When a struggling Californian attempted to alleviate his financial stress by robbing a bank, Michael Armus Sr. recognized it was out of sadness and not malice.
Stepping in with words, and eventually a hug, 69-year-old Michael diffused a situation potentially explosive situation, as the bank robber claimed he was carrying a bomb.
Everything seemed a normal day for Armus, who walked into the Bank of the West in Woodland, California when he noticed a former neighbor of his speaking to the teller with irritation and depression in his voice.
Unbeknownst to Armus, the neighbor, Eduardo Placensia, had passed a note to the teller claiming he was armed with explosives and demanded money to avoid detonation. However, the fact that Placensia’s shirt was pulled over his nose and mouth mixed with the teller’s frightened expression and quickly alerted Armus to the fact that all was not well.
“So, I just approached him, and I asked him, I said, ‘What’s wrong?… You don’t have a job?'” Armus told Good Morning America. “He said, ‘There’s nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison.'”
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“So, I took him outside, and I give the man a hug right here at the doors,” said Armus. “He started crying.”
The police arrived at that moment to take Placensia into custody for attempted robbery, later stating that he was in fact not armed at all.
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