Ex-firefighter gets almost 4 years in Dallas bank robbery

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A former Dallas firefighter who apologized to a teller and gave her a $20 tip during a holdup was sentenced to almost four years (46 months) in federal prison on Wednesday for robbing a Dallas bank last year.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade sentenced Jesus Ventura, 37, of Irving in a federal courtroom in Dallas on Wednesday morning. The former firefighter collapsed as he was sentenced and was treated by paramedics, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Ventura pleaded guilty in September to one count of bank robbery for the April 10 holdup at the Chase Bank, 1881 Sylvan Ave., in Dallas. He faced up to 20 years in jail.

According to the case file, Ventura first asked to use a restroom when he entered the bank last spring. When he returned and was greeted by a teller, he said in a low-tone voice, "I am sorry to do this to you, I really am. Give me all the money."

Ventura repeated his order several times. The bank teller had just been on the job two weeks, records showed.

The teller stared at Ventura for a few seconds before the former firefighter's voice became more aggressive as he said, "Give me all the money," once again, federal authorities said in a news release Wednesday.

The teller became frightened when Ventura raised his black backpack, thinking that he had a weapon in the bag.

She finally gave him an undisclosed amount of money.

Ventura slid a $20 bill back underneath a glass that the teller was standing behind and told her, "Here is a tip for you."

The Irving man was arrested at his home in Irving shortly after the holdup, and authorities recovered the money, but there was no weapon in the backpack.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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