No Charges for Hatboro Councilman Who Shot Suspected TD Bank Robber

George Forgeng shot Kevin Philip-Johnson Way after Way allegedly robbed a bank in Hatboro. The Montco district attorney today said Forgeng won't face charges.

hatboro-td-bank-940x540

Montgomery County district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced today that Hatboro Councilman George Forgeng, who shot a suspected bank robber this summer, will not face charges.

Kevin Philip-Johnson Way entered the T.D. Bank on South York Road in Hatboro on July 8th, according to authorities, and showed the teller a note: “Give me $2,500 or I’ll start shooting, don’t make a sound and don’t move.” He got just $468 from a teller, and fled the premises.

While fleeing on foot down South York Road, the dye pack exploded, leaving Way surrounded by a large cloud of red smoke. Forgeng saw the smoke from the dye pack and said he figured Way had just robbed the TD Bank (which had been hit before). Forgeng followed him to a parking lot, armed with a Glock 9mm handgun.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” Way said to Forgeng, according to authorities.

The 60-year-old Forgeng ordered Way to lay down on the ground, but said the 30-year-old man advanced at him. Thinking he was armed, he fired twice. One shot hit Way’s forearm, and the other his palm. After being shot, Way complied with Forgeng’s orders. Forgeng told police he feared for his life, but shot Way in the arm because he didn’t want to kill him.

Witnesses say Forgeng was yelling at bystanders to call the police while he was chasing down Way. In a statement provided by Montco D.A. Ferman’s office, Ferman said the use of deadly force was justified: “He believed the suspect was armed because he had just robbed a bank, the suspect was coming towards him, Forgeng believed the suspect’s satchel contained a weapon, and the suspect was half Forgeng’s age and much larger in weight and height,” the release said. “Considering all of those facts, it was reasonable in light of all the circumstances for Forgeng to be in fear of death or serious bodily injury thus legally permitting the use of deadly force.”

Way’s public defender said in July that his client disputed Forgeng’s account. “He stopped and put his hands up and said, ‘Don’t shoot me,’” William Riley told the Bucks County Courier Times. Way has reportedly confessed to robbing the bank.

In addition to his job as a councilman in Hatboro, Forgeng is also a teacher at Harry S. Truman High School in Bristol Township, Bucks County.

Ferman says that, despite the decision not to charge Forgeng, witnesses to criminal activity are urged to “contact law enforcement first, before acting.”

Read Ferman’s full statement below:

Follow @dhm on Twitter.