(Memphis) An East Memphis woman says she almost picked up the accused bank robber known as the ‘Risky Business Bandit.’
Paige Patterson says Mathew Schwitzer called her for help just minutes before the FBI arrested him.
Patterson says she knows her friend is likely going to prison – she doesn’t believe he belongs there – but is glad she’s not going with him.
“He wanted to get out of the apartment,” said Patterson.
Patterson says Schweitzer was at his sister’s apartment when he found out the FBI was about to close in on him.
“I didn’t know about it until he called me and wanted me to come get him because he was scared.”
Patterson says he called her for help, but wouldn’t say exactly why.
“I asked questions. I asked him if he pissed off the wrong person but he told me he would tell me about it when I got there.”
When Paige pulled up to Schwietzer’s sister’s place on Madison, she says the place was surrounded by federal agents.
“I didn’t know what he did, and then his sister called and told me that they’re saying that he robbed a bank.”
Schwietzer is accused of robbing three banks in the Mid-South, dressed up in such a way that people dubbed him the ‘Risky Business Bandit.’
Paige says she’s known him since 2011 when he worked at a restaurant in Cordova as the chef and she was a waitress.
Schwietzer was in recovery then.
Lately, she says, he’s been struggling with his heroin addiction.
“Honestly, drugs will make you do anything.”
While drugs definitely had a hold on him, investigators say Schwiezter did not use a weapon in his robberies and Paige believes he’s not capable of hurting anyone but himself.
“I don’t think he deserves the harsh punishment is probably going to get.”
A federal judge has ordered Schweitzer to go to a locked-down treatment facility for now, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be facing prison time when his case goes to court.