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Suspect, 62, Shot in Irvine Holdup Is Reported 'Critical'

September 01, 1985|ANDY ROSE | Times Staff Writer

A 62-year-old Anaheim man was reported in "very critical" condition Saturday after undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds suffered when police interrupted an attempt to rob an Irvine bank.

James Clifford Ballentyne, who lives in the 1200 block of North East Street, allegedly robbed the Crocker National Bank at 19000 MacArthur Blvd. about 3:30 p.m. Friday, Irvine police said.

When he pointed a gun at three Irvine police officers while fleeing the bank, they fired, striking him an unknown number of times in the chest and both arms, police said. He was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was placed in the intensive care unit after undergoing surgery Friday and Saturday.

Wife Said She Was Shocked

Ballentyne's wife, Delphia, 56, said her husband had never committed a serious crime before, and she knew of no reason for his actions. The two weren't suffering financial problems, she said. "I have no idea," she said. "I was just as shocked as everyone else."

A police report said that Ballentyne forced assistant bank manager Don Finer to have a briefcase filled with about $40,000 and then used him as a hostage when leaving the bank. Finer managed to get away when police, who were called by bank employees, confronted the suspect outside the front door.

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