An 80-year-old Washington pastor who refused to allow a man to steal his bike without a fight, chased down the thief then hopped onto the back of the criminal's speeding truck and clung to it in a daring attempt to retrieve his property.
Jerry Sebranke, the founding pastor of Park Ridge Community Church in Bothell who was doing business inside his local bank when he saw his bike being stolen, wasn't able to recover it from the thief because he was forced to let go of the truck.
"He did it so fast, but it was my bike so I ran out the door as fast as I could run and jumped on the back of the truck and that was the beginning of the episode of traumatizing my own self," Sebranke told local news station Q13 Fox.
Sebranke, who also teaches science and scripture, frightened bank staff with his daring reaction, so much so that they quickly called 911 as they watch the 80-year-old spring into action.
Surveillance video released by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office shows the pastor running after the pickup truck and jumping on the back bumper of the vehicle as Heritage Bank employees watched in shock, according to Q13 Fox.
"It happens so quickly and when you see him jump onto that truck, your heart stops," Brenda Wallace, an assistant manager at the Heritage Bank, said.
Sebranke described his actions, saying, "When I bailed off the asphalt was going by awful fast, and I just let go until my feet hit the ground and I went shoo shoo, and I finally stopped rolling after a while."
The ordeal left the pastor quite "banged up," according to his son, Brad Sebranke, who serves as lead pastor of Park Ridge Community Church.
"He was all bloody, he was banged up when he rolled off. He was tumbling. The bank called 911 and the medics came and then they said 'Listen, you're going into shock, we need to take you to the hospital to check you out, make sure you don't have a concussion or something.' So they took him to the hospital and everything was fine but he was all bloody," Brad told The Christian Post on Thursday. His father was unavailable for comment.
The elder Sebranke, who cycles regularly to maintain his health, said despite the violent episode he believes God used the encounter to reveal a blockage in his heart while he was being checked out following the incident.
The incident took place on July 11 and Brad said his father discovered the blockage in an artery a few days later.
"He rested Tuesday. Wednesday he felt good enough so he rode down to the bank again on another bike that he had. When he went to go ride back up the hill there was something wrong with him. He couldn't ride. So he pushed his bike up the hill," with some help, Brad explained.
"Thursday he was doing some work and realized that he was worn out. Friday he went to go ride his bike again and he just got part way and began feeling worn out again. So he went back home and told his wife he needed to go to the hospital. They went to the hospital and did this test and there was 95 percent blockage right next to a stent he put in six years ago," Brad said.
Doctors were able to add a stent to his father's blocked artery and he was "back up and running" shortly after that.
Since the ordeal, says Q13 Fox, Heritage Bank employees got together and replaced the founding pastor's stolen bike and last week they threw him a celebration.
"This was just a small thing we could do to turn something bad into something good," Wallace told Q13 Fox.
Sebranke said he is not done going after the people who stole his bike. "If I catch them, I'm going to have a discussion about what their purpose in life is," he said.