Fmr. mayor calls Simpsonville bank robbery “a cry for help”

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Simpsonville Police report the man who robbed a bank on Saturday morning is in custody and it turns out he was once an Upstate police chief.

Late on Saturday night, Simpsonville Police identified the man as Richard Inman.

Police said he was arrested around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in Franklin County, Georgia.

It turns out Inman was once the police chief of Williamston and the former mayor of that town spoke with 7News over the phone on Sunday.

“I very well think this might be a call for help,” Carthel Crout said. “I was shocked, really. Richard Inman, when he came here as police chief, was a great police officer.”

Crout said it made him sad to hear Inman is being accused of robbing a bank.

Simpsonville police said Inman walked into the Bank of America on Fairview Road in Simpsonville and handed the teller a handwritten note claiming he was armed and demanding money.

Surveillance photos showed Inman was not wearing a disguise.

“I think that was on purpose, my opinion,” Crout said. “I just think he wasn’t thinking right. He was just wasn’t trying to hide it. I don’t think there’s any doubt he wasn’t trying to hide it. He was a police officer for many, many years and he knew what it meant.”

Crout was the mayor of Williamston when he hired Inman as police chief years ago.

“He just came in and did his job. He really went to work on the drugs and drug dealers, really worked at that and really just about cleaned the drug problem out real quick in the town of Williamston before he got sick,” Crout told 7News.

Richard Inman
Richard Inman

Back in 2011, Crout said Inman had brain surgery to remove a tumor.

A few months later, Inman was under fire for a controversial photo he posted on Facebook of a port-a-potty with the words “Mexican spaceship” written on it.

When 7News confronted Inman about it in 2011, he told us he thought it was funny.

“There’s nothing that indicates that we treat any minority group in the town of Williamston unfairly. We’ve never had a complaint,” Inman told 7News back in 2011.

Crout asked Inman to resign a few days later.

Now Inman is behind bars facing armed robbery charges.

“To see him where he’s at now is sad. It is real sad but the fact that he walked into a bank, it’s a federal offense, no disguise or anything, that just tells me he’s looking for help,” Crout said.

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