A 60-year-old woman from Seattle, Wash. was confronted by two would-be robbers on Tuesday as she got into her car outside a shopping mall. But things didn’t go exactly as these two had hopes.
One of the men, Diego Tavares, 19, held his hands inside his pockets and told the woman he had a gun. The woman, however, was a retired Seattle police officer, and not easily intimidated. According to reports, she pushed him aside, saw that he didn’t have a gun, and said she “wasn’t putting up with this s–t” and that she was “going to kick his a–“. From there, the chase was on.
As the two young men ran off, the elderly woman gave chase in her truck — honking her horn the whole time — until her vehicle got stuck in the mud.
That’s when three U.S. Marines at a nearby military recruiting station came outside.
“We thought there was road rage involved or a fight broke loose,” said Sgt. Riccardo Schebesta to KIRO News. Then they heard the woman yelling to them.
“She said, ‘Help me I’m being robbed,’” said Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker. “I stopped paying attention to her. She’s not the problem.”
Shoemaker ended up catching Tavares with a technique called the arm bar, which twists the victim’s arm behind his back, keeping him on his feet but making sure he complies with the person holding him.
“As Staff Sgt. Shoemaker detained the first guy, I got on the phone with 911,” said Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg. “At the time there were no police officers on the scene.”
Officers found a baseball bat in his pants but did not recover a gun — if it even existed. The second suspect got away, and local police are still searching for him.
“It’s really what I’m trained to do, be it recruiting, be it that — my job is to protect the United States public,” said Shoemaker.