But Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said 22-year-old David Gorczynski of Easton will still face felony terroristic threat charges and disorderly conduct counts, even though the attempted robbery charges were withdrawn.
"The First Amendment does not protect the right of a man to yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater and, in my view, does not protect the right of a man to enter a bank building and announce the bank is being robbed," Morganelli told reporters Wednesday.
Defense attorney Phil Lauer said he's relieved to see the most serious charges dropped but believes his client's actions were protected by the First Amendment. He said Gorczynski stood silently at the banks' entrances Monday and made no threatening movements toward anyone.
Authorities said Gorczynski also carried another sign that said, "Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, he can rob a country."
"I don't think you can read the criminal complaint, even, without understanding that he was seeking to comment in an interesting . articulate, unusual, maybe annoying way about the way the banking system works," Lauer said.
Morganelli, however, said "You're being robbed" was not a political statement but "a direct statement that brought real fear" to bank workers and customers. He said the defendant was dressed all in black and at one point had a bandanna over his face, and he alleged that Gorczynski acknowledged having chosen his outfit to "alarm people" after being "laughed at" when he wore other clothing.
Morganelli said, however, that he would be willing to negotiate a plea deal for Gorczynski and is not seeking prison time.