Centralia councilman turns crime fighter

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

CENTRALIA, Wash. - Centralia City Councilman Dan Henderson was sitting at home Tuesday night watching TV and checking Facebook. While on Facebook, he learned that Centralia police were in his neighborhood looking for someone wanted for a violent crime.  Henderson said he had seen some police officers driving by earlier, and then the motion sensor light in his back yard clicked on.

Henderson, a former U.S. Marine, grabbed his flashlight, cellphone and his handgun and went outside to investigate. He spent a good deal of time looking around the yard then used his flashlight to check the other side of the fence. 

"I just turned the light on and right there -- he was right there," said Henderson.

Elijah Garibay, 25, was hiding in the tall grass just three feet from Henderson. 

"I said, ‘Sir, you need to stand up. Put your hands on your head. I've got a firearm’ and I showed him,” said Henderson.

Henderson tried to call 911, but his phone would not work properly so he had to re-start it, which took several minutes while he continued to hold Garibay at gunpoint. 

Henderson said he saw a bulge in Garibay's shirt and feared he might also have a gun. 

"I was really fearful for my life but glad I was able to do something about it,” said Henderson.

Henderson was finally able to make the call to 911 and police arrived quickly to take Garibay into custody. 

That's when Henderson learned that Garibay was suspected of attacking a man, using a stun gun to shock him and robbing the victim.  

Henderson told KIRO 7 he was glad he was able to help get Garibay off the street before anyone else got hurt.

"I'm so thankful we stopped him,” said Henderson.