lot of bravery demonstrated by a FOCUS Credit Union employee prevented the robbery attempt by Grand Ridge resident, Bryndyn Neel, from being successful. The female employee was the last to leave the bank that day, had already secured the facility and was in the parking lot about to enter her vehicle when Neel approached her from the wooded area near the lot. He was carrying a shotgun, and demanded that she unlock the building.
After some discussion she convinced the shotgun bearing robber that she had to telephone another employee in order to get a second key in order to reenter the building. He finally told her to "go ahead and call another employee and have them come out here". Instead of calling another employee, she called 911, and cleverly disclosed to the operator that she was at FOCUS and was being robbed. Within minutes a covey of officers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and various agencies were at the scene.
Hearing the approaching sirens, the would-be thief fled into the woods behind the bank, leaving his automobile parked nearby. Officers from the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Sheriff’s department helicopter, the Highway Patrol, the ACI K-9 Unit, and many deputies and officers searched the area and surrounded the Mill Pond which is located nearby. About an hour later the suspect was captured as he exited a swampy area, wet and dirty. He was arrested and charges of Attempted Armed Robbery, and False Imprisonment were filed against him.
It took a lot of bravery and quick thinking to summon the police while facing the barrel of a shotgun. We salute this lady for her actions.