Mother who witnessed arrest credits cops for swift action

2012-08-09T20:00:00Z 2012-08-10T00:29:06Z Mother who witnessed arrest credits cops for swift actionDeborah Laverty and Lindsay Machak Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

HOBART | A Michigan City mother has a new appreciation for police after seeing the apprehension of one of the armed Porter County home invasion suspects Wednesday inside Chuck E. Cheese's.

"He could have taken any one of us hostage. I'm just glad the cops acted as swiftly as they did and it didn't get out of control," Jennifer Weiler said.

Weiler, her 2-year-old son and Weiler's mother were in the restaurant on U.S. 30 when one of the men later apprehended by police came in, she said.

"He (the suspect) had been in there for like 10 minutes. He was hanging out by the bar," Weiler said. "From what I noticed, he just stood there trying to blend in. He didn't go up to any kids."

Weiler said the next thing she knew, a police officer ran in, walked up to the guy, yelled at him to get on the ground and pointed a rifle at his head.

"We were maybe 5 to 6 feet away from him. I grabbed my little guy and shielded his eyes because I didn't want him to see what was going on," Weiler said.

Weiler said she couldn't believe something like that was happening inside a place that caters to young children.

"The thing that scares me is that with the 'Dark Knight' movie catastrophe and all the school shootings, you never know what's going to happen. All I was thinking is I have a 2-year-old and I need to keep him safe. It was pretty safe," Weiler said.

Weiler said workers at the restaurant also kept cool and were handing out tokens and tickets to try and keep everyone calm.

She said everyone was kept inside until police allowed them to evacuate. She estimated the crowd included 50 children.

"We had no idea what was going on. I'm glad because there would have been a mass panic," Weiler said. 

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