Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Robberies — (The Orlando Sentinel)

SSRI Ed note: Police Officer takes Prozac, cheats his workplace, loses job, robs two banks, claims he does not remember robberies.

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The Orlando Sentinel

March 9, 1991

Author: By Robert Perez Of The Sentinel Staff

Former Altamonte Springs police officer William Lloyd Patch pleaded guilty Friday to robbing three banks in Seminole County and implicated himself in two robberies at local savings and loans.

Patch, 35, could face up to 75 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced May 15. He pleaded guilty to three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of using a weapon to commit a robbery.

During a hearing in Orlando’s federal court, Patch told U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp that he and another former Altamonte Springs officer, Michael McAfee, committed the three robberies. During the crimes, $50,578 in cash, traveler’s checks and savings bonds was taken.

Patch described how he and McAfee robbed the First National Bank, 2160 State Road 434, on Dec. 7.

”Michael McAfee went into the bank. . . . I was shadowing him. McAfee had a shotgun and he ordered the people inside to get on the ground,” Patch said. ”I then collected the money from the cash drawers and we left.”

Patch gave similar accounts for the Dec. 31 robbery of First Seminole Bank, 549 W. Lake Mary Blvd., Lake Mary, and the Jan. 8 robbery of an NCNB branch, 124 Wekiva Springs Road, Longwood.

McAfee, who faces the same charges as Patch, remains in the Osceola County Jail. McAfee’s lawyer, Christopher Smith, said he did not know whether his client knew about Patch’s guilty plea, and said he did not know how it would affect McAfee’s case.

”We’re continuing to prepare for trial,” Smith said. McAfee’s trial is scheduled for April 1.

As part of his plea agreement, Patch promised to repay the three banks and two savings and loans.

The Peoples Financial Savings and Loan, 1001 State Road 434, Altamonte Springs, was robbed Nov. 17. A Meritor Savings branch, 1400 W. S.R. 434, Longwood, was robbed Dec. 28.

Patch told Sharp he was taking Prozac for depression, an anti-anxiety drug and medication for his heart and stomach.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Patch faces a minimum of about 16 years and as much as 19 years in prison. However, the judge depart from those guidelines.

Patch resigned from the Altamonte Springs Police Department in November after an internal investigation found he accepted overtime pay for work he did not do. McAfee resigned in December after being demoted for putting a license tag on his car that was not assigned to it.

The pair are the second and third law officers from cities in Seminole County accused of robbing banks in the past year.

Former Winter Springs police officer Rick Lee Foye, 33, was found guilty last week of robbing an Indiana bank with his 9mm service revolver while on vacation.

He faces six to 20 years in prison when sentenced March 22.

Witnesses said Foye robbed the Mid-State Bank in Lebanon on Nov. 30 after a teller twice refused to cash a check. He was arrested a short time later while driving toward Indianapolis. The bank’s money was recovered.

Foye said he didn’t recall robbing the bank and plans to appeal the case.

Elaine Bennett of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Copyright 1991 Sentinel Communications Co.
Record Number:  9103090908