Bank standoff ends with an arrest

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- A man who allegedly made a botched attempt to rob a North County bank today refused to surrender when officers arrived, holing up inside with several employees for nearly two hours before exiting with his hands up and being arrested.

Cole Hoffman, 30, allegedly handed a demand note to a teller at the Wells Fargo branch office in the 3400 block of Marron Road in Oceanside about 11 a.m., claimed that he had a concealed weapon and said he planned to take hostages, according to Lt. Leonard Cosby.

Officers arrived within several minutes and surrounded the building. Two bank employees had managed to escape out a back door, but nine others remained inside, within secure work spaces outfitted with bulletproof plexiglass, Cosby said.

Crisis negotiators and a SWAT team were called in to try to effect a quick and peaceful end to the crisis. A Wells Fargo employee helped by acting as a telephone intermediary in the exchanges between the suspect and the police, Cosby said.

About 12:45 p.m., Hoffman walked out of the bank, shirtless and with his hands over his head, and officers took him into custody without incident. The suspect turned out to be unarmed, the lieutenant said.


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