The robber had a gun in his hand and a smirk on his face.

"Y'all gonna make me kill you," he said. "Where's the safe?"

There was no safe inside the Caprice Villa bar, just a handful of middle-aged patrons passing a Tuesday evening.

Shaking, bartender Marcia Williamson gave the gunman the little bit of money in her till: $115. He took cash from the customers and fled into the West Philadelphia night.

The holdup in June left Williamson, 52, traumatized.

"It was really bad. The next day, I said, 'I can't go there,' " Williamson said. "I had to go see my psychiatrist. I had to increase my medicine."

Williamson bitterly recalls the "little smirk" of Timothy Scott, the 22-year-old man whom police have charged with holding up the Caprice Villa. But she is also upset at a court system that could not keep him behind bars despite multiple arrests.

"We all know the dockets are full. They're behind. We know all that," she said. "Whatever they're doing, stop letting them out."

Before the robbery, Scott had skipped out under the courts' "deposit bail" system, which requires many offenders to pay only 10 percent of their bail while signing IOUs for the remainder. In the early 1970s, it replaced a system run by largely corrupt private bail bondsmen.

Read Three-Part Series at Philly.com

0 Comments