When RCMP Const. Brad MacCallum walked into a bank on his day off he didn’t realize he was going to prevent a robbery.
MacCallum was in Red Deer Feb. 7 close to 2 p.m. when he was heading into the Scotiabank on 67 Street and Gaetz Avenue when two women ran out of the branch yelling that the bank was being robbed.
While he wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, MacCallum entered the bank in his everyday clothes and saw a man attempting to get behind the bank counter to gain access to the tills. He saw the man telling the employees that we wanted the money.
MacCallum said he calmly stepped in and put himself between the man and the lady who was closest. “I felt I just had to do something before it escalated,” said MacCallum.
The alleged incident could have gone from bad to worse as no one knew if the man was armed or not.
What happened next helped diffuse the situation even further. “(I) just casually talked to him like a normal human being,” said MacCallum.
That calm response may have been the key to preventing the attempted robbery. It doesn’t appear that the man was armed. Up to this point MacCallum didn’t identify himself as a Mountie but he did eventually state as much and said he was going to detain the man.
“Of course you’re always waiting for the worst…you don’t know if they’re going to brandish a weapon,” he said of the experience.
The situation took all of a couple minutes and left everyone dumbfounded, he added.
Some of his actions went against training that RCMP receive. Typically in high risk moments, police like this to keep some distance and take time to assess, however, seeing that there may be some danger to staff, MacCallum decided to act.
“I had to make the decision in order to be as close as possible,” he explained.
“You take what you have for training but you have to balance it with life experiences.”
After a few minutes detaining the man, MacCallum said Red Deer RCMP attended the scene and arrested the man. The man has since been charged with robbery.
MacCallum is a member of the Wetaskiwin Integrated Traffic Unit and lives in Ponoka.
The incident is alleged and not proven in court.