- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2003

A D.C. native with bank-robbery experience going back 40 years bungled his latest attempt by locking his keys in the getaway car and shooting himself in the leg as he fled on foot with $100 bills flying from his pockets, police said yesterday.
All in all, it was a pretty poor attempt, said Capt. Scott Moser of the Caroline County Sheriff's Department in Virginia.
Edward Butler Blaine, 61, of Spotsylvania County was to enter a plea bargain in court yesterday on gun-possession charges unrelated to the bank holdup, but was instead hospitalized for his wounds, commonwealth attorney Matt Britton said.
Capt. Moser said Mr. Blaine walked into the Union Bank & Trust branch in Port Royal at noon Wednesday wearing a mask and gloves and wielding a gun.
The gunman told the bank tellers to give him all their money, and left the bank with a "large amount" of cash stuffed in a bag and on his person, Capt. Moser said.
As he fled the bank, Capt. Moser said, $100 bills flew from his pockets.
When he got to his car, Mr. Blaine found he had locked himself out. He picked up a log from the ground and tried to break the window, but failed. Apparently in anger, he hurled the log at a pickup parked nearby.
The truck belonged to Emmett Lowe, owner of L&G; Auto, who was unaware the bank had been robbed but saw Mr. Blaine toss the log from inside his shop. Mr. Lowe and another bystander, Larry Aguilar, went outside to confront Mr. Blaine and returned after a short conversation.
Bank tellers, meanwhile, were watching the whole thing. When Mr. Lowe returned to his shop, they phoned and told him of the robbery, Capt. Moser said.
"They said, 'Emmett, the guy you just talked to just robbed us,'" Capt. Moser said.
Mr. Lowe grabbed a gun, and with Mr. Aguilar ran after Mr. Blaine. They chased him about 150 yards from the bank, Capt. Moser said, and tackled him. They were unable to subdue him, however, and could not get his gun away from him.
"They were on the ground with him scuffling," Capt. Moser said. "They said he was very strong. He tried to shoot them but the hammer [of his gun] was caught up in his pocket."
Mr. Blaine finally got a round off, Capt. Moser said, "but instead of shooting them, he shot himself."
Despite the wound in his leg, Mr. Blaine continued struggling and would not let go of the gun.
During their tussle, "Mr. Lowe shot Mr. Blaine in the same leg as Mr. Blaine had shot himself," Capt. Moser said.
"They didn't want to kill him; they just wanted him to not shoot them."
Sheriff's deputies arriving at the scene struggled for several minutes to subdue Mr. Blaine and get his gun away from him, Capt. Moser said.
The suspect was taken to a hospital in Richmond for treatment of his wounds. He was released yesterday and taken to the regional jail in Hanover.
Mr. Blaine now faces two counts of attempted murder, one count of armed robbery and five other felony charges, according to Mr. Britton.
Mr. Blaine was to have appeared in King George County Circuit Court yesterday to enter a plea agreement on four counts of handgun possession. Police found an assortment of 18 guns in a false wall in an outbuilding next to his home, Mr. Britton said. He said the plea agreement would have returned Mr. Blaine to prison for five years. He said Mr. Blaine's attorney withdrew the agreement after the bank holdup.
Mr. Britton said Mr. Blaine had spent nearly 20 years in prison for a Maryland bank robbery in 1963. He was arrested twice in Maryland after his release in 1981: for assault and battery in Pikesville in 1981, and for carrying a handgun as a felon in Hyattsville in 1982.
Mr. Britton said Mr. Blaine was born in the District in 1941.
Mr. Britton said he would prosecute Mr. Blaine for the gun-possession charges if he is convicted in Wednesday's bank robbery but is sentenced to less than 20 years in prison.
"I would do everything I could to make sure he spends the rest of his time behind bars," Mr. Britton said. "He's obviously a menace to society."

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