A power company employee stepped in when he saw a man trying to break into a Frederickson home where a mother and her three children were hiding.
The man unnerved several people in the moments leading up to the confrontation near 70th Avenue East and 76th Street East on Wednesday.
Four people called 911 about him within two minutes of spotting the 26-year-old walking in the middle of the street wearing nothing but a tank top in 39-degree weather.
He was muttering to himself and banging on the car windows of people who tried to go around him, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
He then wandered three blocks away to where a Puget Sound Energy employee was reading a meter. The employee told him to go away because he was “talking nonsense.”
The man, who appeared to be high on drugs, ran into the open garage of a house across the street.
Simultaneously, a woman and her three children walked out of the home and toward the garage, preparing to drop the kids off at school.
The woman spotted the man in her garage, screamed and ushered the children back into the house.
“The power company employee put himself between the suspect and the door into the woman’s house, blocking the suspect from the woman and her children,” the department said on its Facebook page.
The man got inside the woman’s vehicle to rummage around before trying again to go into the house.
The power company employee again blocked him.
By the time deputies arrived, the man was back inside the woman’s car and refused to come out. It took three deputies to pull him out and take him into custody.
He refused to give his name and kept repeating, “This is where time starts,” records show.
The man was booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, obstructing law enforcement and disorderly conduct.
The department lauded the employee, identified only as Michael, for his “incredible bravery” and said he “likely prevented this situation from escalating from a very scary situation into a very dangerous situation for the victim and her children.”
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653