Verone worked for Coca-Cola for 17 years. He prided himself on keeping his nose to the grindstone. Don’t make enemies. Sell the product. Make your deliveries and stick to your schedule.
When his career as a cola delivery man ended some three years ago, Verone was knocked out of his comfort zone.
He hopped back in the saddle driving a truck. But that employment didn’t have near the longevity, and Verone found himself jobless.
He lived off of savings and sought a part-time job.
Not his first choice, Verone became a convenience store clerk. But the bending, standing and lifting were too much for him. The Gastonia man’s back ached; problems with his left foot caused him to limp. His knuckles swelled from arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome made daily tasks difficult.
Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest.
Strapped for cash, Verone looked into filing for disability. He applied for early Social Security.
The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.
“The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he said. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”
A couple of months ago Verone started weighing his options.
He considered turning to a homeless shelter and seeking medical help through charitable organizations.
Then he had another idea: commit a crime and get set up with a place to stay, food and doctors.
He started planning.
As his bank account depleted and the day of execution got closer, Verone sold and donated his furniture. He paid his last month’s rent and gave his notice.
He moved into the Hampton Inn for the last couple of days. Then on June 9 he followed his typical morning routine of getting ready for the day.
He took a cab down New Hope Road and picked a bank at random — RBC Bank.
Verone didn’t want to scare anyone. He executed the robbery the most passive way he knew how.
He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention.
“I didn’t have any fears,” said Verone. “I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police.”
But today, he has no regrets about the robbery or where it landed him.
“If I had not exercised all the alternatives I would be sitting here saying, ‘Man I feel bad about it,’” he said.
But Verone said he thinks he made the right choice for his situation.
“I picked jail.”
You can see an interview at the following link