West Denver woman fights off man accused of stealing RTD bus

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DENVER -- A local woman fought back when a man accused of stealing an RTD bus tried to break into her home Monday.

Like most first responders and people who serve the community, Samantha Rieber didn’t hesitate to run toward danger and try to help.

“I heard this big loud boom outside. I ran out I noticed there was an RTD bus. I ran out to see if everyone on the bus was OK,” said Rieber.

Rieber works as a corrections officer at a juvenile detention facility in Colorado, and says her training helped her remain calm as a man came out of the bus and began to threaten her.

“He started to dart at me. He said, 'I have a f------ gun, I’m going to kill you if you don’t give me your car keys,'" Rieber said. “And then he put his hand in his pants, ready to simulate a weapon. At that time I knew he didn’t have a gun because anybody who has a gun is going to pull it.”

Surveillance video shows the suspect, later identified by police as Simon Garcia, pushing Rieber toward her home. Rieber says Garcia even got a foot inside her house.

“I put two hands on him and shoved him out of my house, and then slammed the door shut,” Rieber said. “I went to go grab my gun. I then saw him pulling a woman out of her white car, and pulling away at a very high rate of speed.”

Denver police ended up arresting Garcia after he crashed into two cars at the intersection of West First Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard a couple of miles away.

He is due in court on Wednesday.

“My mom instincts just took over, and the only thing that I could think of is: I’m not letting this man into my house with my baby and my friend's baby,” Rieber said.

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