Several Browne’s Addition neighbors worked together with Spokane police Tuesday evening to catch an armed robbery suspect.
At around 6:15 p.m., witnesses told police a man came into the Sunset Grocery store on Sunset Boulevard near Coeur d’Alene Park with a shirt wrapped around his face and “some kind of pointed weapon in his hand,” police said in a news release. He ordered the employees away from the register and attempted to grab money from behind the counter.
The plan was foiled when a shopper approached the suspect, later identified as 43-year-old Stephen Swezey, and punched him, causing him to flee westbound down an alleyway.
Several blocks to the west, a neighbor saw Swezey in their backyard, and when confronted, he fled into another backyard, police said. Another neighbor went around the block to see if the man was going to cross the street.
When officers arrived, the neighbors were able to confirm he had not crossed the road, allowing police to focus their search in a specific location, police said. Swezey was detained minutes later, hiding on the back porch of another residence.
Police believe Swezey attempted to open several doors while he was fleeing in people’s backyards.
Swezey was booked into Spokane County Jail at about 7:15 p.m. Police recommend a charge of first-degree robbery.
The 43-year-old pleaded guilty to first-degree felony possession of drugs in April.
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