Good Samaritan Chases Thief, Gets Assaulted – as told by his 10-year old Son

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d like to assure our Readers that we got full permission from Cooper’s Mother Kimberly before conducting this interview.]

Cooper Geiger, 10-year old son of good Samaritan Robbin Geiger, talks to a TV news videographer near Chelsea Park Wednesday night about his Dad’s pursuit of a thief. Click image to see larger version.

Story & Photos by Scott Schaefer

A good Samaritan and his 10-year old son pursued a shoplifter outside Walgreen’s in Burien Wednesday night on their bikes, before the Father was assaulted numerous times on Ambaum Blvd. and SW 136th Street near Chelsea Park.

The good news is that the suspect was captured and arrested by police as he was hiding in a garage near SW 135th Street.

The bad news is that the good Samaritan was repeatedly assaulted, suffered head injuries (including a possible concussion) and a bloody nose, and ended up at Highline Medical Center.

Robbin Geiger and his son were on their bikes outside Walgreen’s at SW 148th and Ambaum when a thief exited the store around 6:30 p.m. A clerk shouted out that the suspect had stolen some food, and that’s when Robbin started the pursuit.

Normally we tell these stories using police as our main source (and there were plenty of police on hand – at least four or five cruisers and the KCSO’s Guardian One chopper circling overhead), but this one’s different – we were able to speak directly with Cooper Geiger, 10, the son of the good Samaritan.

Cooper told the story to The B-Town Blog and a Seattle TV News Videographer in excited, detailed tones that rivaled a young Ron Howard portraying Opie (as he spoke to us, we practically expected Andy Griffith to show up and pat the red-headed boy on the head).

Cooper’s detailed, intelligent explanation of the crime reminded this Reporter of a young Opie from “Mayberry R.F.D.”

“My Dad tried to detain the suspect when he found out he had stolen from Walgreen’s,” Cooper said matter-of-factly. “The shoplifter kept knocking my Dad off his bike and hitting him, then gave him a bloody nose near the Dairy Queen.”

But that didn’t stop Cooper’s Dad, who got back on his bike and chased the suspect further north on Ambaum, before finally tussling with him on SW 136th, where he got knocked down and suffered a head injury.

“After he got hit down and hurt his head my Dad was very confused,” Cooper told us. “He kept asking the same questions over and over, didn’t know what day it was or even what two times two was. That’s also when I noticed he had blood on his face, shirt and hands.”

Robbin was taken to Highline Medical Center. His condition is unknown.

Cooper said that his Dad caught up to the suspect many times, tried to detain him, but the thief kept getting away. At one time Robbin told passersby that he had “been hit” and some thought that he had been struck by a vehicle. Someone called 911 and police responded quickly as our hero kept pursuing the bad guy, even though he was bloodied and injured.

The chase culminated on SW 136th near Chelsea Park, where the thief knocked the victim to the ground, causing a bloody head injury and possible concussion.

“The sad part of this is that this was all over a can of soup and some beef jerky,” Sgt. Pat McCurdy of the King County Sheriff’s Office told us. “The suspect is a known drug user and he was stealing food from Walgreen’s. He assaulted a clerk and left the store and that’s when the good Samaritan got involved.”

As we learn more about this crime, including the condition of Robbin, we’ll update this post.

In the meantime, we’d like to give a virtual high-five to young Cooper for sharing this story with us, along with a “get well soon!” cheer to good Samaritan Robbin.

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22 Responses to “Good Samaritan Chases Thief, Gets Assaulted – as told by his 10-year old Son”
  1. Meg says:

    Seriously?! This story could just as easily be headlined, “Father repeatedly leaves 10 year old son so that he can chase petty thief. Son witnesses father being assaulted repeatedly.” Dude, let the cops catch the guy and you protect your son from the seedy element of the neighborhood. For heaven’s sake.

    • jztl says:

      Completely agree!

    • Emily says:

      ^^Of course he is insulted rather than commended for his bravery and initiative. Too many people would watch helplessly from the sidelines and take no action. People these days.. His son witnessed not only bravery and initiative, but integrity and principle. And I bet he was proud of his father (also referred to as the Good Samaritan, the hero) that day..

      Hats off to a hero and his sidekick.


  2. Yvonne Burgess says:

    The thief stole food? A man stealing food needs food. We need to know more details, of course, but from what I know now, I believe chasing the thief and suffering assault was a mistake.

