News and Press Releases

Defendant Wore Soda Can “Bomb” Around his Neck; Lead Police on High-Speed Chase

August 28, 2009

SHAWN E. BROMLEY, 40, of Washougal, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 60 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release for Armed Bank Robbery. BROMLEY was arrested March 19, 2009, following the robbery of a credit union in Washougal. BROMLEY lead police on a high speed chase, weaving in and out of traffic on a two-lane road, before flipping his car. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said, “the defendant’s actions could have gotten somebody seriously, seriously hurt.... (he) put a lot of people at risk.”

According to records filed in the case, BROMLEY entered the Lacamas County Credit Union just after noon, with a blue surgical mask over his face. He approached a teller, handed her a black plastic bag with a note on it that claimed BROMLEY was wired with a bomb and that he would explode it if she hit the alarm or put a dye pack in with the money. BROMLEY left the bank with $412. Washougal police officers spotted BROMLEY leaving the bank – he lead them on an eight mile chase primarily on a two-lane road, at speeds of eighty miles an hour. BROMLEY swerved into oncoming lanes and narrowly avoided oncoming traffic. BROMLEY flipped his car onto its roof. Police approached and asked if he was armed. BROMLEY claimed he was armed with a bomb. He handed the bomb out the window. It was a soda can filled with explosive powder, wrapped with duct tape, with a fuse coming out the top.

In asking for at least a five year term for BROMLEY, prosecutors acknowledged that he has significant health problems, but noted that he put everyone in the bank at risk with his crude bomb, for minimal reward. “Of course, the potential danger to the community did not end when Bromley left the credit union. His high-speed attempted getaway on Washougal River Road created an extremely dangerous situation for police officers and civilians alike. The Court’s sentence should reflect the seriousness of BROMLEY’s conduct and the dangerous situation created by his disregard of the law,” Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs wrote in his sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Washougal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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