I have been a victim! In the past my personal property has been violated by crooked vandals and thieves. Let’s face it, in the world we live, not everyone is bound by the same moral compass. For many years I patiently waited for the opportunity to catch a wrongdoer and deliver swift justice. The following story tells the tale of when MarathonJake sprung into action to save the day!
Here is a picture teaser that will be explained throughout this adventurous blog!
On May 18, 2011, I was visiting my girlfriend Nellie at work. She is a true ‘Bebe’ diva and has been working retail and recycling most of her earning back into that store for years. It was about midway through her shift when I decided to pop in and say hi to her, usually bringing her a smoothy and a kiss. After quickly saying my hello and sneaking a kiss, I was shooed out by her manager.
As I was casually waltzing my way around the first floor of the mall and finishing my coffee, I decided to give my best friend Russell a call and see what he was up to. I am not much of a ‘talk on the phone’ kinda guy, but for some reason I made an exception. Probably because I know my buddy and he is the exact opposite and thinks that texting is very impersonal. Anyways, I was chatting with my buddy, throwing away my empty Starbucks cup and about to leave the mall, when I heard some people shouting!
Instantly instinct kicked in and I knew that something wasn’t right; I could sense it in the pitch of the panicked voice. My head turned and I saw a couple of women shouting ‘stop’ and pointing past me. Luckily I caught a glimpse of a figure bolting for the doors right past the escalators leading down to Underwater Adventures. In no more than a nanosecond I took pursuit as this was my chance to pay it forward finally. I had the necessary scrapping skills provided by a life of activity in wrestling and other contact sports that I would be able to handle my own. In hindsight, I would receive a motherly lecture after all was said and done for what I was about to do.
At tip-toe top speed I took off after the perp. I was able to clear the exit door and saw him heading for the parking ramp structure across the street. He was a good 40-50 yards in front of me at this point, but I knew that I would catch them. My mind became very centric during the chase only focusing on making my way closer and closer. At one point I realized that I still had my phone in hand when this was happening and humorously enough my friend Russell listened in as it was unfolding. Eventually we made our way across the street and the went up two floors of the parking ramp. We then proceeded to run the entire length of the ramp. I recall shouting to the male I was chasing, “You cannot outrun me! You will not outrun me!”… If only he knew that he was running from MarathonJake.
Moments later the suspect turned towards the stairwell again and decided to ascend another flight; close behind him I was charging up the stairs 2 to 3 steps at a time. He must have known that I was gaining on him. In a last-ditch effort to run faster the assailant paused briefly to jump out of his shoes that must have been loose and slowing him down. By this time I was within 20 feet of catching him and this long chase was about to be over.
Halfway across the third floor lot the chase came to a screeching halt as I made contact with the man and with generous force I ‘introduced him to the concrete’. Immediately I raised my voice to a booming roar and jolted him with some emotional terrorism. I let him know that if he moved that I would dump-truck him into next week. By being loud and aggressive the man was quickly intimidated into submission. This was a tactic that I had employed before while security bouncing as a deterrent to fighting, and it worked. The man was terrified, still extremely winded and probably a bit dizzy from being put down. Just a few moment later as I was waiting for the police or some other good samaritans to assist me with the arrest, the strangest thing happened. Uncontrollably the man began vomiting. Perhaps his body was so freaked out and scared that he just couldn’t help it.
I patiently waited for about two minutes with the perp sitting on his hands before a mall bike cop appeared. He was quick to radio the Bloomington Police Department and requested that they send over a squad car. He quickly then pulled out his mini pad of paper and pencil and began asking me what was going on. Honestly at that time I didn’t have all the facts to the story, but of course I told him what I knew. Within the next five minutes or so the Police arrived. The suspect whom was more aware of the situation now decided to resist having his wrists handcuffed, this was a big mistake! I watched as one police officer flattened him with force and another pull him by his neck by grabbing him under his jaw, seriously ouch! Once the police had custody of the suspect they brought him to his feet to walk him to his car.
