Some people excel at journalism or poetry but strike out when they try their hand at fiction. Others are talented shoplifters but quickly find themselves behind bars when they turn to armed robbery. And then there are those poor, star-crossed souls who seem to fail at almost everything—such as the bank robber and would-be Hillary Clinton assassin that the cops arrested on Feb. 7.
More about Mrs. Clinton in a moment; first to the bank robbery.
The suspect, Edward Falvey, 53, allegedly visited the North Fork Bank at 1010 Third Avenue around noon. He produced a note written on a deposit slip that stated: “This is a robbery. I have a gun. Pass me the 20’s, 50’s and 100’s. No dye packs.”
Bank robbery has become a relatively easy crime to commit because many banks are reluctant to beef up security, despite repeated protests by the NYPD. And the average bank teller, understandably, is often eager to meet the crook’s demands, especially with a gun pointed at his or her head.
But there must have been something non-threatening about Mr. Falvey’s demeanor—aside from the fact that he wasn’t brandishing a weapon—because his victim pretended to faint when he presented her with his note. The ploy worked: The crook left the bank empty-handed.
But instead of taking his failure as an excuse to consider a less stressful line of work—especially since he’d just been released from a Brooklyn halfway house after doing time for threatening Mrs. Clinton’s life, having already served 30 months in a New Jersey lockup for a prior bank robbery—Mr. Falvey, loath to let his robbery note go to waste, merely proceeded to the nearby Bank of America at 988 Third Avenue.
For the record, he was more successful at his second stop, persuading a teller to part with $5,199. But a teller from the North Fork Bank, showing impressive initiative, followed him to the Bank of America and watched him pull off that robbery. In the meantime, her fellow North Fork employees had called 911 and tripped their alarm, which helped explain the sound of approaching police sirens.
Mr. Falvey allegedly ducked into a phone booth and attempted to hide from the cops—all while under the watchful eye of the North Fork teller, who obligingly pointed him out to the police units when they arrived. The police took Mr. Falvey into custody and turned him over to the feds; his illustrious rap sheet dates back at least as far as 1977, when he was arrested and charged with threatening to kill President Jimmy Carter. He received probation in that case, according to the Associated Press.
His crime against Senator Clinton occurred in April 2003, when he wrote a letter to a prison psychologist while incarcerated in New Jersey, explaining that his life was “dull and boring” and that he thought he might be able to “spice it up” by shooting a famous person.
Mike Truman, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, described Mr. Falvey as a “busy guy,” despite the convict’s complaints that his life lacks excitement. “Every time I hit a button,” Mr. Truman added, referring to tracking the perp’s rap sheet on his computer, “I come up with something else.”
It seems that after seeing much of the country on the federal dime, or at least what you can observe of it through the bars of a prison cell (Mr. Falvey has done time in prisons in Philadelphia, Oklahoma and Texas), he found himself transferred to that Brooklyn halfway house on Nov. 18, 2005.
“It looks like he was released from Brooklyn on Feb. 3, 2006,” Mr. Truman said. “And they picked him back up on Feb. 8, 2006.”
This means that Mr. Falvey enjoyed all of five days of freedom—and perhaps some respite from the painful tedium of his existence—before he was back behind bars. The suspect is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Brooklyn, awaiting arraignment in federal court for his latest crimes.