Man releases hostages in Indiana bank

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

LOWELL, Ind. -- A man armed with a sawed-off shotgun entered a bank and took nine people hostage Tuesday morning before surrendering about four hours later. No one was injured, police said.

The hostages were released throughout the morning as police negotiators talked to the bank manager, who relayed the demands of the gunman. Authorities said David Potchen, 39, of Lowell, asked for two Big Macs and a pack of cigarettes, which were delivered in exchange for two hostages.

Mike Arredondo, chief of the Lake County Police Department, said it wasn't clear that the man was trying to rob the bank. He said when the man walked in, he told bank employees to make sure that the alarm went off and that authorities and the media were alerted.

"He came in with shotgun and told them to call police and that they were going to be there awhile," Arredondo said.

FBI agent Bob Reilley said investigators were trying to determine a motive.

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