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Bank teller charged in home invasion of customer

Posted at 5:09 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 12:55:04-05

BEL AIR, Md. — A bank teller has been charged in connection to the home invasion of a bank customer.

According to Harford County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 8:30 p.m., deputies responded to the 1800 block of Still Pond Way in Bel Air in reference to a burglary in progress.

Deputies say 19-year-old Nathan Michael Newell forced his way into the customer's home and assaulted two people inside after one of the victim's had removed a large amount of money from the bank. The victim says he did this over a course of 5 days and that the man who robbed his home looked like one of the tellers who handled one of the transactions.

Charging documents say Newell rang the doorbell of the home and when the victim answered the door he started strangling him. That's when a second person in the home came downstairs and tried to fight off Newell.

She put Newell in a headlock but he was able to fight her off by slamming her into a wall. She ran upstairs to grab a handgun and pointed it at the suspect. Charging documents say that Newell didn't seem fazed by the gun and the victim pulled the trigger three times. The gun wasn't loaded and the suspect grabbed it and ran upstairs.

While he was upstairs, the female victim ran over to the neighbors for help. Video footage from the neighbor's house showed Newell running out of the home and between the row of townhomes.

Nothing was reported missing from the home. The suspect emptied a nightstand full of papers but didn't appear to go through anything else, according to charging documents.

One victim was treated at the scene, the other was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview for treatment of his more serious injuries.

Newell was arrested on Wednesday at the bank and confessed to attempting to rob the home.

He told deputies that he was tired of working two jobs and numerous hours a week. Charging documents say he also said he was currently living with his grandparents and was trying to get his own place.

He has been charged with home invasion, robbery, 1st and 3rd degree burglary and 1st and 2nd degree assault.

The President/CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, Michael MacPherson released a statement regarding the incident.

We are shocked and appalled to hear of the events that led to the assault and injury of a longtime member of our credit union. Our thoughts go out to him, and his family, during this difficult time. Currently, this incident is an active police investigation, and we are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities.

I can confirm that Nathan Newell, an employee of the credit union, was arrested at our Fountain Green branch, and charged for his involvement in this case. The employee was with the credit union for less than nine months. Once charges were filed, the employee was immediately terminated.

In our 66-year history, this is the first time a situation like this has ever occurred. In light of these events, we did a thorough review of the employee’s file and hiring procedures that had taken place regarding this employee. Our procedures met all federal and state regulations, including rigorous background checks, credit checks, state, federal and national criminal records checks, and previous employment verification. There was nothing revealed during this process, or subsequently, to indicate the potential for such an outcome. However, as a result of this unprecedented experience, we are doing everything in our power to prevent a similar occurrence.

Again, we are cooperating fully with local authorities, and will provide further updates about this incident when we learn more.

We take this situation very seriously. It is an affront to our members, our Credit Union, our staff, and the Harford County community as a whole. It is in stark contrast to everything we believe in as an organization. Every member’s safety and security is our highest priority. Over our history, Freedom’s fundamental responsibility has been to ensure we meet the financial needs of our membership, and the residents of Harford County, and that all our operations are performed safely and soundly, and our personnel meet the highest service standards.