YUBA CITY -- A man visiting Yuba City from out-of-town thwarted an attempted restaurant robbery Christmas night, using a chair.
The chain of events began when a would-be bandit walked into the Wendy's restaurant on Bridge Street at about 5:30 p.m., wearing a bag over his head.
"So I kept an eye on him," said the good Samaritan, who wishes to be identified only as 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."
FOX40 reached Daniel by telephone Tuesday afternoon, with the assistance 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 recalled. "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 into an awaiting getaway car, described as a white 1990s to 2000s sedan, possibly a Honda. He got away with nothing, except perhaps a head injury.
"If anybody out there knows a friend who got a gash on the head last night, that was probably the culprit," Daniel suggested.
While police generally don't encourage bystanders to intervene in robberies, Daniel said he does have special training that came into play that night: he was a security policeman 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.
"I'd like to think that anybody would do something like that," Daniel humbly responded to the suggestion that he is a hero.
Anyone with information about the robbery attempt is asked to contact the Yuba City Police Department at (530) 822-4660.