An attempted robbery outside a U.S. Marines recruiting office in Lynwood, Washington, last week was thwarted when three marines inside the office heard the screams of a woman in distress.
Initially, the marines thought it was a fight or something of that nature, Sgt. Riccardo Schebesta told reporters, but realized that wasn’t the case when they stepped outside.
The woman, whose identity was not released, said two teens, one of whom said he had a gun, approached her and tried to rob her. At first the woman attempted to get someone’s attention by honking the horn on her truck, but the marines soon heard her yelling for help.
“She said, ‘Help me I’m being robbed,’” said Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker. “I stopped paying attention to her. She’s not the problem.”
The teens took off running, but Shoemaker said, “No — that kid was never going to outrun me.”
Shoemaker detained the 18-year-old suspect, identified as Diego Tavares, with a technique known as an arm bar.
“As Staff Sgt. Shoemaker detained the first guy, I got on the phone with 911. At the time there were no police officers on the scene,” said Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg.
“It’s what we do. From the beginning what we’re taught in boot camp — it’s a part of us,” said Schebesta.
Shoemaker echoed a similar sentiment.
“It’s really what I’m trained to do, be it recruiting, be it that — my job is to protect the United States public,” he said.