Strawberry-munching hit-and-run suspect pleads not guilty

Staff writerAugust 6, 2013 

Court records show the man was "leaning on his extremely damaged vehicle, eating strawberries," Saturday when a Puyallup officer asked him about the hit-and-run accident that had just occurred nearby.

According to charging papers:

The officer asked the man, who could barely stand and smelled of alcohol, what had happened.

"I'm in Puyallup," the suspect replied, before declining to take field sobriety tests.

An off-duty U.S. Marshall witnessed the man fail to stop at the intersection of 7th Avenue Southwest and Fruitland Avenue, crash his blue Chevrolet pickup into the back of a silver Chevrolet pickup and drive off.

The blue truck stopped running due to the damage as it drove north on Fruitland Avenue, and the Marshall took the keys from the driver and detained him when he tried to walk away.

The driver and passenger of the silver truck were taken to the hospital for treatment of neck and back pain.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to charges of felony hit and run, DUI, operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device and third-degree driving while in suspended or revoked status.

The officer found the defendant had a DUI bench warrant for his arrest out of Tacoma Municipal Court, and learned that he was supposed to have the ignition device in his car to measure his blood alcohol content.

Blood test results to determine whether the suspect was intoxicated are pending.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

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