Sgt. recalls serendipitous arrest of robbery suspect

GRPD Sgt. Tom Warwick 050516_212076

A file image of Tom Warwick of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Police Department Sgt. Tom Warwick walks the same route several times a week to bring warrants from the police station to the Kent County Courthouse. But in nine years on the force, he had never walked up on a scene like the one that played out Tuesday.

“He came out of the door and I’m not sure what caught my eye originally,” he recalled.

Something didn’t sit right with Warwick as he watched a man scurrying away from the Huntington Bank on Pearl Street around 9 a.m. The man stood out to Warwick, who noticed it looked like he was hiding something near his waistline. As Warwick got closer, he saw it appeared to be a bag of cash.

When Warwick looked through the bank door, he noticed an employee rushing to the door and locking it.

“I’m not sure when he saw me and realized the unfortunate timing of what had just happened for him,” he said.

Warwick ordered the suspect to the ground less than 50 feet from the bank. He was soon taken into custody.

Police say 24-year-old Durand Quentin Lee had walked into the Huntington Bank, pointed what appeared to be a handgun at employees and demanded money. Investigators later discovered a BB gun on Lee. Court documents also say Lee assaulted one person, though there were no reports of injuries.

Warwick says his reaction wasn’t bravery, but rather a result of his training.

“We train for … someone trying to hide something from us and that’s what caught my eye,” he said.

He’s also relieved he didn’t end up on surveillance video unknowingly walking right by the suspect.

“The detectives would have reviewed the tape the next day,” he said. “I wouldn’t have lived that one down, probably.”

Lee was indicted on a federal bank robbery charge.

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