BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Three witnesses of a carjacking in progress helped stop a suspect who threw an 80-year-old driver to the ground, injuring him.
Police said Jim Bullion, 80, and his 77-year-old friend, JoAnn Ferrell, drove into the parking lot of the Wendy's restaurant located in the 100 block of Samish Way in Bellingham Monday afternoon to get some food.
After Bullion parked, Ferrell got out. Just as Bullion got out of his car, a man approached him and demanded his car keys, police said.
When Bullion refused to hand them over, the man assaulted him by pushing him to the ground. The carjacker then grabbed the keys, got in the car and tried to drive away, investigators said.
An employee from Wendy's who saw the assault and knew the victims as regular customers ran out to stop the man from leaving.
As the employee tried to stop the carjacker, she was knocked to the ground as the man tried to back out.
Two other witnesses who saw the attack jumped into action, got the man out of the car and pinned him to the pavement, officers said.
As the events were unfolding, a Western Washington University parking control officer was driving by and radioed the attack to his dispatcher. A responding Western Washington University police officer, along with officers from the Bellingham Police Department, arrived and took the man, identified as 31-year-old Reggie Williams, into custody.
According to police, Williams told the officers he needed to get back to Snohomish County after trying to buy drugs in Bellingham earlier.
Bullion, who suffered scrapes and bruises on his arms, elbows and knees, was treated and released at the scene by medics.
The Wendy's employee received minor injuries that did not require treatment.
Following the assault, the couple remained at the restaurant to eat, police said.