Detectives said William Lee Werner went to a Douglas County strip mall Thursday morning to rob a Kroger grocery store bank.
"He passes a note to the teller saying, 'Give me your money. Don't mess around,'" Douglas County sheriff's Lt. Bruce Ferguson told Channel 2's Erin Coleman.
Moments later, he backed off, detectives said. He may have noticed that the bank was protected by bulletproof glass, but he wasn't giving up.
Werner then went outside and ambushed a woman at the ATM, Ferguson said. Muriel Weatherspoon said she had her money in hand when Werner walked behind her and tried to snatch it from her.
"He grabbed me and I did not expect it," Weatherspoon told Channel 2's Erin Coleman. "I'm just … trying to hold on to it and he was saying, ‘Give it to me. Give it to me.'"
That's when Iraq war veteran Ronald Moore came to the rescue. He said he spotted the struggle from a nearby customer service desk.
"I heard a lady scream, ‘Help! Someone's trying to take my money,'" Moore said.
Moore said he chased Werner into the parking lot, put him in a choke hold, wrestled him to the ground and pinned him there until police arrived.
"We struggled probably the first minute or so, physically, and after that he kind of gave in," Moore said.
Atlanta police had warrants out and a reward for Werner. Officers said he robbed the bank inside the Kroger on Howell Mill Road twice, once this week and once last week. Ferguson called Moore a hero for helping take Werner off the streets.
"He's the one who saved the day. Solved not only a bank robbery here in Douglas, but two in Atlanta," Ferguson said.
Weatherspoon can't thank her good Samaritan enough.
"I just grabbed him and hugged him. I said , ‘You are an angel. Thank you. Thank God for that,'" she said.