Suspected bank robber faces charges for trying to shoot, disarm Joliet police officers

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A man suspected of a bank robbery is facing multiple charges stemming from an incident last month in which he allegedly tried to shoot and disarm Joliet police officers who arrested him.

On Feb. 13, Joliet police went to a residence in the 400 block of Timber Pointe Drive after they learned Victor Barakat, 47, of Joliet, was there and a suspect in a bank robbery in another jurisdiction, police said.

Barakat is accused of robbing a Fifth Third Bank in Rolling Meadows on Feb. 8, according to a federal criminal complaint. Surveillance images from the incident appear to show Barakat holding a silver handgun. Investigators said Barakat left a smartphone on a teller counter during the robbery, which police recovered.

An audit showed he stole $224 from a bank teller, and surveillance video showed he dropped $64 of that money on the floor before leaving the bank.

Officers going to arrest him on Feb. 13 encountered a man in the front door of the residence who identified himself as Barakat. While speaking to police, Barakat allegedly had a handgun, pointed it at officers and pulled the trigger.

The handgun did not fire, though.

Officers took him to the ground and wrestled away the gun from Barakat. Police said the handgun's magazine contained live ammunition, but its firing chamber was empty.

As police took Barakat to a squad car, he tried to grab and take an officer's holstered gun. Officers were able to separate Barakat from the weapon.

Barakat was then taken to Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for injuries he received during the struggle with police. He was released from the hospital a short time later and taken to the Joliet Police Department. He was eventually transferred into federal custody.

On Feb. 27, investigators secured an arrest warrant for Barakat for several charges including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, disarming a police officer, and two counts of aggravated assault.

A Will County judge put Barakat's bail at $2.5 million. He remains in federal custody.

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