- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) The FBI had a photograph of the bank robbery suspect it was seeking when an agent mistakenly shot an unarmed, innocent man in the face, court records show.
Joseph C. Schultz was shot March 1 after a car driven by his girlfriend was pulled over by FBI agents who mistook the car for the robbery suspect's.
Mr. Schultz's attorney said his client was reaching for his seat belt when special agent Christopher Braga, 35, shot Mr. Schultz in the face, shattering his jaw. Mr. Schultz remains hospitalized in fair condition.
An FBI affidavit filed in connection with the arrest of robbery suspect Michael J. Blottenberger Jr. says the agent in charge of the investigation had a photo of Mr. Blottenberger.
However, the document does not mention whether Mr. Braga had a copy of the picture.
The agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore office, Lynne Hunt, said last week that the car Mr. Schultz was riding in was similar to the one FBI agents were pursuing, and that Mr. Schultz and his girlfriend resembled the bank robbery suspect and his companion.
The FBI apologized for the shooting last week. "We will do everything necessary to complete a full investigation of the facts," Miss Hunt said.
Mr. Braga has been on administrative leave since the shooting.
Authorities are trying to determine how much the agency knew about Mr. Blottenberger and if they thought he was dangerous.
The affidavit says agents had learned the day of the Feb. 20 bank robbery in suburban Pasadena that Mr. Blottenberger used an air pistol, not a regular firearm.
In spite of that, FBI special agent Peter A. Gulotta Jr. said agents still considered Mr. Blottenberger a threat.
"In general terms, anytime anyone robs a bank, and a gun is displayed, they're considered armed and dangerous," Mr. Gulotta said Tuesday.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide