SEATAC, Wash. - Deputies arrested a pilot who was scheduled to fly an airliner from Seattle to Japan after he allegedly tried to steal a Bainbridge Island man's car in SeaTac Monday night, the sheriff's office said.
The victim, Joe Haley, 66, told police he got into his rental car at a hotel in the 17600 block of International Boulevard when a man got into the back seat.
"I said, 'What are you doing? He said, 'You know what I want,'" Haley told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
Haley said the man refused to get out and that he thought the man could be armed. Haley pulled out a gun.
"I say, 'I'm going to f------ shoot you,' and he doesn't move. 'I'm going to shoot you,'" Haley said.
But instead of shooting he struck him with the gun, Haley told reporter Alison Grande.
"I start beating him in the face with it," he said. "He wreaks of alcohol I'm thinking what's the matter with this guy."
When the man slumped over, Haley went for help. He ran inside the hotel but no one was there. When he came out, the man chased him around the car. Finally, the man got into the car and took off, crashing the car a block away.
"Then the word airline comes up, and that perks my ears up -- having been in the industry," Haley said.
Police said the man who stole Haley's car is Crosman Carey, 43, a pilot for Omni airlines of Tulsa, Okla. He was scheduled to fly a plane to Japan the next day.
Joe Haley is a retired Boeing 777 pilot for Delta.
"He has no idea how fortunate he is to be alive," Haley said. "If my wife and sons were in the car, I would have killed him instantly. I wouldn't have blinked."
Carey was arrested and booked into the King County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft and drunken driving.
Both men were staying at the Hilton. Haley had planned to fly to Bolivia Monday.
Carey's attorney said it was too premature to comment. Police and the FAA are investigating.