TACOMA – Federal authorities have taken custody of a Port Townsend man charged with robbing a downtown Tacoma bank Oct. 8 while armed with what appeared to be a bomb.
Michael Fenter, 40, made his first federal court appearance Friday to face charges of bank robbery and being armed in the commission of a violent felony.
Fenter had been held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $10 million bail. He initially refused to tell authorities his real name and had been identified in charging documents as John J. Doe.
Prosecutors charged Fenter in the robbery of the Bank of America at 101 S. Ninth St. in Tacoma.
The robber entered the back and told an assistant manager he represented a group of people angry with the government, according to the FBI. He then said he had a bomb and ordered the assistant manager to fill a bag with cash.
Another employee saw the robbery and called police, who surrounded the bank and arrested Fenter as he left the bank. He had a loaded gun on his right hip at the time, the FBI said.
The Tacoma police bomb squad determined the “bomb” had a blasting cap but otherwise was not dangerous.