Kay Nash, wife of Dorchester County (S.C.) Sheriff Ray Nash, was waiting to cash a check sitting in her car in the drive-up teller lane at the First Federal of Charleston Bank when she realized that something was wrong.
Through the drive-up teller’s window she noticed a man in a blue hooded sweatshirt—unusual wardrobe for a late summer day in Lowcountry South Carolina—standing next to the teller counter. Then she noticed the handkerchief over his mouth and the fact that he was gesturing at the tellers. She also saw a gun.
Nash realized that a robbery was in progress. She grabbed her cell phone and called her husband. Then with the sheriff on the phone, she drove her car to the far end of the parking lot so she could surveil the robber’s car and maybe see the license plate.
The suspect ran out of the bank, got into his car, and drove off around the corner of the Plantation Square shopping center.
“It was scary,” Sheriff Nash said when asked by the Charleston Post and Courier what it was like having his wife follow an armed bank robbery suspect. “But she was doing such a good job relaying information I went into my police mode. She was mad. I can tell you she was mad.”
Perhaps it was that anger that explains why Kay Nash followed the suspect, even though she told the Post and Courier that she thought of herself as “the biggest chicken in the world.”
As she followed, the suspect decided to inspect his loot. It was a bad decision on his part. A dye pack burst in the car sending money and a pink mist into the air. Kay Nash says that as she watched, the suspect parked his car, grabbed some of the money, and ran through a field into a mobile home park.
Police responded with an air unit and K-9s but, at presstime, the suspect had not been caught. The dogs did find a dye-spattered shirt and pants buried under some pine cones.
Kay Nash said later that what she did was not heroic. “If I were a hero, I would have caught him,” she told the Post and Courier.