Sunday, April 10, 2005

Chicago Trib: Royko's son Bank Robber -- WHAT????????

The author of BOSS (about Mayor Daley I) IS SPINING IN HIS GRAVE!

Royko son held in bank heist attempt
Police say suspect carried phony bomb
By Matt O'Connor and Todd Lighty

Tribune staff reporters
Published April 9, 2005

A son of the late Tribune columnist Mike Royko was arrested Friday after he allegedly attempted to rob a Northwest Side bank while claiming to be armed with a bomb that turned out to be phony, authorities said.

An off-duty Chicago police officer working security at Associated Bank, 6355 N. Central Ave., quickly arrested Robert Royko, the FBI said.Moments before his initial appearance in U.S. District Court, Royko, 41, could be overheard telling a court official: "I wish my name was Smith right about now."

Calling Royko a danger to the community, Assistant U.S. Atty. Patrick Pope asked that he be held without bond pending trial. Royko, who lives in Johnsburg in McHenry County, will be held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center at least until a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday. According to court records, Royko and his wife, Cindy, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in 2001, listing their assets at $1,500 and liabilities at $175,000.Reached by phone at home, Cindy Royko said her husband was a wonderful father to their three children."I have no idea why he would do this. Right now, I am very hurt," she said before breaking down into tears and hanging up the phone. Royko's father was a legendary columnist for the Tribune, Sun-Times and Daily News over a 33-year career until his death in 1997.

A federal criminal complaint charged that Royko entered the Associated Bank at about 9:50 a.m. Friday with a device consisting of two pipes, a jar of nails, a circuit board and duct tape.Robert Arnolts, the off-duty Chicago police officer who arrested Royko, said in a telephone interview that Royko placed the device on a bank employee's desk and announced: "It's a bomb. I'm not joking around."Royko then slipped on a ski mask and turned to the tellers' windows, Arnolts said. Arnolts said Royko then allegedly placed a bag onto the counter and yelled at the teller: "Give me all the money."As he approached Royko, Arnolts pulled out his gun and saw a device in Royko's hand--a remote control for a toy, Arnolts said. "I could see this guy was full of bull ...," Arnolts said.Royko allegedly insisted his bomb was real and he would blow up the bank, Arnolts said. "It was over quickly," Arnolts said. "He was not a big resister."

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

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