KALISPELL – A 48-year-old Rollins man accused of joking with employees at a Lakeside bank that he had a gun and was going to rob them has been charged with felony criminal endangerment.
Ross Tetachuk was arrested Dec. 1 after authorities say his botched attempt at humor prompted a lockdown at a Glacier Bank branch. The branch had experienced a real armed robbery less than a month before.
Prosecutors say Tetachuk told bank employees, “I’m going to rob you, I have a gun.” He is accused of then reaching toward his waistband before declaring he was joking.
Court records say employees told Tetachuk to leave, but he became belligerent and insisted on making a withdrawal first. The employees told investigators the man, who they believed was intoxicated, made comments about having served in Iraq as a sniper and told them “they needed to toughen up and not be afraid after being robbed.”
The doors were locked and the building was secured after Tetachuk left.
Flathead County Undersheriff Pete Wingert called the man’s alleged actions “general stupidity.”
“You don’t go into a bank and joke about a robbery,” he said. “You don’t make that sort of movement.”
The sheriff’s office initially recommended that Tetachuk be charged with attempted robbery, but the Flathead County Attorney’s Office said the incident did not quite meet the requirements.
The Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell reports that Tetachuk is being held in the county jail on $16,185 bail.
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