Tuesday, November 09, 2004

They Only Serve if They Stand and Wait

At the bus station in Portland, Oregon:

Dennis Lee Stalheim, a security guard at Portland's Greyhound Bus Terminal, chased down a man who robbed a ticket counter cashier Sunday and held the suspect until police arrived.

The 42-year-old security guard for Northwest Protective Services was working at the terminal Sunday afternoon when a man pushed through a line of customers, threw his hands on the ticket counter and announced, "This is a robbery."

....the shaken cashier yelled to Stalheim, "The guy just ripped me off."

Stalheim ran to the main doors. He saw Greyhound bus driver Joe Lewis, 71, take off after a man wearing a white hat.

The guard followed.

The guard tripped the man and then climbed on top of him. ....held him until Portland police arrived.

Police took Derek D. Gonzalez, 32, into custody and accused him of second-degree robbery. Bills littered the ground, a total of $410. Police found a bottle of Port wine in his pocket.

Central Precinct Officer Hythum Ismail, who came to the bus station to interview Stalheim, waited as Stalheim spoke by phone with his supervisors. Ismail noticed the guard getting increasingly irritated.

"He was getting madder and madder, and they were basically telling him that he messed up -- which is not what you want to hear after he basically did something heroic," Ismail said.

"His face kinda dropped, and when he got off, he said to me, 'Well, I just lost my job.' He said they told him it was because he left the 'Greyhound bricks.' "

Portland police were perplexed.

Oregon will cast its electoral votes for John F. Kerry.

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