Herbert J. Wright saved Mildred K. Ermlick and two others whose lives were threatened by a gunman, Roscoe, Pennsylvania, February 4, 1960. A man entered a bank where Miss Ermlick, 36, was a teller and, holding an automatic pistol, threatened to shoot if she did not put money into a paper bag which he handed her. Miss Ermlick called for the assistant manager. When the gunman repeated his threat, the other teller, also a woman, moved to alongside Miss Ermlick and began putting money into the bag. The assistant manager there joined the women. He seized the bag, threw it under the counter, and told the two women to lie down on the floor. Arguing with the gunman, the assistant manager moved into the lobby area, where the man stood with his back to the front door. A passerby noted the situation and notified Wright, 50, electrician, who ran to outside the bank. Noting that the gunman had his back to him and was watching the others, Wright opened the door silently and stepped inside. Holding his hands in readiness, Wright moved quietly to behind the gunman. He then quickly extended one arm around the man and grasped the pistol, while with the other arm he encircled, the man’s neck. The assistant manager then ran to the man and also grasped the gun. Gasping for breath, the gunman dropped the pistol, which proved to be empty although there was ammunition in his pocket. Wright and the assistant manager subdued the man, who was turned over to state police.
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