Bank Robbers Dressed In Female Muslim Garb Kill Police Officer
Monday, May 05, 2008
Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed while responding to a bank robbery call at approximately 11:30 am on Saturday, May 3, 2008. One suspect was killed, another arrested the following day and a third is being hunted by police.
Howard Cain was apparently the mastermind behind the bank robbery of the Bank of America on Aramingo Avenue and he was shot and killed after attempting to escape following his shooting and killing Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski with a high-powered SKS assault rifle.
On Saturday, a second man involved in that bank robbery, Lavon Warner, who was a onetime sparring partner of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, was arrested for murder, robbery and related charges.
The man still on the run is Eric DeShawn Floyd, an escapee from a drug-treatment facility called Adappt, in Reading, Pennsylvania.
As police pieced together what happened, they determined that Cain had used the Bank of America to cash his weekly checks, and that it was his idea to rob that particular bank, but that his prison buddy, Eric DeShawn Floyd, had the knowhow.
Not wishing to be identified at the bank that Cain frequented, they decided to disguise themselves by wearing Muslim women’s clothes.
At the time, Cain was living in the same building, on Clearfield Street near Sheridan, as Floyd, a fugitive, who had served a state prison sentence for a 1994 bank robbery, the source said.
The two felons met Warner, the ex-boxer, in their North Philadelphia neighborhood, the source added.
Cain apparently realized he couldn’t hold up a bank where he was known, so he and Floyd donned Muslim women’s clothes – a hijab covering their heads; long dresses, called an abaya; and face veils, called nik-ab – to prevent detection, the source said.
Warner, of Westminster Street near 54th, wore a dreadlock wig and dust mask, the source added.
Sgt. Liczbinski was called to the scene and after hearing that the suspects were driving a blue Jeep Liberty, Liczbinski chased the vehicle which ultimately ended up hitting a pole.
That was when Cain jumped out of the car and started firing the assault rifle five times at Liczbinski, leaving him to die as Cain jumped back in the jeep.
The suspects continued to flee, but crashed their vehicle. One suspect fled and the second suspect stole another vehicle, but was shot and killed by responding K-9 officers.
When police found the second vehicle, they also found the 7.62 mm SKS assault rifle that was used to kill Sgt. Liczbinski , loaded with 25 rounds, outside the minivan and inside they retrieved a .44-caliber revolver, fully loaded with five live rounds, two sets of Muslim clothing, $38,000 and two GPS tracking systems and under a trash can nearby in a driveway they recovered a fully loaded .22-caliber revolver and additional clothing used in the robbery.
Muslims expressed anger at the men for using the Muslim garb, one of which was a Islamic researcher named Fareed NuMan, who said, “It puts sisters in danger. They couldn’t be practicing Muslims, no way. The Quran forbids a man to imitate a woman.”
The men that robbed the bank are not known to be Muslim, they simply used the garb so that they would not be recognized.
After Sgt. Liczbinski was shot and lie bleeding, witnesses rushed over to help him, trying to apply pressure to his wounds to stem the flow of blood and one older gentleman had taken Liczbinski’s police radio to tell police, “A police officer is down. He’s shot multiple times. Get an ambulance.”
According to another witness, Keith Petaccio, he was trying to talk to him as he tried to save his life and he said that Sgt. Liczbinski looked up at him and said, “I want you to tell my wife I’ll miss her.”
Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski’s Officer Down Memorial page can be found here.
Posted by Susan Duclos at 10:19 AM