Two young gunmen held sight employees hostage in a Brooklyn, New York, bank on Tuesday (22 August) after robbing the establishment of about $ U.
GV PAN Bank entrance PAN TO SV detective takes cover under car
CU Armed detective lying in shooting position
LV Helicopter in flight overhead
SV Policeman hiding under car
SV Gunman's 'lover' arrives
SV Armed detectives
SV Friend and policemen
SV Gunman appears at doorway
SV Police take cover
SV Gunman tells police to go away
SV Policeman under car
LV Man tells police to get back
GV Detectives behind car
SV Two unarmed police talking to man
REPORTER: "It started at three o'clock this afternoon when the bank was seized. Hour after hour went by...the bank robbers remained inside. Hundreds of police crawled outside. Stalemate. Then the extraordinary turned to the bizarre. One of the hold-up men, John Wojtowicz, demanded that his homosexual lover be brought to him. The lover arrived from a psychiatric ward where he'd been under treatment, but refused to go inside. He said he didn't trust Wojtowicz. Wojtowicz, he said, might hurt him. Then Wojtowicz himself appeared in public himself, while his partner kept a gun on the hostages inside the bank. He would come out, shout for police with guns to move further away, then retreat back inside again. It happened four or five times. The police seemed helpless to do anything about it. Finally two unarmed police from the Brooklyn area tried to negotiate with the holdup men. Once again Wojtowicz came out. The talks proved mostly fruitless."
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Background: Two young gunmen held sight employees hostage in a Brooklyn, New York, bank on Tuesday (22 August) after robbing the establishment of about $ U.S. 29,000 (GBP12,000 sterling).
Then an F.B.I. agent shot one of the robbers, Salvatore Maturelle, through the chest and killed him as the pair were being driven to Kennedy airport to board the jet they had ordered for their getaway.
After the shooting, the other gunman--John Wojtowicz, a 27-year-old Vietnam war veteran and self-confessed homosexual--immediately gave himself up.
At one stage during the 14-hour siege at the bank, Wojtowicz demanded that his male 'wife', Ernest Aaron, be freed from the psychiatric ward of a Brooklyn hospital to come and see him. But Aaron was reluctant to enter the bank for fear of being shot.
A reporter on the spot tells this story (an alternative commentary is provided):