Professor Foils Bank Robbery with a Bear Hug

Still image from surveillance video camera

April 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Jose State professor says he was able to stop a bank robber, with a hug.

Kim Komenich says he was getting ready to leave the Wells Fargo along Market Street in San Jose on Monday, when he noticed a customer standing next to him hand a teller a note. Komenich looked over his shoulder and saw it said something about a gun.

"So I decided in this case, it looked like something I could handle, and rather than let it escalate, I decided to step in and do something," he said. "So I just grabbed him and gave him a big bear hug."

He was able to hold the would-be robber until police arrived. No gun was ever found.

Komenich used to work as a news photographer before becoming a journalism professor. He says that experience -- where he often covered bank robberies for the San Francisco Examiner -- helped keep him calm.