Michael Armus Sr. was depositing a check at the Bank of the West on Monday morning.
When a Californian recently walked into a regional bank, he didn’t expect to emerge a hero.
Michael Armus Sr. was at Bank of the West depositing a check on Monday when police said Eduardo Placensia, 42, passed a note to a cashier, claiming he had explosives and demanding money.
Armus said he recognized the suspect as a former neighbor and friend of his daughter and immediately knew he had to intervene. He said he heard irritation and depression in the sound of the suspect’s voice.
“So I just approached him, and I asked him, I said, ‘What’s wrong? … Don’t have a job? ‘” Armus said. “He said, ‘There’s nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to jail.'”
The 69-year-old said he tried to comfort the suspect and suggested the two go out. In the end, the situation ended in a hug.
“So I took him outside and kissed the man right here at the door,” Armus said. “He started crying.”
Officers arrived at the scene shortly after the incident and arrested Placensia for attempted robbery. Placensia was unarmed, authorities said.
In a statement to ABC News, police praised Armus and called him “a good Samaritan who delivered the right message that made a difference.”
Armus said he believed fate brought him to the bank that day.
“It was for me to be here,” he said.