WATERVILLE — It was a scene right out of a movie.

A lone man brandishing a handgun walked into Bangor Savings Bank on upper Main Street Tuesday morning, robbed the bank and fled, but what was to happen next, no one could have predicted.

Jason Mackenrodt

He ran across four lanes of traffic on Main Street and into the Ming Lee restaurant parking lot, slipped on the ice and found himself face-to-face with a Maine State Police lieutenant who just happened to be parked in the right place at the right time.

“When he fell, the money and the gun he had stashed in his jacket pocket spilled onto the parking lot, and the money was swept across the parking lot by the wind,” police Chief Joseph Massey said later. “Members of the public tried to scoop it up.”

The state police lieutenant, Glenn Lang, was suspicious, of course, and got out of his vehicle, tackled the man, and took him into custody just about the time city police responded to the report of a bank robbery.

“That was great luck and great action on the part of Lt. Lang, to put that together so quickly and get out of the vehicle and apprehend him,” Massey said.

Jason Mackenrodt, 37, listed as transient, was arrested on charges of robbery and terrorizing and on a probation hold — he was on probation for burglary — and was taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta. His bail was set at $25,000 cash, according to Waterville’s Deputy Chief Bill Bonney.

Robert Goetz said he saw a man run from Bangor Savings Bank on upper Main Street in Waterville on Tuesday. “I had just left my shift at Harbor Freight and was sitting in my truck talking to my mother in Pennsylvania and saw money flying everywhere,” said Goetz, 52, of Clinton. “I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m witnessing a bank robbery here. I gotta go,’” Goetz recalled.

Bonney said Mackenkrodt’s court date is May 13, but he will be seen by a judge before then.

The gun he was carrying turned out to be a BB gun, Bonney said.

The action started at 10:10 a.m. when police got a call from a bank official saying the bank had been held up and that a man took an undisclosed amount of money, according to Massey.

Shortly thereafter, police cruisers with blue lights flashing were at the bank on the busy corner of Main Street and Waterville Commons Drive, which leads into the Walmart complex and borders Elm Plaza shopping center to the south.

Police officers also headed to the Ming Lee parking lot across Main Street where several cruisers were parked and officers at 10:37 a.m.  gathered around the hood of an unmarked cruiser where two brown paper bags were placed, apparently containing the cash.

“I had just left my shift at Harbor Freight and was sitting in my truck talking to my mother in Pennsylvania and saw money flying everywhere,” said Robert Goetz, 52, of Clinton, who was at the scene.

“I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m witnessing a bank robbery here, I gotta go,'” Goetz recalled. “I was like, this is a robbery, this is bad.”

Michael Levo saw a Maine State Police trooper tackle a suspect in a bank robber in Waterville on Tuesday.

Goetz said he directed a police officer to the alleged robber and then started collecting $20 bills that were blowing around in the wind.

“I told the police I picked up about 400 bucks,” he said.

Michael Levo, assistant general manager for Advanced Auto Parts next to Ming Lee, said he also witnessed the man running from the scene before Lang tackled him.

“I seen him running this way, coming from the parking lot of Five Guys,” Levo said outside the business. “I was standing right here. A bunch of money fell out of his pocket and he had a gun, a 45 or 9 mm.”

Levo said he witnessed the police official take the man into custody.

“That was interesting,” he said. “I just didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid somebody was hurt. When I saw the gun and money, I knew he robbed somebody.”

Besides Bonney, officers in the Ming Lee parking lot after the robbery included Waterville police Sgt. David Caron, Detective Damon Lefferts and Officer Matt Libby.

Asked if other people may have been involved in the robbery, Bonney said that is still under investigation. He said Mackenrodt was cooperative with police.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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