A bandit trying to rob a credit union Tuesday morning was arrested after he briefly held an employee hostage with a knife to her throat in northwest Fresno, police said.
Jesse Flores, 32, was arrested by officers after he ran from the Educational Employees Credit Union at Shaw and Valentine avenues, tossing the steak knife, Lt. Joe Gomez said.
The botched robbery took place at 8:24 a.m. as employees were preparing to open the credit union. Gomez said several workers already were inside the building when the 54-year-old victim walked toward the front door.
She first told co-workers it was all right to open the door, but then saw a man walking toward her with a bandana and sunglasses on his face. She signaled co-workers not to open the door and he wrapped his arm around her neck and put a knife to her throat, Gomez said.
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The man told the woman he needed to get into the bank. As co-workers called police, Gomez said the woman had the presence of mind to engage the man in small talk in an effort to defuse the situation.
A motorcycle officer arrived quickly, but stayed back in order to prevent a possible hostage situation, Gomez said. When other officers arrived, the man ran.
Flores faces charges of armed kidnapping and attempted robbery.