The suspected getaway driver in the robbery of a Denny’s restaurant in Puyallup was held in jail Monday in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Meanwhile, a 37-year-old suspected serial robber remained hospitalized, after a Puyallup police officer shot him in the head following the high-speed chase after the hold-up.
He has yet to be charged.
The alleged driver, 39-year-old Steven Mikeal Sommer, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on charges of first-degree robbery and attempting to elude police.
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Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail.
Court records did not list an attorney for him.
Sommer told investigators he didn’t know the robbery was going to happen, and that the other man threatened him and his family if he didn’t run from police, Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Cooper wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause.
Charging papers and police give this account:
Police got a call about a robbery Wednesday at the restaurant at 626 S. Hill Park Drive, where someone with a shotgun held up a waitress and took off with cash from the business.
The waitress told investigators the robber left in a small, light-color truck that had been waiting outside, and officers spotted a vehicle that matched the description in the area.
The truck drove off, traveling at 90 mph with Sommer behind the wheel and the 37-year-old as a passenger.
Sommer lost control of the truck, which crashed into a cement highway support under state Route 512 and bounced into a pursuing patrol car.
For an unknown reason, the 37-year-old pointed the shotgun at Sommer as officers approached the truck, and officer Zach Kenyon shot him.
Sommer told officers: “You guys saved my life.”
When officers saw he was bleeding from his right ear, he told them he’d gotten hit in the head with the shotgun.
Police said they think the 37-year-old was responsible for 10 Pierce County robberies.