When armed punks targeted a vulnerable elderly woman to rob, it didn’t take long before they realized that they shouldn’t have done it near a Marine Corps recruiting center of all places.
When thugs are seeking out a victim, they typically choose the most helpless individual they can find, hoping they aren’t able to fight back. So, when a couple of punks spotted an elderly woman walking alone to her vehicle, they thought they had found the perfect prey for their impending robbery. While they were right about their intended target, they probably should’ve been more aware of their surroundings before carrying out the cowardly attack near a Marine Corps recruiting center.
One evening, a pair of scheming teens noticed a 60-year-old woman alone in the parking lot of Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington. Seizing the opportunity, the young punks confronted the woman, holding her at gunpoint in order to steal her belongings. Unfortunately for them, there were some able-bodied Marines in close proximity.
According to KIRO 7, when 3 Marines heard frantic honking coming from outside their office one evening, they raced out to see what was wrong. Suddenly, they heard a woman screaming, “Help me! I’m being robbed,” as a pair of teens, one of them armed with a gun, fled the scene. It was then that the Marines sprang into action, utilizing the training they had undergone for such a scenario.
Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker quickly noticed one of the suspects, 18-year-old Diego Tavares, running away and immediately pursued him on foot while Sgt. Riccardo Schebesta and Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg assisted. Expectedly, Shoemaker easily caught up to teen and put him in a technique called the “arm bar,” successfully detaining him until police arrived.
“No — that kid was never going to outrun me,” Shoemaker added. “Marines run towards the sound of chaos.”
Although the second suspect managed to escape, Tavares was later arrested by police. A baseball bat was recovered from the suspect’s pants, however, no firearm was found. He was jailed on $25,000 bail.
“It’s what we do,” Schebesta told reporters, explaining that this type of reaction is taught from the moment Marines begin basic training. Shoemaker added that an armbar is intended to keep a suspect on their feet but also “keeps him compliant.” He quipped that the reason he chose the hold was so that he could restrain the individual without getting on the ground and messing up his dress blues, Fox News reports. He also revealed that he hasn’t used the maneuver since he was deployed in Iraq.
Court documents confirm that the woman is a retired police officer. Apparently, she had dropped her purse when reaching for it, prompting the thieves to snatch it from her. She then hopped into her pick-up and tried to chase them down without success.
When she realized that she couldn’t catch the teens, she began honking her horn in an effort to notify anyone nearby. Of course, it was then that the three strapping heroes exited the Marine Corps recruiting center and came to her rescue.
Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker, Sgt. Riccardo Schebesta, and Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg have been lauded as heroes for their valiant efforts. Unsurprisingly, they’ve refused the praise, reiterating that they were merely doing what they’ve been trained to do and that it was an easy decision since they rarely ever experience fear.
This woman could not have asked for better or more able men to come to her rescue than a trio of U.S. Marines. There’s a reason the Marine Corps is famous for their immunity to fear and almost superhuman courage, and this perfectly sums it up.