Suspect’s Mom: ‘He Wants To Go Back To Prison’

Posted at 6:28 PM, Aug 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-23 18:28:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.,–A West Michigan man is behind bars after police say he robbed the same bank twice.  His mom says he did to get back to prison.

According to court documents, 39-year-old Michael Smith was arrested for robbing the Chase Bank on Ottawa in Grand Rapids around 4:30pm Thursday. Records say Smith walked into the bank, implied he had a gun and demanded cash from the teller.

Those records say Smith proceeded to walk out of the bank with the money when he was spotted by an officer counting a large amount of money near Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. Investigators say when Smith noticed the officer he ran into the bathroom of DeVos Children’s Hospital where police and security personnel caught up with him. Records say he had nearly $2,000 on him.

Investigators say Smith admitted to them his motive for robbing the bank was his addiction to cocaine.  Smith’s mom, Joyce Howard said her son isn’t a bad guy he just got caught up in the wrong crowd.

“Before he got on the drugs he was a very, very good guy.  He used to bring me flowers and presents all the time he was just a good guy,” she said.

This isn’t the first time though Smith’s been in trouble with the law. Court documents show Smith robbed the same bank when it was called ‘Bank 1′ back in 2005. Records show he wrote a note to the teller saying “5,000 or die.”

His mom says he would never hurt anyone, though.

“He has a chemical imbalance in his brain and he got on drugs and he got in with the wrong crowd when he was younger and he just can’t seem to get out.”

Sources say this time around Smith took the same exact getaway route and again headed straight for the hospital.  That’s why his mom says she thinks he did it to get back to prison.

“I’m sad but Michael wants to back to prison.  He can’t take care of himself and I can’t take care of him. I love him very much; I feel sorry for him but I can’t do anything for him.”

Smith served five years in prison for his first robbery, and his probation period for that crime ended in February. Earlier this year a missing person report was put out for him after police say he walked away from a medical treatment facility, he was though later found.

Smith has yet be arriagned on this most recent case.