Soap Opera Villain Helps Foil Real-Life Bank Robbery
At about 10 a.m. on August 11, an unidentified male entered the Chase Bank branch at 99-00 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills and tried to take money out without providing a teller with a withdrawal slip. The bank teller to whose window the perpetrator came handed the thief a bag of money and the perpetrator fled the bank onto Metropolitan Avenue.
As a local resident known as HM was sitting in his car at 71st Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue, a man ran into his car, bounced off the vehicle and ran down the street. HM followed the running man into a bar, seeking to berate him for the car-pedestrian collision. The car collider saw he was being pursued, ran out of the bar and dashed between some houses. HM then heard sirens and saw police cars and realized that the man who ran into his car could have been running from the police. HM spotted two police officers sitting in a NYPD Traffic Control patrol car, told them that he had seen the man that they might be looking for and pointed to where the suspicious individual had gone.
HM drove his car around the block to where the perpetrator would have exited and saw a team of police officers struggling to handcuff a man and wrestle him to the ground. He recognized the man the police had in custody as the same man who had run into his car and bolted from the nearby bar.
When the police who collared the suspect saw HM, they congratulated him for helping them get their man. Until that moment, when he saw the police with their suspect in custody and a recovered money bag with all of the money reported stolen from the bank, HM had no idea that there had been a bank robbery. He commended police for making every attempt to put the suspect on the ground carefully even as he resisted their attempts to restrain him.
HM was a regular on “One Life to Live”–where he played a criminal. “I was sent to prison,” he explained the plot device for his being written off the soap opera.
HM was also a radio talk show host on WBAB-FM, where he and a friend joined forces to rent airtime and sell advertising. “My friend and I had nothing to talk about so we talked about movies and TV. I treated it like the real thing. I called it ‘Plan 10 From Outer Space’ because the worst movie ever made was ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’ and I thought we were one better,” he explained. “Plan 10” appeared in Newsday’s radio listings and HM secured interviews with Leslie Nielsen and Al Lewis (Grandpa from “The Munsters”) among others. Many of his listeners were kids in hospitals who stayed up late to listen to music and his interviews with celebrities.