HELENA, Montana – A man who apparently summoned the courage to rob a U.S. pizza restaurant changed his mind as the clerk started to hand him money, broke down crying and ended up leaving with a pizza to feed his hungry family.
Just after midnight Monday, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandanna across his face entered a Papa John's restaurant in Montana and handed the clerk a note demanding money.
The cashier started to comply, but then the man started crying and told the clerk he was just trying to provide for his wife and family.
The clerk talked with him for a few minutes and offered to make the would-be thief a pizza and some chicken wings.
As the man waited, a large knife fell out of his pocket. He did not threaten anyone with it. The man took the food and some soda and left on foot.
Helena Police Chief Troy McGee praised the clerk's actions.
"I'd say the clerk was pretty astute," McGee said. "I mean, he knows how to talk to this person. Kind of commiserated with him a little. Talked to him about it and, you know, actually changed his mind about robbing the place. That was pretty good."
McGee said he's not sure what he could charge the man with.
"We'd like to locate the suspect," McGee said. "We'd hate to have him do this again."