A California man’s compassionate heart saved the day when he found himself in a desperate situation on May 22.
When Michael Armus Sr. stopped by the Bank of the West in Woodland to deposit a check, he could not have imagined what was about to unfold in front of his eyes, Good Morning America (GMA) reported Friday.
According to law enforcement, Eduardo Placensia, who is in his 40s, had given the teller a note that said he had explosives and wanted money.
“I’m always joking around, and it wasn’t no jokes yesterday,” Armus told WUSA of the situation:
However, the suspect was familiar to him, and Armus soon realized he was a former neighbor and his daughter’s friend. That was the moment he knew he had to do something to help.
A surveillance image shows the suspect at the counter using his shirt to cover his face:
“So, I took him outside, and I give the man a hug right here at the doors,” said Michael Armus Sr. of California. “He started crying. https://abc7.la/3IMRqB0
Posted by ABC7 on Sunday, May 28, 2023
He also heard irritation and depression in the man’s voice, which made his heart go out to him.
“So, I just approached him, and I asked him, I said, ‘What’s wrong?… 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 recalled, adding he tried to comfort the man.
“So, I took him outside, and I give the man a hug right here at the doors. He started crying,” Armus explained.
When police arrived at the scene moments later, they arrested the suspect for attempted robbery, and authorities noted he was unarmed.
“I believe it was meant for me to be here that day,” Armus said while wearing a shirt with the words “Love God. Love People. Impact Lives” printed on it.
Now, Armus is thinking about visiting Placencia in jail, noting, “Love overcomes all things. People don’t realize that. Try to be kind to somebody. It makes a difference.”
Social media users praised the Good Samaritan for his kindness, one person writing, “This is such a difficult time for so many of us. I’m so glad that he was there to give some kind of love and comfort when he is clearly struggling with a lot.”
“The power of hugs is still misunderstood,” another commented .