The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is Jeffrey Gordon Merritt of Tampa Florida. He gets the award for the following

LITHIA – The man looked suspicious, constantly looking back while running through a parking lot and clutching a bag to his chest.

Moments later the bank manager appeared, crouching, his head bobbing, looking for someone.

The scene played out near the windows of DaSilva’s Coffee House, at 15282 FishHawk Boulevard.

A young waitress decided to take a role, and it wasn’t a supporting part.

Learning the fleeing man had robbed Valrico State Bank at the other end of the shopping plaza, the waitress gave chase. When the man tried to circle back to his car, the waitress made a citizen’s arrest.

“I heard her say, “Freeze, police. Freeze, or I’m going to shoot,’ ” said Karen Raga, a co-worker.

She wasn’t armed, but it worked.

“He put up his hands, and she’s there in a second, has him up against a car, gets his arm locked behind him and gets him on the ground.”

The waitress didn’t want to talk about it or identify herself. The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t identify her because she is a former law enforcement officer.

The waitress wasn’t alone. The bank manager and another DaSilva’s employee helped corral the robber.

But Raga said the waitress was the star.

“She orchestrated the whole takedown,” she said. “You could say she subdued the perp.”

The threesome sat on the man until police arrived.

Jeffrey Gordon Merritt, 44, of 9411 Chalet Drive, Apt. 1408, Tampa, was charged with armed robbery. No bail had been set.

Merritt told deputies he also was responsible for two armed bank robberies in Pinellas County, investigators say.

A spineless(dumb) bank robber. Too bad police can’t use the tactics of the waitress all the time. Criminals aren’t always as dumb as Jeffrey Gordon Merritt who I name as today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

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