Man gets 35 years for 2003 armed robbery

(File Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Anderson man will spend the next 35 years in prison for an armed bank robbery 11 years ago where he fired at police.

U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced the sentencing of 46-year-old Pascal S. Sylla this week. He was convicted of one count of attempted bank robbery and one count of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Authorities say on August 1, 2003, Sylla entered the Madison County Federal Credit Union on 53rd Street in Anderson and pulled out a pistol. Police say he ordered a customer and teller to get on the ground.

Officials say the customer was Assistant Chief of Police for the Anderson Police Department Ray Novak. Novak complied with Sylla’s demands but as Sylla went after the bank teller Novak drew his weapon and said he was an officer.

The two exchanged gunfire. Sylla told Novak he would give up but instead took another shot at Novak. The two then left the bank before Sylla fired another shot and then fled the area.

Police say the case was unsolved until 2010, when Anderson police learned DNA from the crime scene matched a federal inmate’s. Sylla was serving time in the Terre Haute Penitentiary for a 2005 bank robbery.

In addition to his 35-year sentence announced this week, Sylla faces three years of supervised release after serving his sentence. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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