Bystander shares story of confrontation with Ardmore bank robbery suspect

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 6:45 PM CDT
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Ardmore resident Taber Knight was in the right place at the right time to confront a bank robbery suspect in Ardmore Tuesday afternoon.

Knight said he was driving through the parking lot near Bank of the West when he saw a man running and a woman yelling.

Knight said he thought the man had stolen the woman's purse and jumped out of his truck.

"I chased him down, jumped the creek," Knight said. "He jumped the creek. (I) caught up to him. I realized it was a bag of money. He threw the money at me and started reaching in his back pocket so I just dropped him."

A punch from Knight knocked out the suspect, who turned out to be 21-year-old Zackary Gage Pebley.

Officers found Knight a few minutes later, away from where the confrontation happened, and asked him what took place.

Pebley was able to regain consciousness and run a little further.

Pebley was later found around hiding under a camper trailer near the intersection of 1st Avenue NW and M Street NW after a K9 officer tracked him down.

Capt. Keith Ingle with the Ardmore Police Department said Knight's quick action likely kept the suspect from running to a getaway vehicle after the robbery.

"I wouldn't recommend anybody else doing that, for their own safety," Ingle said. "But in this case, it worked out. We are really proud of the citizen that helped us out because it made a big difference in this case."

Police were able to recover $3000, a knife and a handgun during the search.

Although others have called him a hero, Knight said he was just trying to help.

"I'm just an ordinary guy," Knight said. "I just thought I would help the lady. I had no idea it was a bank but I'm glad nobody was hurt."

Local agents from the FBI took over the investigation Tuesday.

Police say officials are still working to make the decision if Pebley will be transferred to Muskogee to go on trial at a federal level or if he will stay in Carter County to be tried locally.

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