(WJBK) - A taxi driver in Pennsylvania was held up by a customer -- but the crime didn't exactly go down as planned.
When the robber pointed a gun at Ralph Valletta's head, Ralph's whole life flashed before his eyes. But Ralph had a few things on his side.
The windows were down because it was a beautiful day. Secondly, a sheriff's deputy had rolled up right behind them mid-robbery and heard the shouting.
"He said, 'Give me that cell phone, too!' and that's when I noticed the guardian angel - Sheriff's Department Deputy Terry Ely - behind me," Ralph remembers. "All I said was, when [Terry] came up and took him out, I said, 'Thank God. Thank God.' I just couldn't believe that there was a police officer behind me when I was sitting there with a gun pointed at my head."
The suspect couldn't believe it either.
"His eyes were very wide; he was obviously surprised when he saw me. And the first thing, basically, he said anywhere between five to ten times, was that it was fake," Deputy Ely says.
Turns out, the weapon was fake. It was a BB gun, but very real looking.
Eighteen-year-old Victor Martinez-Herrera was quickly taken into custody and, believe it or not, Ralph went back to finish his shift. But not before having a very interesting conversation with Deputy Ely.
"He said, 'Something told me to get out of the car with you.' He says, 'I don't even know why,'" Ralph says.
"I do remember him getting out of the car saying, 'Thank God, you're a lifesaver,'" Deputy Ely says.
Ralph's fellow cab drivers are now raising money to send him on a much-deserved vacation.