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Former EvCC runner's bail set in kidnapping, robbery

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By Eric Stevick
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- He could outrun his peers, but not the law.
Bail was set at $250,000 Friday for Bereket Million N. Piatt, a former Everett Community College runner who in 2011 won a Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges cross-country championship.
Piatt, 20, is under investigation for allegedly kidnapping an EvCC student and robbing an Everett bank Jan. 23.
At his bail hearing in Everett District Court on Friday, prosecutors argued that Piatt poses a danger to the community and is a risk to flee.
Police tracked cellphone signals near a Tacoma train station that caused them to believe Piatt might be trying to leave the state, officials said.
He has family in California and Oregon, prosecutors said. Police also were checking a report that the suspect might have been planning to leave for Puerto Rico.
Tacoma police arrested Piatt on Thursday. He later was transported to the Snohomish County Jail.
Several people, including a former teammate and coaches, said Piatt is the man caught on surveillance cameras robbing the bank, according to a search warrant. The images appeared in media reports.
The kidnapping victim, whose identity and age were not released, is younger than 18 and attends college courses. She told police that she was approached by a man as she was leaving the college Jan. 23. He pointed a handgun at her and told her to get into her car, court papers said.
The man made her drive to an area near a Wells Fargo Bank on Broadway in north Everett. He threatened to harm her if she drove off, court papers said. He returned a short time later with a white envelope before telling her to drive away. She later was released unharmed.
New details about the bank robbery allegations emerged in court papers Friday.
A man approached a teller and asked to cash a check.
The man then turned the check over. Written on the bank was a demand for $9,000 in cash and a threat, court papers said.
The robber was given several thousand dollars.
After receiving the money, he took steps to learn the man's identity and made additional threats.
"The teller described being in fear for his life due to the threats," court papers said.
Four people who knew Piatt recognized him from news coverage about the robbery.
The bank teller reportedly identified Piatt from a photo montage as the robber.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446;
Story tags » EverettKidnappingPoliceRobberyEverett Community College

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