A California man was waiting in line to deposit a check at a bank when he noticed a robbery unfold in front of him – and the suspect was his former neighbor.
Michael Armus Sr. was at Bank of the West in Woodland, California, on Monday when police said Eduardo Plasencia, 43, entered the bank and passed a note to a teller claiming he was robbing the bank and had a gun.
That’s when Armus, 69, who told Good Morning America that he recognized the suspect as his former neighbor and friend of his daughter, stepped in and encouraged Plasencia to not rob the bank, the Woodland Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.
Police arrested Plasencia outside the bank. He was charged with attempted robbery.
“His words of wisdom worked and Plasencia changed his mind and left the bank,” police said.
In the event of a bank robbery, security experts say people should avoid making a bad situation worse, be cooperative, don’t be a hero and stay calm, among other tips.
A bank robbery ended with a hug
Armus said he tried to comfort Plasencia and asked him what was wrong.
“He said, ‘There’s nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison,’ ” Armus told GMA.
Armus then suggested the two go outside where the situation ended in a hug. “I (gave) the man a hug right here at the doors,” Armus told GMA. “He started crying.”
In the statement, police thanked Armus and said he “delivered the right message that made a difference.”
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