Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
A bank customer recounts his experience during a robbery.
A bank customer who was inside a Richardson bank when it was robbed by the "Handsome Guy Bandit" describes it as one of the most terrifying moments of his life.
Jacob Gomez said he and his wife almost went through the Compass Bank's drive-through on New Year's Eve. Instead, they decided to go inside, minutes before a man wearing a Hollywood-style mask walked in, brandished a gun and announced it was a robbery.
"I turned and looked at my wife and say, 'Oh God, you've got to be kidding me. This can't be real,'" Gomez said.
Gomez and his were just a few feet away from a serial bank robber officers had been working to find for weeks.
"He was like, 'Get on the floor! This is not a joke! I'm not playing around,'" Gomez said.
"He got the manager out. He told them, 'Go open the door to the main vault.' Then he said, 'OK, get up, customers. Get up, stand up now, and we're all going to the main vault.'"
Gomez said the man made everyone get on their knees once they were inside the vault. Then, he started demanding money.
"He told the manager, he says, 'Don't put those dye packets or those GPS deals in there, in the money, because I know about those,'" Gomez said. "And he goes, 'If you do it, I'll kill you. I'll kill you and your whole family. I'll go to your house and kill you.' He goes, 'I'll kill someone right now.' And he started pointing the gun in our direction."
After a minute, the robber turned back to the manager and started collecting money, Gomez said.
Quietly, Gomez tried to comfort his wife.
"We were holding hands, I was telling her, 'It's going to be OK. Don't worry. He wants the bank's money. It's going to be all right.' But the threats he was making was making it pretty hard to feel safe," Gomez said.
After a few minutes, the robber led the group of people to the bathroom, where he told them to count to 500 and then left, Gomez said.
A few days later, officers arrested 44-year-old Stephan Ray Milam, of Tyler, in Mississippi in connection with the robbery.
Gomez said sometimes it's hard to imagine the robbery ever happened. But he said it's a feeling he'll never forget.
"[It was] just the deepest feeling of helplessness you can have, that there's nothing you can do, and the guy's pointing the gun at you and your family, and you're powerless to do anything about it," he said.