California coach stops drunk driver by stealing her keys en route to wrestling tournament

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

On Saturday, the Kelseyville (Calif.) High wrestling team produced a stirring early season performance, winning 12 medals at the Elsie Allen High School Wrestling Tournament. Yet the most important act of collection of the day came from one of the team's coaches, who singlehandedly thwarted a drunk driver on the road by stopping her vehicle and then stealing her keys until police officials arrived.

Kelseyville wrestling coach Rob Brown, holding the left side of the team banner, stopped a dangerous driver — Flickr
Kelseyville wrestling coach Rob Brown, holding the left side of the team banner, stopped a dangerous driver — Flickr

As first reported by the Lake County Record-Bee, Kelseyville assistant wrestling coach Rob Brown was driving part of his team to the Elsie Allen meet in Santa Rosa on Saturday when he noticed a car traveling in the opposite direction of traffic on a state highway.

Brown immediately had someone in the truck call the California Highway Patrol, then followed the car at a safe distance until the driver turned into an area housing community. That's when Brown pulled his vehicle closer to the drunk driver to box the car in. The driver immediately tried to back up, briefly making contact with the coach's truck, then stopped.

Brown hopped out of the car and then took things into his own hands.

"She [the allegedly inebriated driver] was having trouble getting the locked gate to open," Brown told the Record-Bee. "I pulled up about three feet behind her and she started to back up and hit my truck. I got out, walked up to her car and she was rolling down the window. I grabbed her keys and told her I had called CHP.

"It was lucky no one got hurt. Several cars [heading north on Highway 29] had to swerve out of her way. They probably couldn't believe what they were seeing."

Perhaps in a touch of karmic reward, the rest of the day was a glowing success for both the coach and his team. Brown's car suffered no damage from the driver's impact, and the wrestlers who had been traveling with him joined up with other cars heading to the event and made their bouts on time. Better yet, three Kelseyville wrestlers won their respective weight classes at the tournament. Five others finished in second place and four earned third-place medals.

Naturally, none of those medals were as significant as keeping a truly dangerous driver off the road, an act which instantly confirmed Brown as a role model for his wrestlers, even if some may have felt that way about him long before.

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