Frederickson, WA – Police applauded the heroic act of bravery of a utility company employee who saved a mother and her children from an intruder on Jan. 31.
It started when the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) began receiving multiple 911 calls about a man who was walking in the middle of a busy street, according to a Facebook post on the department's page.
Callers told the dispatcher the man was blocking traffic, waving his arms around, talking to himself, and banging on the windows of vehicles as they drove around him.
They said the man appeared to be high on drugs, according to police.
As the deputies were en route to the location at about 8:15 a.m., another 911 call came in from a utility company employee.
The man was repairing a meter at a residence three blocks away from where the man had been blocking traffic.
The utility worker, identified only as “Michael,” said the man approached him and was “talking nonsense,” and was told to leave.
The man then ran away and entered the open garage door of a home across the street.
At that same time, Manani Nogales, who lived in the home, walked into the garage with her 9-year-old sons, Joshua and Jayden, on their way to school.
Nogales said she didn't know what to do.
"What should I do to protect my sons? My first instinct is I have kids," she said.
The utility company employee heard Nogales scream, and saw her retreat back into her home with her children.
Nogales called 911 from inside the house while utility worker put himself between the suspect and the door into the house, to block the suspect from getting inside.
The suspect then entered the woman’s vehicle parked in the garage. Then he tried again to get inside the house, but the utility employee thwarted his attempts.
Pierce County deputies told KIRO that Michael stopped the suspect from getting into the house multiple times.
It appeared the 26-year-old suspect was under the influence of drugs, police said.
As deputies arrived, the suspect ran and jumped back into Nogales’ car, and fought all efforts to remove him.
PCSD deputies used a Taser to subdue the man and remove him from the car when he resisted them.
He was arrested and charged with burglary in the first degree, theft of a motor vehicle, obstructing law enforcement, and disorderly conduct.
“The power company employee showed incredible bravery when he chased after the suspect and repeatedly blocked him from trying to enter the victim's home, his actions likely prevented this situation from escalating from a very scary situation into a very dangerous situation for the victim and her children,” the PCSD said in its Facebook post.
Nogales told KIRO she was grateful for the Puget Sound Energy employee who played Good Samaritan.
"I didn’t have a chance to talk to him so I just say thank you very much," Nogales said.