A quick thinking California man managed to convince a prospective bank robber to abandon his criminal intentions.
Michael Armus, Sr., 69, believes that fate sent him to the the right place at the right time, to prevent a crime that could have brought harm to customers at his local Bank of the West.
Armus arrived at the bank’s Woodland, California branch late Monday morning, when he immediately noticed that something was off with the normally cheerful bank tellers.
“I’m always joking around, and it wasn’t no jokes yesterday,” he recalled.
After recognizing the clear tension rolling off of the employees, his attention was drawn to a customer who was trying to shield his face with his shirt.
Armus had unknowingly walked into an active bank heist.
43-year-old Eduardo Plasencia had just passed a note to one of the tellers, which stated that he was armed and robbing the bank.
Plasencia’s became more agitated with Armus’ presence, and warned that he didn’t want to hurt anyone.
Instead of cowering when he realized the situation he had walked into, Armus summoned his compassion and became an everyday hero.
He thought that the way Plasencia was speaking reeked of depression and desperation, so he decided to walk up to him.
As he was approaching, Armus shockingly recognized the man. “Like 25, 20 years ago, he lived in an apartment complex I did. I didn’t know him, but I have seen him around.”
“He was a friend of my daughter’s. That broke the ice for me,” he remarked.
Armed with their connection, the former neighbor believed he would be able to deescalate the situation.
“I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘You don’t have a job?’ He said, ‘There’s nothing in this town for me. Nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison,'” Armus recounted.
Instead of being afraid of the potentially armed man, Armus consoled Plasencia and asked if he would give up his criminal pursuit to go talk.
“I took him outside, and I gave the man a hug right here at the doors,” Armus said.
“He started crying, and then I stepped away from him, and swoop, here come all the cops. No sirens, just lights everywhere.”
The Woodland police had already been alerted to the robbery and were waiting to step in.
Plasencia was immediately apprehended and booked him into the Yolo County jail for attempted robbery. Officer’s said that he was not actually armed.
Amazingly, Armus’s compassion was undeterred by the dangerous encounter and he’s considering visiting Plasencia in jail.
“Love overcomes all things. People don’t realize that. Try to be kind to somebody,” Armus said sagely. “It makes a difference.”