Who can possibly know why Tina Gleim made such a dangerously bold move?
Whatever lit the fire under her, the volunteer treasurer for a nonprofit group — who has stage-four colon cancer — knows one thing for sure: Had she been sporting a vehicle fancier than her pickup truck with 190,000 miles on it, she may not have gone through with her wild ride.
It all started when Gleim, 51, was in the middle of the most mundane of chores Thursday morning — filling out paperwork at a bank.
Little did she know she was in store for much more adventure within minutes.
Gleim exited the PNC Bank in Warrington Township — about an hour west of Lancaster, Pennsylvania — to roll down the window on her pickup truck to give her 10-year-old deaf and adopted Siberian Husky, Echo, some extra air.
At about the same time a man exited the bank and starting running across the parking lot. Then a breathless, shaking teller told Gleim he’d just robbed the bank.
“I guess I wanted to take some action if I could,” she told WHTM-TV in Harrisburg.
So she she hopped into her pickup and followed the suspect who was headed to a different parking lot where his getaway vehicle awaited.
And when Gleim eyed the culprit in the driver’s seat, something inside she can’t quite explain took over.
“The opportunity just presented itself to step on the gas and run into his vehicle to try to disable it,” she told WHTM on camera. “It just happened. It wasn’t a lot of thought process.”
After Gleim rammed the guy’s ride, he “looked at me and he’s thinking ‘This woman is nuts.’
“Maybe I am,” she told WHTM wistfully.
The robbery suspect, 38-year-old Alexis Laskowski of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, drove only about a quarter-mile before his vehicle became disabled from the crash, police said. He was arrested after a 30-minute search involving four police agencies and a state police helicopter.
Gleim’s response when she heard the good news?
“Yes!” she exclaimed. “I didn’t total my truck for nothing.”
Laskowski was charged in the robbery of the bank and four others in York and Cumberland counties. He is being held in York County Prison on $500,000 bail.
Gleim said it would be nice if the word got out to others with less-than-honest intentions: “I hope a criminal thinks twice about robbing a business in the Wellsville area.”