A man accused of hiding in the back seat of a woman’s car to rob her later told detectives he wanted to apologize to her, saying he had needed the money to get married, Pierce County prosecutors said.
Christopher Michael Brown, 31, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree robbery, second-degree theft, and second-degree vehicle prowling. Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
According to charging papers:
Brown asked the woman to light his cigarette in the parking lot of a grocery store in the 1600 block of 72nd Street East. She did and headed into the store. She left the store about 15 minutes later, and smelled cigarette smoke near her car.
As she drove down the street, a man appeared in the back of the car and reached toward the front. The woman slammed on the brakes, and he hit the dashboard. While the car was stopped and the driver was screaming, the man fled with the woman’s purse.
Detectives spoke with Brown, who was in jail after the robbery on unrelated burglary charges, after they got tips he was involved in the Feb. 13 crime. The victim looked at a photo montage, and told detectives she was 60 percent sure Brown was the robber.
Brown initially denied being at the grocery store that night, but later discussed the crime in a “hypothetical” sense, court documents show, and admitted his involvement.
He told detectives he wanted to write the woman a letter of apology, and offered to get her back her belongings.
He had “needed money” to get married, he said.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268