Just when I thought things were wrapping up, a really bizarre twist in the story unfolds. A little green car slowly drove by us, which no one really thought twice about. However, when the suspect saw it he broke made a mad dash for the car. The bike cop, police officers and myself then chased after the man who was running like a duck. Do you think he made it to the car, well no of course he didn’t. He was ‘reintroduced’ to the cement and then lifted and slammed into one of the parking lot pillars by the cops whom were now much less forgiving. Before I knew it they had put out an APB for that green car to see what their involvement was with the man in custody. With the perp securely locked in the back of their CrownVic, the police formally took my statement.
Shortly after telling my recollection of the encounter, the police officer informed me that they might touch base with me in the future if a court case was necessary. He didn’t think that was likely as the man was caught in the act. Thankfully, I did never did get a call to appear in front of a judge or jury. So what did exactly happen that day?
Well fortunately the two victims of the theft that day had stuck around to press charges and wanted to meet me and say thank you. I quickly tucked my dress shirt back into my slacks and straightened myself up as I walked to meet them. Funny, that all that action had happened in my business attire, slacks and all. When I met them, I came to realize that it was a mother and her daughter. They were still a bit emotional upon meeting me and expressed their sincerest appreciation for my quick action.
They went on to explain that they had been at the mall that day to purchase a cellphone from a buyer that they had met on Craigslist. They agreed to meet and transact at the MOA. Normally this would be an ideal place to do the exchange considering it is such a public place, so you would think something like this wouldn’t happen. Unaware that they were about to get robbed, the two ladies met with the man. They asked him if he could show them the cellphone and he asked if they had the cash. As soon as they pulled cash out to show their intent to buy, the thief grabbed it and took off running. Had it not been for me, the thief would have gotten away quickly with his friends in the little green car that was earlier mentioned.
All of this for $100! It was just pathetic. Mall security had been having trouble with these types of crimes. This particular group had an effective system going until I came along. Essentially this was a Craigslist scam that victimized innocent people trying to purchase used goods at a fair price. Learning all of this made me feel really proud that I grounded their operation to a halt.
A Year Later:
Sitting at the office busily working on some project assignments, I received a strange phone call in early May of 2012. I answered, “Yes, hello is this Jacob Carroll?”, I responded that it was indeed, then the person on the other end said, “this is the Bloomington Police Department”. Immediately I stood up and walked into a conference room to understand the situation in private. The woman explained that she was calling to inform me that the City of Bloomington was awarding me a Medal of Accommodation for my actions in preventing the theft from occurring at MOA! I was very shocked and really did not expect to be honored for my actions from the year prior.
I was informed that there was going to be a ceremony a week later to formally honor me for my actions and that I was allowed to invite a handful of people to be present. Given the short notice I let my close family know of the ceremony and both my mother and sister were able to attend in person with me that day. I pulled up on my bike NASTY that afternoon met both with my mom and sister and received the ceremony program and got ready to take our seats. Unbeknownst to me, it was going to be filmed and an article would be published in the Sun Current, see the article here.
After being briefly interviewed by a reporter we were asked to enter the ceremony hall and to take our seats. I was sat up at the front with several others that were also being recognized that day. Before I knew it I was walking across the stage and shaking the hand of the Bloomington Chief of Police, Jeff Potts.
I received a medal and a certificate for my actions and my story was read out loud to the audience and I was publicly recognized.
After the awards presentation we were encouraged to remain after to meet the police department staff and also to meet the Mayor of Bloomington who wanted to personally thank those being honored. While waiting many of the police officers asked me if I was in security previously. The police staff joked with me for a few minutes asking me about the incident. They told me to let them know if I was ever wanting a job in law enforcement, lol.
I found it quite funny that while I was meeting the Mayor, that my moms was being flirted with by the Chief of Police. Yeah I know I have a hot mom, but seriously? Well it transitioned to a cool photo opportunity with my two favorite supporters and Mr. Potts.
If all of this wasn’t cool enough, about three weeks later I received a letter in the mail from my Congressman Erik Paulson thanking me for my actions that day! I thought it was pretty cool that my recognition reached such a high level!
At the end of the day my faith in the justice system was renewed and it felt good to pay it forward and to protect my fellow community. I had been waiting for this moment.
A good friend of mine text me in response to this story, “That is some real Batman-type s***!”, – Jesse Kunes.
I couldnt agree more!