An armed Cape Coral man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after police say he attempted to rob a bank and led law enforcement on a chase down I-75.
According to the Cape Coral Police Department, 72-year-old Patrick Schroeder was arrested after officers responded to a call from the Bank of America at 2536 Skyline Blvd. at around 11:15 a.m. in reference to an alleged robbery.
Officers spoke to a security guard who said that an older man wearing a red-and-white striped shirt and blue jeans brandished a rifle at the guard as he attempted to enter the bank. The suspect, later identified as Schroeder, drove away in a black late-model BMW with a spray-painted license plate after the guard refused to let him in.
CCPD quickly found Schroeder’s car, as he left at a high rate of speed. Marked patrol units tried to pull him over, but he disregarded their lights and sirens, continuing to drive away.
According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were notified by CCPD of a pursuit coming over the Midpoint Bridge into Fort Myers. They were informed that Schroeder was armed with an AR-style firearm and was a person of interest in a Cape Coral incident. Multiple LCSO deputies joined the pursuit on Colonial Boulevard where Schroeder was driving erratically, running red lights and swerving toward patrol vehicles.
The pursuit continued onto southbound I-75.
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Deputies say they saw Schroeder grabbing an item from the floorboard. Knowing there was a firearm in the car, deputies conducted a P.I.T./tactical vehicle intercept maneuver. The car came to rest on I-75 near Alico Road, where Schroeder was taken into custody. The AR-style rifle, with a metal magazine in the well, was found between the passenger seat and the center console.
An investigation revealed that Schroeder was at the bank earlier in the day and attempted to deposit a check and withdraw the funds. A hold was placed on the check, which infuriated him. Schroeder returned to his home, grabbed his rifle, sprayed painted his license plate and draped a black t-shirt over his head to conceal his identity. He then returned to the bank with the intent to rob this location.
While returning via chopper from an awards recognition event honoring Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell and Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno was able to oversee the entire pursuit from the air. The chopper landed on I-7, where Marceno walked the scene and commended the responding officer and deputies.
Schroeder was transported to the Lee County Jail. He faces charges of attempted robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing/eluding police/LEO with light and siren active, and resisting without violence.