SANATOGA PA – Only seven days after a trio of alleged bank robbers learned they will stand trial in Montgomery County Court for what authorities said was their June attempt to take more than $11,000 from a Sanatoga bank, an alert off-duty police officer whose actions helped bring them down was honored Monday (Aug. 5, 2013) by the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department and Board of Commissioners.
Upper Merion Police Cpl. Declan Coyle received a Lower Pottsgrove departmental commendation for what Chief Michael Foltz called “his exceptional actions” in following the accused as they fled from the National Penn Bank at South Sunnybrook Road and east on U.S. Route 422. Coyle, who was not working at the time but heard about the get-away on his radio, spotted the escaping car and chased it, all while keeping other officers aware of its location.
The car ultimately was stopped 20 miles away by several officers, its occupants arrested, their guns confiscated without incident, and all the money they were said to have stolen was recovered.
The three – James Byrd, 25, and Ishaq Ibrahim, 27, both of Philadelphia, and Wesley Davis, 21, of Drums PA – attended preliminary hearings June 29 in the Sanatoga courtroom of Magisterial Justice Edward C. Kropp Sr. They face charges of robbery, assault, theft, and reckless endangerment, among others, and the case has been moved on to trial at the county level.
A witness during one of the hearings recounted Coyle’s determined efforts to track their car.
Coyle’s wife and children, and officers from both the Lower Pottsgrove and Upper Merion departments, were in the audience at the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd., as the chief made his presentation. He thanked Coyle for “outstanding work” in the apprehension of alleged perpetrators who staged “a violent takeover of the bank, employees and several customers.”
Each of the commissioners, in turn, shook hands with and congratulated Coyle. His award which was scheduled for later during their meeting, was moved to the top of the agenda by board Vice President Bruce Foltz.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 5 meeting):