Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Kim Komenich, who is now an assistant professor at San Jose State University, helped foil a bank robbery, according to SJSU’s Spartan Daily.
Komenich told the paper he was waiting in a line at the Wells Fargo at San Fernando and Market streets on Monday when the two robbers walked inside.
According to the Spartan:
- “The guy next to me starts having what I thought was a normal transaction with the teller, and then his voice went up and I started paying attention to him and it was ‘Give me your money,'” Komenich said. “I looked down and he had a note too, a note that says, ‘I have a gun, give me your money’ on a Wells Fargo deposit slip.”
- Komenich said he didn’t notice a gun, but as the man went for his pocket, Komenich proceeded to restrain him. “I figured if he did have a gun that’s where there was going to be a gun,” Komenich said. “So I clamped a big bear hug on him from behind and held him.”
- The man, who Komenich said was in his 40s or 50s, didn’t resist until the police arrived.
- “It took a few minutes for the police to arrive and then two officers showed up immediately and then I let go of him and they immediately put handcuffs on him as I let go,” he said.
Komenich was awarded the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for photographs of the Philippine Revolution he made while on assignment for the Examiner.
He was a photographer at the Chron from 2000 to 2009. He is now as assistant professor of new media at San Jose State. (Photo credit: SJSU)
UPDATE, 1 A.M. WEDNESDAY: The Merc picked up the story.