JANUARY 13, 1997
Police make arrest in shoplifting/assault case
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--Police arrested a 20-year-old Kent man and are looking for his two accomplices after he was caught shoplifting merchandise from a local auto supply store and assaulting an employee there last Friday afternoon.
Officers responded to the call of a man wrestling with a store employee. According to the victim, the suspect, along with a white male and female in their twenties, had come into the store in long coats, behaving suspiciously. After a short stay, they left, then returned wearing different jackets.
The suspect who was caught asked about a battery recharger. The employee directed him to the correct aisle and left to answer a phone call. When he returned, the charger was gone and the suspect said he wanted to return a similar charger, but it was in his car.
The employee said that when the suspect tried to exit the store, the employee grabbed his shoulder, in the process dislodging the allegedly stolen battery charger, which fell to the ground in the doorway.
"I swept him to the floor, put my knee on his chest, and held his arms," the employee told police. He said the suspect bit him and began fighting, then fled through Shirley's Restaurant and north into the industrial area.
Police found him four hours later--covered in mud from the waist down after his trek through the industrial area--when a plainclothes police officer spotted him near Canterbury Square. The officer recognized him from previous dealings in North Bend.
The other suspects, splitting up after the scuffle, remain at large. The woman was seen behind City Hall, hopping the fence at the ballfields and heading towards Waterford Park on foot.