Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Bank-sanctioned mock robbery traumatizes teller

Reprints

Somewhere John Dillinger is smiling.

America's most notorious bank robber would probably see the irony in the case of a teller who filed a lawsuit against Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank BB&T, alleging he was roughed up and traumatized in a “mock armed robbery” at the bank's Greensboro branch.

Moises Vasquez said he and another employee were opening the bank for the day when a teller from another branch wearing a ski mask screamed at him, jabbed a fake gun in his side, “and told him not to do anything stupid.”

Mr. Vasquez “was visibly traumatized and very angry and upset once he learned he was subjected to a mock armed robbery without his prior knowledge or consent,” according to the complaint filed in Guilford County, North Carolina, Superior Court. He is seeking damages from the bank for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional stress and false imprisonment.

The complaint claims that BB&T staff conspired to harm employees, and that the mock armed robbery was carried out by those not experienced in conducting such security training, in violation of industry standards. The lawsuit also alleges that the bank did not having a proper security plan for the branch, failed to adopt appropriate procedures to discourage robberies and failed to have recognized and generally established practices for mock armed robberies.

“While we conduct regular safety and security training for our branch personnel, our management team does not approve the type of training described in this story,” BB&T Vice President for Corporate Communications David White said.