A would-be bank robber in Fullerton, Calif., met his match Tuesday when an infuriated bystander decided to call his bluff and take him down.
Herb Pearce, who works as a termite exterminator, told CBS Los Angeles that he was at a Chase Bank branch when the “armed” suspect stormed in, marched up to the counter, and announced the stick up.
“(He said), ‘This is a robbery! This is a stick-up! I want all your money right now!’” said Pearce. “I’m looking at this guy, thinking, ‘Is this guy for real?’”
The suspect, 29-year-old Jacob Williams, turned to Pearce and pointed the “gun,” which was concealed in a bag over the suspect's hand, directly at the exterminator.
“He had his hand in the plastic bag,” he said.
However, rather that cowering and complying with Williams’ demands, Pearce decided to fight back. He grabbed Williams’ arm and “clocked” him.
“Pow! I clocked him. He went back a little bit, he came at me again, I hit him again,” he said.
Thankfully, Pearce’s decision to call Williams’ bluff didn’t end in tragedy. As it turns out, the suspect was indeed unarmed, according to police.
Williams was arrested the moment police arrived on the scene.
Obviously, law enforcement officials don’t recommend bystanders “clock” supposed bank thieves – but the police who responded to the situation can’t help but be proud of Pearce.
“I have a feeling he would have completed a robbery, so in that effect, Mr. Pearce is a hero in that he stopped a crime,” said Sgt. Jeff Stuart of the Fullerton Police Department.
Pearce broke and fractured his hand in the process of taking down Williams and, unfortunately, he can’t afford insurance. He has no idea how he’ll cover the medical costs.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler reports that Pearce asked the bank to help pay his the medical bills. However, her report adds, he said the bank “refused because their insurance provider wouldn’t cover it.”
A bank spokesperson said Chase is "looking into it," the CBS report notes.
Nevertheless, and despite the cost, Pearce said he’d do it again.
“I’ll be darned if some junkie is gonna’ come off the street and take my (money). I put too many hours to get that…paycheck. So I’m not gonna’ let him take my money,” said Pearce.
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Featured image screen grab.