Tense moments for man with robbery suspect

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by Mike Benner

NWCN.com

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 10 at 6:21 PM

PORTLAND -- A Portland man is safe after spending some tense moments with the suspect in an armed bank robbery.

"For the most part it's pretty calm," said Philip Carter.

But on Thursday things got wild when Carter looked out his window and saw armed officers descending on his downtown Portland apartment.  Unbeknownst to Carter, the officers were looking for a man, who moments earlier, befriended the 58-year-old.

"The guy approaches me and asks me to use my phone, and I said sure," added Carter.

The man offered Carter $20 cash.  While it seemed odd, things would only get stranger.

"Then he went and put some toilet paper in the peep hole of my door and I'm thinking he's really acting weird," he said.

According to Carter, the man then hid a gun and dumped wads of cash all over his floor.  Carter realized he was dealing with a suspected bank robber.

"I'm wondering, 'am I being punked,'" said Carter.

Detectives said the strange man, later identified as Steven Gentry, had just robbed the Wells Fargo on Southwest 5th.  It appears that Gentry was seeking refuge in Carter's apartment.

"Just another day in the heart of the city," Carter said.

The suspect eventually walked out of Carter's apartment and right into the arms of waiting officers.  Investigators then ordered Carter to hand over the $20 he got from the suspect bring the ordeal to an end.

"I'm not going to let that harden my heart," said Carter.  "If some other citizen is in need of a phone call or a glass of water I'm still going to give it to them."

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