An MMA instructor found himself in a perfect situation to use his skills when he witnessed a bank robbery in Pinellas County, Florida.
Eric Haritakis, also known as the “Ginja Ninja," had stopped by the Grow Financial Credit Union to deposit some money for his health food delivery company when he witnessed someone rob a teller.
According to authorities, the man handed the teller a note and ran off with the money.
“The teller was empty,” he described to FOX News. “She yelled to the other woman across the bank, ‘Hey, that guy just robbed me’ … and I just kind of ran out the door.”
The robber, later identified as Michael Jon Neubecker, 31, attempted to flee the scene. According to surveillance video, Haritakis prevented him from getting very far at all.
“I don’t really know what I was thinking at the time,” Haritakis said. “I just kind of went for it. I figured if he had a weapon, he probably would have pulled it out at that point.”
Soon Haritakis caught up to the man and took him down.
“I asked the UPS people if they had zip ties,” he said. “They didn’t have zip ties, but the place next door had duct tape.”
When police arrived, they discovered Neubecker hog-tied with duct tape.
“I see the guy bringing a guy back with his hands behind his back and almost carrying him,” said UPS employee Kristen Drexler. “I was just amazed at how down-to-earth [Haritakis] was. He was just so nonchalant about the fact that he just chased down a bank robber.”
Neubecker was described as a transient, according to FOX. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail and is charged with a count of robbery.
The MMA fighter does not consider his actions heroic though, despite the fact that he foiled a robbery.
“It’s people standing around that don’t do anything. That’s the problem,” he said. “People just let it happen when, if we all work together, it wouldn’t happen in the first place. Everybody should be doing that.”
Photo Credit: FOX, ABC