Local News

Durham firefighter fired after arrest in 'Green Goblin' robberies

Posted June 13, 2012 11:21 a.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2012 8:47 a.m. EDT

— A Durham firefighter was fired from his job Wednesday after being arrested on 43 charges in connection with a recent string of robberies at local businesses.

Damon Quick, 35, of 902 Estelle Court in Durham, was arrested Tuesday night during a robbery at the Dollar Tree, at 3823 Guess Road, Durham police said at a news conference Wednesday.

He had been a city firefighter, earning approximately $40,400, since August 2003.

"This is not representative of our department," Durham Fire Chief Bruce Pagan Jr. said. "It's important that we emphasize that to our citizens. We have a department in which we pride ourselves in being honest and carrying out our duties with a high degree of integrity."

Although Quick had some discipline problems as a firefighter, Pagan said none were serious and none were ever indicative that he might do something like the crimes of which he's accused.

Quick is also charged in seven other robberies between May 8 and June 1 in which he was allegedly armed with a gun and wore a green mask. Police investigating the crimes nicknamed him "Green Goblin."

Each robbery happened near closing time, police said, and in each case, he took both cash from the business as well as wallets and cash from employees.

In two instances – one on May 22 at Family Dollar at 2110 N. Roxboro Street and the other on May 23 at a Captain D's restaurant at 4300 N. Roxboro Road – Quick allegedly approached employees while they were taking out the trash.

He fled from the Family Dollar because the store had been locked, investigators said. At the Captain D's, he forced the employee, at gunpoint, back inside the restaurant and fled with cash.

Quick is also accused of robbing GameStop, at 1804 N. Pointe Drive, on May 8; Family Dollar, at 1518 S. Miami Blvd., on May 12; Dollar General, at 101 Ganyard Farm Way, on May 17; Domino's, at 1209 W. Main St., on May 23; and Dollar Tree, at 1515 N. Pointe Drive, on June 1.

He faces 19 counts of second-degree kidnapping, 11 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, seven counts of assault by pointing a gun, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of communicating threats.

He was placed in the Durham County jail Wednesday morning under a $9 million bond but was taken to a local hospital Wednesday afternoon after he tried to attempt suicide, authorities there said. He was in critical condition early Thursday.

According to court records, Quick was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1993 and for writing worthless checks in 2007.

He was also found not guilty in 2007 of soliciting a prostitute and resisting arrest.

Pagan said that because he was found not guilty, the city did not have enough of a basis to terminate him then.

"We did not have grounds, at that point, to follow through or continue with his termination, so at that point, he was re-instated," Pagan said.

"Of course, we don't have a crystal ball, but had we known this type of situation would have occurred alter, that would have made a difference in my decision back then."