Neighbor gets commendation for holding suspect at gunpoint until police arrive - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Neighbor gets commendation for holding suspect at gunpoint until police arrive

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man received a commendation at Monday nights City Council meeting for coming to the aid of his neighbor.  On the morning of April 24th Ron Warner caught a man in his neighbor's garage apparently attempting a burglary and held him at gunpoint while on the phone with police until officers arrived.  Spokane Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick presented the commendation to Warner at Monday night's council meeting.

On 911 tapes, Warner is heard telling the man to get to the ground or 'I'll blow your @#$!%*& head off. Warner is also heard giving the address to police who say that Warner did the right thing in this situation.

Warner was sitting at his dining room table when he noticed a SUV drive by his home several times before stopping outside of his neighbor, Bob Briley's home. A man got out of the SUV and went to the front door of the home, knocked and when there was no answer, returned to his vehicle and drove away.

Briley was not home at the time but his wife was. Briley says his wife did not open the door after peering out a window and seeing what she described as a "big, tall guy."

The suspect, 37-year-old Frank Baxter, returned to his car and drove away only to return five minutes later. This time, Baxter backed his SUV into Briley's driveway, lifted up the hatch on his SUV and entered the garage, which had been left open.

Warner, already suspicious after the many drive-by's, grabbed his 9mm pistol and phone on the way out of his house.

Baxter, apparently confident no one was home, started to lift a lawnmower. That's when Warner confronted him.

"As soon as he lifted that up," says Warner, "that's when I drew down on him.

Warner says Baxter told him he would put the lawnmower back but Warner insisted that it was over, that he was on the phone with police and to lay down. Baxter did not follow orders so Warner took him to the ground where he would remain until police arrived.

Warner says Baxter pleaded with him to let him go.

"He said he had kids that need to be fed, that he lost his job," says Warner, "he tried to hit my sympathetic side, but I don't care for thieves."

Police arrived on scene shortly after, followed by Bob Briley who said he saw a police officer with his gun drawn at a man on the ground.

"I knew I'd left my garage door open so I knew someone had been in there and been caught in the act," says Briley.

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