Marysville woman recounts unexpected visit from Marshawn Lynch

Nov 19, 2014, 3:16 PM | Updated: 5:07 pm

What would you do if Marshawn Lynch showed up at your house?

That’s what happened Tuesday as Jhalene Hartel headed out from her Marysville home.

Turns out Lynch and Seahawks teammate Ricardo Lockette had picked up her neighbor’s wallet after he dropped it at a nearby convenience store. Rather than leave it there, they decided to return it to his house before heading over to Marysville-Pilchuck High School for a surprise appearance.

The story has received plenty of attention after Jason Lynch (no relation to Marshawn) posted a story on Facebook about running into the Seahawks at the gas station and somehow leaving his wallet behind.

Hartel tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson she was just pulling out of her driveway when she spotted the Seahawks knocking on Jason Lynch’s door. It was surreal, but she had no doubt it was Marshawn.

“I was on my way out to get my kids and I called my husband to tell him they were at our neighbors’ house. And he was like, ‘Well if they’re there, you have to turn around and get a flippin’ picture,'” she says.

Jason wasn’t home. She sped back, just in time to see the specialized Mercedes van with a massive TV in the back and booming music pull into her driveway and the two players get out.

“In my head I’m thinking it was (Lynch) and then it wasn’t,” she says. “Marshawn just said ‘Hi.'”

She says it was a total shock as Marshawn calmly explained he had found the wallet and wanted to return it.

While she was certain it was Marshawn, she wanted him to confirm his name. But he coyly refused.

“Marshawn said his name was just the dude that was trying to get the dude back his wallet,” she laughs. “And I was like, ‘C’mon man, I know that’s not your name.’ And so then he wanted me to guess his name and I said, ‘No, I’m not doing that because I’ll sound like a moron or an idiot,’ and he goes, ‘Yes, I don’t like talking to morons or idiots, so don’t do that.'”

Lockette actually told her his name, but Hartlet says she didn’t believe him.

Ultimately, she asked for a picture with the pair, which they politely declined.

“I don’t know if it was because I didn’t guess his name,” she says. “He (Marshawn) chuckled and he set it down and said, ‘It was very nice to meet you.'”

Hartel admits she’s heartbroken she couldn’t get any photographic proof of the once-in-a-lifetime encounter. But she’s got a heck of a story to tell.

As for Marshawn, he spoke briefly about it at practice Wednesday in a terse session with reporters. The stilted interview came just after the NFL announced he was being fined $100,000 for refusing to speak with media over the last two years.

With some prompting from teammate Michael Bennett, Lynch scoffed at all the attention “about me giving something back that belonged to him. It would have been a story if I’d kept the [expletive deleted].”

Lockette offered the following account of the encounter in an interview Wednesday:

“So it was just a normal ride. We were going to the gas station and it was a guy rolled by in his car and he was kind of like staring at us. Like we didn’t know if he was a fan or kind of curious or whatever. We start pumping gas and look down and there’s this wallet there, so we look in there and the wallet’s in there, couple hundred dollars.

“His last name happened to be Lynch (Jason Lynch). He (Lynch) was like ‘this could be my cousin but it doesn’ look like me.’ It was all his idea, though, pretty much. I was like ‘well, let’s find out how far is it before we go out of our way.’ It’s like 20 minutes. I was like ‘man it’s kind of far.’ Marshawn was like ‘yeah, we’re going, we’re going.’ Okay cool, we are going, Beast Mode, we’re going.

“We pulled up to his house and he wasn’t there and we ended up knocking on like 4-5 doors and everybody is like, ‘oh should we come to the door?’ Some people came to the door, some people didn’t. There was one lady to the left of him (the wallet owner), was really, really nice. She kept the wallet for him, we talked to her for a really long time and we were really pleased about doing it and getting that done.”

Lockette offered the following about their encounter with Hartel:

“She just wanted to take a lot of pictures and she kept asking Marshawn what his name was. I think she knew but he never told her. He was like ‘I’m the guy that is bringing the wallet back to the guy who lives next door to you.’ Quote, unquote. I think she figured it out but she kept saying ‘I don’t want to sound ridiculous but I think I know who you are.’ We were like ‘well, you don’t want to be ridiculous, so we are just going to leave the wallet here.”‘

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