by: Gary Horcher Updated:FEDERAL WAY, Wash. —
An escaped sex offender who was also accused of several violent armed robberies held a Federal Way SWAT team at bay for nearly four hours Tuesday night.
After detonating a percussion grenade in the apartment where 29-year-old Stephen Paul Rodrigue was hiding, SWAT officers sent in a police dog, and made the arrest.
"I couldn't be happier this guy was taken off the street," said Tim Burt, who says he physically confronted Rodrigue during a robbery of a nearby 7-Eleven.
"He punched me in the face and tried to shove me out the door," said Burt, adding, "this guy was also robbing people up and down the street with guns and knives and pepper spray and everything else,” said Burt, “It's just crazy."
Federal Way Police Believe Rodrigue robbed several area stores recently, including a Safeway grocery store.
"This guy basically terrorized this entire neighborhood," said Burt.
Rodrigue was also listed as an escaped registered sex offender, after he reportedly failed to comply with his Department of Corrections supervision and parole.
Previously, Rodrigue had been convicted of third-degree rape.
Police say they evacuated several neighbors in nearby apartments, while they tried to get Rodrigue to surrender.