Yuba City, CA - A Good Samaritan stopped a robbery in progress when he struck the knife-wielding suspect in the head with a chair.
Few restaurants were open, and the Good Samaritan, who only wished to be identified as Daniel, didn't want his elderly parents to have to cook a big Christmas dinner.
"So I kept an eye on him," said Daniel. "And then I noticed that he had a knife in his right hand. And he cut in the front of the line and went up to the cashier, brandished the knife, and said, 'Give me the money.' And then about two seconds later, he turns to somebody on his left and says, 'She'll take care of you in a minute.' And that's when I brought the chair down on his head."
KTXL contacted Daniel by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 26, with the help of the Yuba City Police Department. Daniel said several thoughts rushed through his head before he took action against the masked man.
"My first thought was, 'What's this guy gonna do?'" Daniel told KTXL. "And when I saw the knife I thought, 'Look at all these people in here. I don't want this to turn into somebody's Christmas memorial.' And yeah, it was about that time, I took a couple steps with that big chair in my hand and brought it down on his head."
The suspect ran out of the restaurant, with Daniel still holding the chair, right behind him.
The suspect got into a car, described as a white 1990s to 2000s sedan, possibly a Honda, and fled.
He didn't get any money from the restaurant, and no one who mattered was injured during the incident.
An unidentified waitress told KTXL that the only thing the would-be bandit got was "possibly a concussion."
"If anybody out there knows a friend who got a gash on the head last night, that was probably the culprit," Daniel said.
Police generally don't encourage bystanders to intervene in robberies, but Daniel said he does have special training that he used that night: he was a security policeman during his service in the Air Force.
Restaurant employees are calling Daniel a hero.
"That's a very traumatic experience, and he helped us instead of standing back and watching it," said cashier Erika Farris.
Wendy's employees and customers who were inside during the incident called Daniel a hero.
Anyone with information about the robbery attempt is asked to contact the Yuba City Police Department at (530) 822-4660.