Beer-stealing teen accused of slugging guard

A South Kitsap High School senior was arrested Wednesday for allegedly punching a Safeway employee in the face while trying to steal three packs of beer.

According to the police report, the 17-year-old Gig Harbor resident and an unknown companion were observed by a security guard as they entered the Safeway grocery store on Bethel Road around 10:30 p.m. and headed straight for the beer aisle.

The female guard told police the pair then grabbed three 18-packs of Budweiser and headed for the door.

When she told them to stop, one of them cursed at her and ran out the door with one of the packs of beer, she said.

She followed him to a van idling in the parking lot and tried to stop him from getting in the vehicle, but the suspect pushed her away and drove off.

The employee then returned to the store, where the 17-year-old suspect was still hiding. After the teen was spotted by other store employees, the guard joined the group trying to restrain the suspect, who then allegedly punched her in the jaw during the struggle.

When Kitsap County SheriffÂ’s deputies arrived shortly after, they noted that four employees were holding the suspect on the ground and he smelled of alcohol. When one of the deputies asked, the teen admitted he drank some beers earlier.

The teen was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center for fourth-degree assault, attempted shoplifting and for being a minor in possession of or consuming alcohol.

Prior to this incident, the teen was awaiting trial as an adult on second-degree assault charges after an incident last April, and had been arrested and expelled in September for making criminal threats and disrupting school activities.

Prosecutor Warren Sharp said the teen was being tried as an adult for the April incident because the defendant had declined juvenile court deferment and requested a jury trial.

Sharp said the assault charge carries more jail time, and if convicted of just the first two incidents, the defendant faces a six- to 12-month sentence.

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