  3. Sarah says:

    Who chases a shoplifter with their kid? Not the smartest move

  4. john says:

    That’s a double-edged sword isn’t it? Stand by and do nothing while scum gets away with it or be ridiculed by the public for doing the right thing…

    Chances are that if he hadn’t gotten hurt the police may have never been able to do anything about it. Heck the cops probably would have came to Walgreen’s 30 minutes later after the clerk called them. That’s a great way to capture thieves isn’t it!

    • jztl says:

      Doing the right thing according to who? You? What makes that the right thing? That’s just your opinion, not fact. The right thing for him to have done as a parent at that point is to make sure his child was OK. It’s not worth his life or his son’s to go after a shoplifter. The guy could have had a gun and shot both of them or a knife and stabbed the father in the tussle. He’s lucky he didn’t die from his injuries and still isn’t out of the woods with severe injuries. That’s why they tell even workers not to go after shoplifters. It’s not worth it. Surely this store and most big name stores have cameras and would have gotten this guy eventually, the cops could have placed photos of him around to help catch him. Whatever, point is it’s their job. The only reason I could see someone running after someone like this is if someone stole a child but not a small amount of food that has nothing to do with you, especially if you have a child with you. Not worth potentially leaving a family without a father. Sometimes I think some people just want to be the hero or citizen cop instead of using common sense.

  5. wheels says:

    I’m sure the police would tell you, don’t chase a shoplifter for two bucks worth of food with your kid in tow.

    Interviewing the son while his father is in the hospital and unable to give consent seems like a bad idea. Maybe there was an adult guardian standing by that consented to the interview. If not, the boy should not have been interviewed by the media, whether he was willing or not.

  6. Michael says:

    No surprise that King County is broke. A petty theft warrants sending a helicopter at how many thousands per hour?

  7. Jim says:

    I think the WALGREENS CLER should be fired and I think WALGREENS owes Mr. Geiger a big fat apology! The police report stated that the perp was known to Walgreens and that he was a drug addict. Where was Walgreen’s Security? Is that their policy… whenever an incident occurs (in their store) they go run out into the street SCREAMING for HELP!!
    I’m reading a lot of criticism about how Mr. Geiger responded… think about it … HE RESPONDED… to his neighbors cry for HELP!
    As for Cooper… that is one VERY SMART kid… he was in his own neighborhood and he knew exactly what to do…. I’m pretty sure Mr Geiger knew he was never putting his son in danger and that he was just looking out for the rest of his neighbors. WHAT A HERO!!

    • Huh? says:

      Many times, when I go to Walgreen’s, there is an aggressive panhandler that wants money from me. I’ve gotten to the point where I carry pepper spray whenever I go to shop there.

      I have told the clerks that here is someone outside harassing their customer, and they just shrug their shoulders. I hope that Walgreen’s management does not expect a 16 year old , minimum wage cashier to go outside and throw him off the property.

  8. Hazell says:

    I personally know Robbin and his family. They have always done what they thought was right. They look out for folks in our neighborhood and always lend a helping hand. I feel fortunate to have him as a neighbor.

  9. De says:

    I see Robbin almost every morning when he comes into my work. I can honestly say he would probably do anything to help anyone, he’s just a genuinely nice guy. He does not want to be a “hero”, nor a “citizen cop”. Let’s not forget the suspect not only stole, but ASSAULTED the clerk at Walgreens. And let’s be honest, its not like the was riding down the street with his kid strapped to his back or neglectfully left him stranded on the street.

    People are so quick to judge, I commend Robbin and his courageous actions. We could use more people like him. Disagree if you’d like, I don’t really care…but the next time you’re in a pinch and need some help from a stranger you’d better hope they have a kind heart and a willingness to help out another human for no reason other than it is the right thing to do. (My opinion…don’t want to present that as a fact.)

    • ATKMH says:

      Today’s incident at Albertson’s is a perfect example of what help from strangers can do. Thankfully their willingness to help out saved a child and apprended a serious threat to the community.

  10. MK says:

    Are you kidding me people……Obviously Robbin just heard that the criminal assaulted a clerk and stole something from a store in his neighborhood that he most likely frequented and knew the employees….Working in the neighborhood and knowing Robbin as a customer, makes me feel very comforted that someone you build a relationship with by seeing them every morning, would be there to help you in a time of need! Robbin is a hero to me and I’m sure all the other people who work in Burien and know him……He is a kind-hearted, generous person who would be there to help anyone! He has set a good example for his son not neglected him…….We need more people like Robbin in our neighborhoods who don’t just turn their backs in times of need. Maybe this would make these criminals stop and think if they knew people would step in. Robbin you are my hero and I wish you a speedy recovery so I can see you again in the morning! XOXO

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