Man Stops Bank Robbery With An Unexpected Act Of Kindness: A Hug

May 27, 2023

In a heartwarming turn of events, a California man became a hero when he stopped a bank robbery in a small town by employing an unconventional strategy — a simple, heartfelt hug.

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Armus (left) | Credit: ABC News

69-year-old Michael Armus Sr. was at Bank of the West in Woodland, California, 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 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?'" Armus told ABC News. "He said, 'There's nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison'."

Armus suggested he and the suspect 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."

The power of human connection prevailed.

Armus said he believes fate brought him to the bank that day.

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

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

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