Seven2 Geeks Save the Day | Community Spirit
An unsuspecting vehicle prowler smashed into a passenger window in downtown Spokane this morning and ran off with a bag in broad daylight. Little did 34-year old Glen W. O'Brien know, he was being watched by employees of Seven2 at 244 W. Main. There's a very visual warning on the front of the building to ward off villains. It's the face of a wrestler. Seven2 houses dozens of web and game designers. Downstairs they have their very own fitness gym which no doubt gave these nerds their physical prowess. The moment the window glass hit the ground, employees of Seven2, sounded the alarms and they were in pursuit, vigilante style.
Janelle Jackson, Seven2's receptionist was the first to holler for help. Five employees responded and started their pursuit in a sprint. Mitch Davis was the first out the door. Another man, Jesse Pierpoint, wore the wrong shoes for an on-foot pursuit and ended up throwing off his flip-flops. He ran barefoot through downtown Spokane. Two employees, Levi Eggert and Bradley Baysinger (armed with pepper spray) jumped on their bicycles and followed.
O'Brien sprinted his way up a brick staircase across the street from Seven2. Two employees, Nate Chatellier and Ryan Baldwin, flanked their way around the building to meet up with him.
Davis came face to face with O'Brien and said, "You better drop the purse." O'Brien did and he started walking across the street. He was struggling for breath and swaggered to the parking lot of Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design.
From out of nowhere, the owner of David's Pizza, Mark Starr, ran up to O'Brien to cut him off in his walking path.
"I was pulling up to a catering job on Riverside and Bernard. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bunch of people running. I was trying to figure out why. Then the other guy jumped up and ran off. I put the brakes on. The game was on," Starr said. He continued, "I was trying to get between him and where he was trying to go. The only reason why he stopped is because the cops showed up."
When Starr attempted to stop him, some pushing and shoving broke out. O'Brien scraped an already existing wound drawing blood from Starr. Video shot by Chatellier shows O'Brien also attempting to knock the phone out of Chatellier's hand. That's when Chatellier remembered that no one had called the police yet. The video ends because that's when he dialed 911.
The police caught up and responded to the cornered prowler at the Banner Bank parking lot at 3rd and Stevens. The Seven2 employees and Mark Starr had followed O'Brien almost ten blocks. When patrols arrived, he was compliant and assumed the position, on his knees with hands behind his head.
It turns out, O'Brien had stolen a bag of clothing and a lunch bag from the victim's car. Nancy Loudon, a horticulturist with Interior Garden, had briefly stopped and parked to water plants in the surrounding area. She missed all the excitement by the time she returned to her car at around 11 a.m. Her purse was actually underneath that bag. If O'Brien had taken that bag instead, he would have gotten a hold of her paycheck.
"I got off work and when I got to my car, one of the gals at Seven2 told me what happened. They were really great and taped up my window with cardboard," Loudon said.
O'Brien was charged by the Spokane City Police with vehicle prowling, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, 4th degree assault and an escape warrant from the Department of Corrections.
You can bet that these very fit nerds will, of course, use every tool available to them to document the surrounding happenings. Video sent to us by Nate Chatellier and Mitch Davis showcase the pursuit (above) and even the police response. Toward the end of the latter video you can watch their interview with Jeff Humphrey. You can watch that interview tonight on KXLY's 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscast.