Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Holdup at Pasco ATM turns into a farce

NEW PORT RICHEY — Marc Strojnowski had just deposited one check and was queueing up the next when he felt something press into his shoulder.

"Give me all that money," the man with the gun said.

The robber's lack of perceptiveness notwithstanding — Strojnowski was depositing a check at the ATM, not withdrawing money — Strojnowski followed his instincts and hit the gas.

The scene unfolded late Tuesday night at the Bank of America at State Road 54 and Madison Street. It covered a few frantic minutes and several dark neighborhood streets, ending with a 23-year-old man in jail.

After Strojnowski took off, he said, the suspect car reversed out of the bank. Strojnowski followed.

He's also 23 and a recent graduate of the police academy. Once he completes his criminal justice degree, he hopes to get a job as a law enforcement officer.

He immediately dialed 911, but without a good description of the gunman or a tag number, he didn't have much to give the authorities. So he chased the car, up and down empty streets, peeling around sharp turns.

He was talking to a dispatcher all the while, he said. Left on this street, right on that.

At one point, he said, the car pulled in to a driveway and the people inside ducked down. Strojnowski took down the tag.

The chase started up again — now the car had its headlights off — until the driver pulled over and took off running, according to Strojnowski and a Sheriff's Office report of the incident.

Then the passenger got behind the wheel and started driving.

"He hesitated for a second, and then he just took off," Strojnowski said.

At the intersection of Trouble Creek and Rowan roads, the mad dash came to an end. With the car stopped at a light, first one deputy pulled up, then another, and then about six more swooped in.

According to the report, the person in the car — who was not named — gave up the robber.

He said he was riding with Vincent Neil Terranova when he pulled up behind Strojnowski at the ATM and brandished a toy gun in an attempt to rob him.

Terranova, of 4710 Deer Lodge Road, was arrested later at his home and charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault. His bail was set at $155,000.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said deputies did not find a gun — real or fake.

Strojnowski said he's never experienced anything like Tuesday's high-speed chase, but he impressed himself.

"I didn't really think much of it at the time," he said. "But afterward I was really glad that during a high stress level I'm able to be really calm."

Molly Moorhead can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6245.

Holdup at Pasco ATM turns into a farce 12/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 15, 2008 1:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Local deputies head to UF in preparation of Richard Spencer's speech

    Public Safety

    Local deputies are heading up to Alachua County in preparation of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville on Thursday.

    Local deputies are heading up to Alachua County in preparation of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville on Oct. 19, 2017. 
As officials brace for Spencer's appearance, law enforcement officials streamed into Alachua County the morning before. [Alex Wroblewski | The New York Times]
  2. Gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doctor


    Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney says she was molested for years by a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, abuse she said started in her early teens and continued for the rest of her competitive career.

  3. Top 5 at Noon: Facts on Richard Spencer's Florida visit; Column: Jameis, don't be a hero; Locale Market changes again


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    White nationalist Richard Spencer (C) and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Emancipation Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Spencer is set to speak at the University of Florida. [Getty]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Uncertainty surrounds Jameis Winston's health


    Greg Auman talks about the Bucs' quarterback situation, with uncertainty around Jameis Winston's health, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Jameis Winston takes the field for warmups before the Bucs' game against the Cardinals Sunday in Glandale, Ariz. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Pasco mom, caretaker face charges after toddler suffers fractured skull


    PORT RICHEY — A 13-month-old toddler who suffered severe head injuries and brain hemorrhaging is now in the care of a foster family, and both of the child's caretakers face felony charges.

    Wyatt Frank Laughlin faces a felony charge of aggravated child abuse after a 13-month-old child in his care suffered a skull fracture and clots in the brain and eyes. [Courtesy Pasco County Sheriff's Office]