Good Samaritan stops bank robbery with a hug

When one California man recently walked into a regional bank, he wasn't expecting to leave as a hero.

Michael Armus Sr. was at Bank of the West depositing a check on Monday when police say 42-year-old Eduardo Placensia passed a note to a teller, 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 needed to step in. 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?... You don't have a job?'" said Armus. "He said, 'There's nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison.'"

The 69-year-old said he tried to comfort the suspect and suggested that the two go outside. Ultimately, the situation ended in a hug.

"So, I took him outside, and I give the man a hug right here at the doors," said Armus. "He started crying."

VIDEO: Bank robbery thwarted by hero customer (
VIDEO: Bank robbery thwarted by hero customer (

Officers arrived on the scene shortly after the gesture and arrested Placensia, for attempted robbery. Placensia was unarmed, according to authorities.

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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 believes fate brought him to the bank that day.

"It was meant for me to be here," he said.

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