It should have been easy to steal the car left running and unattended at a Bonney Lake gas station.
For a would-be car thief, it was not, Pierce County prosecutors said.
Charging papers give this account:
An emergency brake and fast-acting car owner got in the way when the thief tried to drive off Aug. 27 from a gas station convenience store in the 17000 block of Forest Canyon Road East.
The owner, who had left the car running while he went into the store, came out to find the thief behind the wheel of the parked Saturn.
He jumped into the passenger side and tried to pull the would-be thief out of the car, at which point the second man backed up the car, dragging the owner, whose legs were hanging out.
That’s when the owner pulled the emergency brake, which kept the crook from driving away.
The owner got in a few punches and got the second man out of the car, then put him in a headlock and restrained him until police arrived.
Prosecutors charged the 26-year-old man with vehicle theft, reckless endangerment, and making or possessing car theft tools, to which he pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $50,000.