Shooting victim files suit against BankOne, claims ATM location unsafe

By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 29, 1996

The victim in last February's shooting at a campus-area ATM filed a civil complaint in Pima County Superior Court yesterday seeking unspecified compensatory damages from BankOne of Arizona Corp.

The suit alleges that BankOne was negligent in its design of the area surrounding the automatic teller machine at its 947 N. Park Ave. branch, said William T. Healy, the victim's attorney.

Franklin B. Over Jr., then 26, was shot in the back of the head Feb. 5 at about 11:20 p.m. as he was sitting in his pickup truck on East First Street after withdrawing money from the ATM.

According to witnesses at the scene, Over was reportedly mugged by three Hispanic males, one of whom later shot through the rear window of the truck. Bullets struck Over and sent him to the hospital in critical condition.

"It remains an active case for us," Tucson Police Department Sgt. Eugene Mejia said of the investigation. "To this date, if we have not made an arrest, it is because we lack specific information."

Mejia said detectives would continue to pursue the case as long as they continue to have active leads to follow up on.

Because of the shooting, Over is now blind and has lost a portion of his skull, Healy said.

"He has to go through rehabilitation to live in a dark world."

Healy said the suit takes issue with the ATM's surroundings.

"There are three Ls: landscape, lighting and location," he said. "We maintain (these) were not adequate for the purposes of the safety of the consumer."

Healy cited the following in the suit:

Healy said he consulted with ATM experts nationwide about the ATM's location but would not disclose the experts' names while the case remains in litigation.

"There's a lot of literature out there to give them (BankOne) notice of the dangers of these machine and that they attract thieves," he said.

Healy said the suit seeks "just and reasonable" damages to cover expenses incurred by the victim's physical injuries and emotional distress to both the victim and his family.

BankOne spokeswoman Mary J. Thomas said her company has no comment about the case.

"We don't discuss matters that are currently in litigation," she said.

Franklin B. Over Sr. would not comment on the case at this time, and the victim did not return phone calls last night.