SEATTLE (Reuters) - Former Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire used fast thinking and driving to stop a stranger from climbing into her car in a store parking lot, Olympia police said on Thursday.

Gregoire, who was governor from 2005 to 2013, packed her purchases into the car's trunk in a Lowe's home improvement lot, the police said. As she did she saw a man watching her.

Police said that once she was inside the car, the man opened the passenger door and started climbing in just as she began backing out of the space. She hit the gas pedal, the man fell to the ground and the door slammed shut, police said.

The man, identified as 47-year-old Mark Snodderly, was not injured.


Police said he then caused a disturbance in the store, adding that he was cited for disorderly conduct and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

(This story has been refiled to fix spelling of pedal from peddle in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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