Arnold H. Garbs, a 56-year-old banker and grandfather, feels
that his knowledge of firearms saved his life when he was menaced
with a pistol.
Garbs was one of a half-dozen hapless victims caught up in 3
Friday afternoon bank robberies in Harris County, Texas, near
In one robbery, a bandit cornered 5 women employees of a bank,
raped one of them twice, then sprayed insecticide in the faces of
all 5 before fleeing.
In another, 2 gunmen snatched $1,390 after cowing the clerks of a
savings and loan association.
In the third, Garbs, who worked his way up from bookkeeper to
bank president in 38 years, was kidnapped by a lone bandit who took
$29,200 from his bank and drove off with him as a hostage.
Dozens of law enforcement cars and a helicopter took up the chase
while the bandit drove with one hand and kept Garbs covered with the
"If it had not been my good fortune to know guns and their method
of operation, I probably would not be alive now," Garbs, an NRA Life
Member, wrote The American Rifleman. "This robber threatened my
life many times over and I knew that I HAD TO GET THAT GUN TO STAY
While law officers drew closer, the bandit kept his pistol shoved
against Garbs' stomach. Garbs noted that it was a revolver. This
knowledge suggested a plan of action. As reported in The Houston
"When he stopped out there on Interstate 10 at the North Loop, I
think it was, I grabbed his hand and the gun and put my finger
through the trigger guard and kept him pointing the gun toward the
floor. He could only have fired once that way, and at least the gun
was pointed away from me.
"It seemed to me like I was in that car four hours, but I guess
it was only about two.
"The police did a wonderful job--a wonderful job. I may have
helped a little. I kept telling him it wouldn't do him any good to
shoot me as he threatened to do but I think he was intending to
shoot me when the police closed in."
The bank bandit was recently sentenced to a 20-year prison term.
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