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Posted at 4:15 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Takoma Park bank robber ID'd

By Dan Morse

Update: This post has been updated to reflect that the robbery suspect, Carlos Rudolfo Espinoza Arcia, didn't live in Hyattsville as originally written. He lived in an unincorporated section of Prince George's County, approximately three-quarters of a mile outside of Hyattsville's municipal borders, according to this useful mapping tool on the city of Hyattsville's website.

Montgomery County Police on Monday released the name of the armed bank robber who was killed by officers Friday afternoon after he tried to escape a Takoma Park bank with a teller as his hostage.

Police identified him as Carlos Rudolfo Espinoza Arcia, 43, of the 5400 block of Sargent Road, just west of Hyattsville. His death was captured by a television camera and broadcast nationwide.

Carlos Rudolfo Espinoza Arcia. (Montgomery Police)

Police couldn't immediately confirm who he was. On Sunday, Takoma Park police received a call from a co-worker of Arcia's, who said he hadn't been to work for the past two days. Also on Sunday, Prince George's County Police received a missing person report from Arcia's landlord, who said Arcia hadn't been seen in two days. Officers went to his apartment, and found a gun and sponges, copper wire, and aluminum foil similar to those used to build hoax bombs for the ill-fated bank job.

Montgomery County police are taking the lead in the case, because both Takoma Park and Prince George's police fired at the suspect.

The six officers who fired their weapons, according to police, are Acting Lt. Tyrone Collington, Cpl. Thomas E. Black, and Private First Class David M. Quante, all of the Takoma Park force; and Acting Sgt. Robbie Loveday, Cpl. Bryan Medina, and Police Officer Osiris Lopez, Jr., all of Prince George's police.

As is standard procedure, the involved officers remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations, according to Montgomery police.

By Dan Morse  | January 31, 2011; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Montgomery, Pr. George's  
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Don't want to second-guess the officers at the scene. However, it might have been best to shoot at the robber's arm immediately after the hostage ran, instead of trying to get him to drop his weapon. If I were surrounded by cops, I would drop my weapon, as would anyone behaving rationally. But the robber was behaving irrationally.
This is just awful for everyone involved. The officers will remember this for the rest of their lives. And what about the courageous bank customer who tried to take the robber's gut away? The robber pistol-whipped him, and he was hospitalized. I hope he makes a full recovery.

Posted by: catbird500 | January 31, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Police officers aren't trained to shoot at limbs. Officers are taught to shoot "center mass" which is the torso area between the neck and waist to stop the threat. The type of shooting arms and legs and guns from a bad guy's hand is all Hollywood. Unfortuneately it isn't like that in real life.

Posted by: robostop10 | January 31, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with robostop10, cops are not trained to shoot at limbs. When they use deadly force, they're trained to shoot at center mass of body. Citizens always ask "why don't they shoot them in the leg or arm." So this is the answers when Cops pull out their guns to shoot, they shoot at the body until the threat is stop.

Posted by: DimXum | January 31, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

If he was illegal, the Compost damn sure wouldn't tell us..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 1, 2011 3:11 AM | Report abuse

I bet this guy was an illegal alien from Nicargua. The woman who rented him a room in Takoma Park, Maryland should be fined. The man's room was nasty with enough junk to furnish and apartment.

I am positive the house he lived in was overcrowed with people. Why to Hispanics from Mexico, Central America, and South America live in such large numbers in houses/apartments? This maybe allowed in their countries, but in the United States, we have housing and sanitary laws to abide by, but many politicians are turing a blind eye to this crisis of overcrowded apartments/houses with mostly Latinos. The United States has gone down the toilet.

Posted by: illegalalien | February 1, 2011 3:23 AM | Report abuse


I bet this guy was an illegal alien from
Nicaragua in Central America.

Posted by: illegalalien | February 1, 2011 3:27 AM | Report abuse

No, people don't live like that back in their countries. People live like that here in the US so that they can save money on rent. The money they save they can send back to their families (or I guess do whatever they want to with it). I, for one, am glad that cops shoot at center mass. They did not know if that bomb was real-- they had to stop the threat. Good for them!

Posted by: Guest1234 | February 1, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, well I stand corrected in saying that it was an African-American who was the robber. The brown parka type jacket and Timberland boots had me thinking all wrong. Since when does your landlord call about you being missing? Then again it was close to the 1st of the month when most rent is due.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

No way to know conclusively from the video.
Sounds like he was living in a boarding house...probably paying rent by the week. No rent...the landlord came looking.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 1, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

what gets me is that the genius police stood in a circle and started shooting......lucky they only wounded each others and not killed themselves......

Posted by: OldSalt8 | February 1, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

From Nicaragua for sure, but illegal alien? A Bible thumper too.

Posted by: DCObserver1 | February 1, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I wish he were shot in the face so his family would be forced to have a closed casket funeral.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 1, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

They couldn't identify him? He probabaly forgot his green card.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 1, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

DCObserver1, it's more than likely the man was in the U.S. illegally. The media stated, his wife and children were back in Nicaragua.

@Kenk33, I hope I never do you wrong because you might wish death or a serious injury on me. LOL Shooting the man in the face is somewhat horrible, but I do understand where you are coming from. I wish all illegals from El Salvador/Central America, Mexico, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Africa, Asia, and South America would go home to their native countries. Diversity is destroying America. It's called confusion.

Posted by: illegalalien | February 1, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The perp deserved to get shot in the face for pistol whipping a guy in the bank and terrifying/risking the life of the hostage.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 1, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Compost...Somebody elsed used it...but I love it!

Hey Compost: Was he illegal?

Posted by: civilrightist | February 1, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

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