A US man defied an armed robber who put a gun against his head in a bank because he thought it was a practical joke.
Robert Wood, 61, laughed off the attack because a friend had played a trick on him in the same bank two months before, substituting a finger for the gun.
“That’s what I thought was going on,” said the businessman, of the incident in the Eastern Bank in Peabody, Boston, reports Salem News.
Seconds later, Mr Wood was staring down the barrel of a real gun – but he still refused to hand over the $200 he had just withdrawn.
“He shoved me down past the teller’s window. Then he threw his bag at me and said: “Put your money in there”. I threw the bag back at him. I said: “I ain’t giving you my money”.”
The gunman then ordered Mr Wood to get down on the floor and turned his attention to the cashiers, demanding money.
He escaped with nearly $22,000. However, a man was later arrested by the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force and charged with armed robbery.
Mr Wood admitted his wife was “a little upset” when she learned of the robbery and his behaviour. She complained that he “never took anything seriously”, he added.
A photo released by the authorities, showing the bank robber holding the gun near the back of Mr Wood’s head, captures the moment he thought he was in the midst of a practical joke.
“That’s why I’ve got a big smile on my face,” he said.
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