A would-be robber will spend almost three years in prison for demanding that a bank employee hand over her own cash because his account was insufficient.
Eric McKay Forsyth, 30, pleaded guilty Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to attempted first-degree robbery, a felony, and resisting arrest, a gross misdemeanor.
Forsyth had two large pipes with him during the April 2 incident at Chase Bank in Richland. He glared at the bank employee for a long time after demanding $50, then refused to cooperate with police when he walked outside the bank and had to be shocked with a Taser five times.
Forsyth was a frequent bank customer at 711 Jadwin Ave. and known to the victim when he went to the branch at 12:30 p.m. and sat down at her desk, according to Richland police and court documents.
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Forsyth set the pipes -- described by the employee as poles -- on the desk and asked to withdraw $50 from his account. When told he didn't have enough money, Forsyth "began making nonsense comments and glaring at her," documents stated.
The employee reportedly later told police that Forsyth would stop glaring to look at the pipes on her desk, and she believed he was going to assault her.
Forsyth then told the woman, "Give me $50 ... from your pocket," court documents stated. He continued to stare angrily at the woman before getting his pipes and walking out, documents stated.
Officers had been called and were waiting outside the bank for Forsyth. He refused to obey police commands and had to be stunned before officers could handcuff Forsyth.
No one inside the bank was injured.
Before Forsyth could enter a plea to the new charges in April, lawyer Sal Mendoza Jr. agreed that his client needed to have his mental health evaluated. Forsyth was ordered to be sent to Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake.
On Thursday, Mendoza handed up an order of competency to Judge Craig Matheson, saying Forsyth has mental health issues but they don't rise to the level that he isn't competent to proceed to trial. Forsyth will deal with these issues for the rest of his life, Mendoza said as his client pleaded guilty.
"I know how to live my life now so that it doesn't happen again," Forsyth told the court.
His criminal history includes convictions for delivery of marijuana and two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Matheson agreed to give Forsyth a sentence of just over two years and 10 months at the bottom of the standard range for the crime.
Forsyth was ordered to have no contact with the bank employee.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer:582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org