An alleged serial robber shot in the head by a Puyallup police officer is being held in lieu of $1 million.
Jay Maria Christensen, 37, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at his arraignment on charges of unlawful gun possession, obstructing police and four counts of first-degree robbery.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail.
Pierce County prosecutors allege Christensen robbed the Denny’s restaurant at 626 S. Hill Park Drive in Puyallup at gunpoint Oct. 19.
According to charging papers and police:
He fled in a truck, driven by 39-year-old Steven Mikeal Sommer, and they ended up in a high-speed police chase that reached more than 90 mph.
Sommer lost control of the truck and it crashed into a highway support under state Route 512.
As officers approached the truck, Christensen pointed a shotgun at his getaway driver. That’s when officer Zach Kenyon shot Christensen in the head.
Sommer later told officers he didn’t know the robbery was going to happen, and that Christensen had threatened him and his family if he didn’t run from police.
Sommer pleaded not guilty Oct. 24 to first-degree robbery and attempting to elude police, while Christensen remained hospitalized for his injuries.
In addition to the Denny’s heist, prosecutors accuse Christensen of holding up:
▪ The Northwest Motor Inn at 1409 S. Meridian in Puyallup on Oct. 11
▪ The Shell gas station at 6615 Wollochet Drive NW in Gig Harbor on Sept. 15.
▪ The Chevron gas station at 7102 Stinson Ave. in Gig Harbor on Aug. 18.
He told investigators he started using heroin about six months ago, and the robberies were to get money to buy drugs.
Prosecutors said he tried to get by the officer guarding his hospital room Monday, and struggled with the officer and hospital staff.