Ex-Marine Fights Off Armed Florida Bank Robber

COCOA, Florida -- At approximately 1:05 p.m. today, Cocoa Police received a call of an armed robbery at the Wells Fargo bank on US-1 in Cocoa, Florida.  Police quickly arrived on scene and were directed by witnesses to where the suspect may have fled.  Police set up a perimeter and quickly located the suspect.

According to witnesses' accounts to police, the suspect, 43-year-old Edward Sotelo entered the bank wearing a construction-type hard hat with tape on the front and back, and a surgical mask.  

Sotelo allegedly approached the teller window, pointed the gun at the teller and demanded money.  Police say thats when a customer of the bank, at the next window, saw what was happening and began fighting the bank robber.  The bank customer is a former Marine and a former member of law enforcement.  

Although police don’t suggest witnesses fight the bad guy, they say the ex-marine's life of training kicked in and he felt he just couldn’t stand by.  The alleged robber then ran from the bank before he got any money.  

Fortunately, no one was hurt and Sotelo was apprehended a few moments later across the street.  Sotelo allegedly threw the gun as he ran from the scene.  A short time later, Cocoa’s Police Chief was helping officers search the area and he located the gun.

Although Brevard Times was supplied with the Wells Fargo security images purportedly related to this incident, the bank has specifically prohibited the duplication or transmission of the images.

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