By Lee Stoll
Bellingham, WA (KIRO/CNN) - A lunch date turned into a terrifying experience for an elderly couple in Washington state.
They were headed for some fast food, when a suspected thief approached them.
"I've got other things over here and I've got big bandages on both knees," said the victim, Jim Bullion.
Bullion is the first to tell you the cuts and bruises could be worse.
"I was in shock practically and it was such a surprise," he said.
The 80-year-old had just pulled into Wendy's for a lunch date with his partner, Joann Ferrell, when a man tried to push himself into the driver's seat.
"It was almost face to face and he just said 'I want your keys,' and I said 'you're not gonna get em,' but he did," said Bullion.
Police say the suspect, 31-year-old Reggie Williams, threw Bullion to the pavement. An employee familiar with the couple saw the trouble and rushed out. She tried to grab Williams, but was hit with the car door as he tried to drive away.
"She was very lucky that she didn't get run over," said Bullion.
Bullion says witnesses ran from the restaurant, even from across the street, and pinned Williams down until police go there.
"There's been a turn recently. I think people are stepping up and doing what they feel is appropriate," said Mark Young with the Bellingham Police Department.
Bullion says he's shocked by the daytime attack, but even more surprised so many strangers tried to help.
"The response was the major thing, yeah. It was really impressive," said Bullion.
Police found a knife on Williams, but they say there's no sign he tried to use it.
The Wendy's employee received minor injuries.
Following the assault, police say the couple remained at the restaurant to eat.