Video: Bus-stickup-stopper tells his story on national TV

December 20, 2013 at 10:28 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 24 Comments

The West Seattle man who overpowered an armed robber on board a RapidRide bus last month went on national TV today to tell his story. 32-year-old Casey Borgen told interviewers on NBC’s Today that – as it seemed to many viewing the surveillance video seen around the world – it was “pure instinct.” But no, he’s not trained in martial arts, as some speculated. See the interview above; here’s the story on Today’s website. If you haven’t seen the bus-camera video yet, our story from early Thursday included the KING 5 version; we have since obtained the raw video and have uploaded two clips, including one that shows something not shown in the other coverage we’ve seen, but some had asked about – the robber just before he gets up to start demanding passengers’ smartphones. Both of the following links go to the clips we have uploaded to YouTube:

*Robber shown seated, then standing to hold up first victim (some audio)
*Silent version of now-famous sequence (silent)

The man charged in those robberies and another one on a different bus on Beacon Hill earlier in the month, 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown, remains jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail and is due back in court later this month.

24 Comments

  1. Great story and great guy. If the gun had bullets in it the outcome may have been dramatically different.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 10:54 am December 20, 2013 #

  2. Pure instinct. Grab gun – put smart phone in pocket – wrestle down assailant. I don’t think you could have trained for that particular sequence.

    Comment by Gatewooder — 11:05 am December 20, 2013 #

  3. I am so thankful for the actions of Mr. Borgen and others on that bus. We must all work together to keep our communities and each other safe from criminals.

    Comment by John — 11:08 am December 20, 2013 #

  4. Thanks Casey! You and your humble demeanor rock! So glad you are a part of our community!

    Comment by Lina — 11:39 am December 20, 2013 #

  5. I’ve known Casey for about 9 years or so, and I can say with some certainty, when it comes time for the zombie apocalypse, my family is heading over to his house.

    Comment by JRR — 11:59 am December 20, 2013 #

  6. Umm.. a good guy, handy in a crisis, and super cute? Liz hang on to this one!!
    Great video.

    Comment by Sara — 12:06 pm December 20, 2013 #

  7. Agree with all of the above! Bravo, Casey :)

    Comment by biankat — 12:44 pm December 20, 2013 #

  8. That is the beauty of Fight or Flight. Our minds are powerful!!! Glad everyone was unharmed in the end.

    Next thought – not everyone should be a parent – seriously!! The mother of the thug – has ruined a human!! Hope he finds the right guidance through this.

    Comment by Sandal40 — 12:51 pm December 20, 2013 #

  9. Good to see a healthy dose of bravery end happily. Many props from another bus rider Casey!!

    Comment by DelridgeDad — 12:51 pm December 20, 2013 #

  10. I don’t know Mr. Borgen but his humbleness was refreshing. It’s guys like Borgen that you want at your side in the face of adversity. My dad, a WWII vet, was that type of guy. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery — 10th Mountain Division, WWII.

    Comment by Seattlite — 2:35 pm December 20, 2013 #

  11. So when this story first appeared on the blog, there was talk of a guy named Josh (if I remember right). Is Josh the guy in the red flannel? Notice the video of the robber holding up the first victim. The guy in the red flannel immediately gets up and shadows the robber.

    In the now famous video, you can then see the guy in the red flannel waiting to make a move, and then does when Casey wrestles with the guy.

    I think this guy in the red flannel deserves some serious kudos, as if it weren’t for his help, this could have turned out differently.

    Comment by Eric — 3:26 pm December 20, 2013 #

  12. For Seattlite – thanks for your Dad’s service – my husband served in the 10th Mountain Divison. Climb to Glory!

    Comment by snowball — 3:27 pm December 20, 2013 #

  13. Eric – If I didn’t already say this in the other thread – while Joshua, mentioned to us by a witness that same night, isn’t named in the court/police documents, I was reassured in e-mail yesterday that he does exist and that he was a pivotal person somewhere in that whole pile. I had thought from the original conversation that he was the guy who first grabbed the gun but that turned out to be Casey (whose name IS in the court/police docs).

    Comment by WSB — 4:20 pm December 20, 2013 #

  14. Bravo to this brave young gentleman. I do hope the robber gets put away for a LONG time. People won’t ride Metro if they don’t feel safe; the Community needs to make it crystal clear that if you commit a crime on a bus, you are going to go down — HARD. We need to make an example of this piece of filth.

    Comment by McGruff — 4:24 pm December 20, 2013 #

  15. Like a boss, you go boy!

    Kudos to everyone both on and off the bus who helped subdue the “alleged” gunman.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 4:26 pm December 20, 2013 #

  16. Eric is correct. Watch the videos and watch the fellow in the red flannel shirt come from the back of the bus. He saw what was going on and deliberately went after the perp having plenty of time to consider the danger.

    Comment by dsa — 4:27 pm December 20, 2013 #

  17. McGruff: I hope I am proved wrong, but a long time may be a lot shorter than you think. If the gun really didn’t have bullets, then I think the robber is still going down on a gun-related charge…I seem to think that if you claim to have a gun, but not have one you can get off with less time. Not sure if gun w/o bullets qualifies.

    Way to go Mr. Borgen. As an occasional rider of the C I appreciate your fast reflexes, and same tip of the hat to the red flannel guy.

    Comment by JayDee — 5:23 pm December 20, 2013 #

  18. x

    Comment by ByeAlki — 7:53 pm December 20, 2013 #

  19. Thank you, Casey, Joshua and the other bus riders who helped to subdue the robber! You are all heroes!! I live in West Seattle and ride the bus, as do my 2 teenagers. I feel safer knowing that my community stands up to protect each other. Thank you!

    Comment by Alki Res — 7:56 pm December 20, 2013 #

  20. Casey seems like a pretty smart guy. Totally see how that would be instinct since he didn’t even know why a gun was in his face. Glad he made a point to the Today show folks that it probably was not the best option, and if he did it again he’d choose a different path. We all say we will react a specific way, but in the end, until the event really happens, you’re never prepared for it.
    .
    Glad there were other passengers that helped Casey out. Sad that the one guy with the Sonics hat just took off, hope he’s not around if I need help.

    Comment by Mike — 8:58 pm December 20, 2013 #

  21. Great Job!

    Wonderful neighbors like Casey and the others who subdued the robber are another reason that West Seattle is Best Seattle.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Cascadian — 9:16 pm December 20, 2013 #

  22. I have a new “as-seen-on-west-seattle-blog-don’t-tell-my-husband-crush.”

    Comment by Emmyjane — 11:01 pm December 20, 2013 #

  23. I second that Emmyjane.

    Comment by T — 4:04 am December 21, 2013 #

  24. Just wanted to add my thanks and admiration to Casey, Joshua and all the folks on that bus that helped subdue this robber. The event on the bus, and Casey’s demeanor on the Today Show made me so proud to be from Seattle, and particularly West Seattle. I’m a sometimes rider on the C-line and this event, which I realize could happen anywhere, has frightened me. But, it won’t keep me off the bus and part of the reason for that is knowing there are such great people sitting in many of the other seats.

    Comment by Carol Wagener — 8:33 pm December 21, 2013 #

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