Crime

Disgruntled woman attacked Swansea bank employee with pepper spray, police say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A St. Louis woman has been charged with aggravated battery after police say she attacked a teller at a Swansea bank in February.

Mercedes G. Reeves, 23, was charged in St. Clair County Court on March 21 for the Feb. 21 incident at FCB Swansea Bank on North Illinois Street, Swansea Police Deputy Chief Craig Coughlin said Tuesday.

Reeves was attempting to cash a check at the bank around 4 p.m. and became “disgruntled with the process,” Coughlin said. Reeves left the bank angrily, but came back a few minutes later to pepper spray the same teller in the face.

The teller did not seek medical attention, but there was some irritation on her face, Coughlin said.

Employees at the bank called police during the attack, but Reeves left the bank before they could arrive, Coughlin said. A warrant was issued for Reeves’ arrest and in March, U.S. Marshals in Missouri were able to track her down at a residence in St. Louis. She was taken into police custody without incident.

“We had to do some investigative work to put the case together,” Coughlin said.

According to Coughlin, because the teller was over 60 years old, the charge against Reeves was elevated to aggravated battery.

It is unknown if Reeves remains in police custody. According to St. Clair County Jail records, she was not being held there.

Hana Muslic has been covering breaking news and crime for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.


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