To Randall Hubatch, robbing a Far East Side credit union with a Star Wars toy gun while wearing a Bucky Badger hat was supposed to be a swift ticket to prison that wouldn’t get anyone hurt.
But three months later, in a voice heavy with regret, he said he knew he was wrong.
“It wasn’t supposed to be violent, but I didn’t realize until afterward that it was,” Hubatch said. “And I traumatized that poor woman. I apologize deeply for that.”
On Tuesday, Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke sentenced Hubatch to two years in prison followed by three years of extended supervision for the Jan. 11 robbery of Summit Credit Union, 1799 Thierer Road. Hubatch was dressed to be caught, with a distinctive three-dimensional Bucky Badger hat on his head, a picture that police promptly released to the public.
After his arrest, Hubatch told police he wanted to go to prison for a long time and said if he were released he would rob again. But now, he said, “I didn’t put much planning into it. I did think it through as much as I should have.”
Hubatch, 50, pleaded guilty to an armed robbery charge barely a month later.
Hubatch said he wanted to go to prison because he had $250,000 in student loan debt and was going to become homeless. His lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Dennis Burke, said Hubatch has major depression, autism, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, epilepsy and other maladies.
A 2004 UW-Madison law school graduate, Hubatch worked for 13 years as a custodian at Union South on the UW campus. He never practiced law because of his conditions.
“I think I will always remember this case as really the saddest I’ve ever been involved in,” said Burke, who has been a lawyer since 1972.
Worried for his future, Burke said, Hubatch thought about what crime he could commit to get a long prison sentence without hurting anyone, and decided to rob Summit.
Assistant District Attorney Shelly Rusch asked for a three-year prison sentence. She said that while it was an unusual case, and she doubted that Hubatch was a threat to public safety, the sentence had to reflect the seriousness of bank robbery.