Former Pitt football player to be charged in Greenfield bank robbery
A former University of Pittsburgh football player is accused of vaulting a counter and repeatedly threatening to kill a half-dozen tellers and employees during a brazen bank robbery on Monday.
Jovani Lynel Chappel, 25, of Hazelwood was the masked man who repeatedly shouted, “I will kill everyone in here,” during the holdup at 10:44 a.m. at the PNC Bank branch along Murray Avenue in Greenfield, according to a criminal complaint.
Chappel said he had a gun, but no weapon was seen, Pittsburgh police Lt. Kevin Kraus said.
He was carrying a knife when he was taken into custody about 1:30 p.m. on the front porch of a home on Lytle Street in Hazelwood, police said.
Detectives said they believe Chappel — who confessed to the crime, according to the criminal complaint — robbed the bank because he was having money problems.
Chappel, a four-year letterman who graduated from Pitt in 2009, was awaiting arraignment in Night Court on robbery charges.
According to the complaint:
Chappel was wearing a blue University of Pittsburgh baseball cap and a white mask with holes for the eyes when he entered the bank carrying a camouflage backpack.
He immediately vaulted the bank counter and yelled things such as: “Give me all the money!” “I will kill everyone in here!” “No silent alarms!” “I used to work here. No dye packs!”
Police do not know whether Chappel ever worked at the bank.
The robber held the bag open as he proceeded to each of three tellers and demanded money from the cash drawers. There were three customers inside, at least one of whom tried to hide behind the bank's office door.
One of the customers followed Chappel outside and saw him driving away in a light blue vehicle. The customer got the license number and gave it to police.
Police tracked the vehicle to Chappel's girlfriend, who lives on Blair Street in Hazelwood, Kraus said.
The SWAT team surrounded and searched the home and nearby residences before Chappel was found a few blocks away.
Chappel, a native of Dayton, Ohio, played cornerback for Pitt from 2006 to 2009.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 dead, including student gunman, after Wash. school shooting
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- Howard Hanna family donates $1M for business student scholarships at University of Pittsburgh
- First Niagara sets aside $45 million
- Arrest made in connection with Rostraver home invasion
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Monsour hospital properties sold at free-and-clear sale
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Pennsylvania chips in $2.5M for $38M boutique hotel in Pittsburgh
- Counterfeit credit card ring falls for failure to remember birth date on fake ID