Regular patrons of Spring Garden Street ATM machines can rest easy tonight -- the violent Spring Garden bandit is off the streets.
On Jan. 4, police say, Wendell Cox walked up to a woman who was withdrawing cash from an ATM at 6th and Spring Garden streets and asked her for the time. Within seconds, he whipped out a knife, pushed the woman aside and grabbed $100 from the ATM machine. He stole the woman's ATM card and ordered her to run off.
Surveillance footage showed Cox, 40, at the same ATM on Jan. 23 at about 7:15 p.m., when another woman was there withdrawing cash. This time, police say, Cox struck the woman in the arm with a baton and shoved her to the ground. He then grabbed her by the neck, forced her to the ATM machine and vowed to slice her throat is she didn't get money for him. Cox made off with $200 from that heist, but video of the robbery also made its way to local TV stations.
Tuesday night, a pair of 24th District cops found Cox, of Marshall Street near Green, sitting in an emergency room at Episcopal Hospital. He was arrested and charged with robbery, theft, aggravated and simple assault and related offenses. According to court records, Cox was arrested in 2007 on charges that included aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of crime. The charges were withdrawn when a witness failed to appear in court.