san jose mercury news

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Don't EVER Doubt The Pulitzer

They hand out Pulitzer Prizes for all sorts of things: local reporting, cracking wise, thumbing up, and even for funny New England accents.

Hours after this year’s Pulitzers were handed out, a local miscreant walked into a Wells Fargo Bank in San Jose with the intention of pilfering some Benjamins. Little did he know, standing behind him was a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner for spot news photography.

Big mistake.

The ace photographer, Kim Komenich — who now serves as an adjunct professor of new media at San Jose State University — took a heroic stand against the lawlessness, but he used what can only be considered the most awkward and embarrassing defense mechanism known to man — the bear hug. Click the image for the comical slideshow via The San Jose Mercury News:

Via San Jose Mercury News

Komenich overheard the scoundrel’s words with the Wells Fargo bank teller and foiled his plans with great panache and a protracted ninja bear:

Police found Komenich and Fernandes still entwined in their awkward embrace. They quickly arrested Fernandes and his two suspected accomplices, who had remained in the customer waiting area. They were later booked on robbery charges.

Police later stated that they would not recommend getting involved in such a situation. “There’s a variety of different ways [it] could have gone bad,” local lawman Ronnie Lopez told Mercury News. Though Komenich declined to be interviewed after the incident, I’m pretty sure he would have scoffed at the advice. One would think he’s waiting for the hefty reward he has coming from the stagecoach, but I’m guessing he did it all for the Pulitzer.

On that note, check out this year’s winner for breaking news photography:

Chind/Des Moines Register

A couple’s boat capsized after it went over a damn in downtown Des Moines last year. Patricia Ralph-Neely struggled to remain afloat as her husband drifted down river to his death. A nearby construction worker caught a glimpse of the struggling Ralph-Neely, chained himself to a crane, and swooped in to save her. Photographer Mary Chind documented the remarkable event by total happenstance. Kudos to real-life Superman Jason Oglesbee, who reluctantly accepted a heroism award and refused to publicize the event or his actions.

Good things happen.