The man accused of robbing a downtown Stillwater bank on Saturday warned that a bomb in his briefcase would level an entire city block, according to criminal charges filed Monday.
David Michael Tyler, 65, of Cheboygan, Mich., was charged with second-degree aggravated robbery after a six-hour drama that shut down two blocks of businesses in Stillwater. The complaint, filed in Washington County District Court, alleges that Tyler demanded $200,000 in a note handed to bank employees but that he absconded with only $3,726.
Stillwater police and Washington County sheriff’s deputies caught him a block away, where he explained that he owed $90,000 in child-support payments and “felt he had no option but to rob a bank,” the complaint said.
Tyler allegedly entered U.S. Bank at 213 E. Chestnut St. about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, wearing a fake beard and dark tinted glasses. He approached a male bank employee sitting at a desk. “The defendant made a statement that today was going to be a real good day or a real bad day,” the complaint said.
He demanded that employees fill a green backpack with the money. Once that was done, he pushed a button on his cellphone. He said that he had activated the bomb and that it would explode in 10 minutes, the charges said. Police later determined the device in the briefcase was not a bomb.
Tyler told police after he was arrested that “he knew he would get busted and that he was ‘gone forever,’ ” the charges said.
He also told police that he was a career criminal in the 1970s and had done prison time for bank robbery and kidnapping.
He had drafted the demand note for the Stillwater robbery on a library computer in Cheboygan, then drove to Duluth to rob a bank but couldn’t find one to his liking. He scouted banks in Forest Lake, then Stillwater, where he stayed at the Super 8 motel. The night before the alleged robbery, he moved to the Lowell Inn, a few blocks from the bank.
Tyler was ordered to remain in jail pending an initial appearance in court.