Drive-in employee on SR-3 hit after catching sneaks

A 19-year-old East Bremerton man was arrested last weekend for allegedly striking an employee of the Rodeo Drive-In with his car after being caught sneaking his companion into the theater, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported.

According to the report, the incident began around 10:35 p.m. July 6 at the outdoor movie theater on State Route 3 when the 31-year-old employee was confronting the suspect about having two people in his car and only one ticket.

After first claiming he lost one ticket out the window, the suspect then got back into his car and began to drive away after a deputy arrived on-scene after being called to speak to another group who reportedly did not pay for all their car occupants.

According to the employee, the suspect’s car swerved toward him and one of the vehicle’s side mirrors struck him in the ribs as it drove out of the theater’s lot.

The victim said he was not sure if the suspect swerved at him intentionally and that he was not injured.

Since the theater employees had recorded the vehicle’s license plate number, the deputy was able to contact the suspect later about the incident.

The suspect first claimed he had met the young woman in his car inside the theater, but later admitted that when they realized they were “two dollars short” of enough for two tickets, they decided to hide her under some blankets in the back seat while he drove in.

However, he reportedly “adamantly” denied striking the employee with his car.

When the deputy spoke to his 18-year-old female companion, she confirmed the suspect’s story, but said they had more than enough money to pay for two tickets. She said the employee ran after them, but that their car did not hit him.

The suspect was then booked into Kitsap County Jail for second-degree theft and third-degree assault and held under $15,000 bail.

Earlier the same night, a group of teenagers was also contacted at the theater for having four people in their truck and only two tickets.

When contacted by theater employees, the teens reportedly “got mouthy” and the employees then decided to call the police.

The deputy then contacted the teens, noting they were now much more cooperative and admitted to hiding two teens in the bed of the truck while only paying for the two riding in the cab.

The 16-year-old driver, a Belfair resident, reportedly admitted to the deputy that not only was he the “mastermind” of the operation, but that he did not have either a valid driver’s license or a learner’s permit.

The teen’s mother was also on-scene and admitted to the deputy that she had allowed her unlicensed son to drive the group to the movies.

The teens were removed from the theater, and the mother was given a ticket for allowing an “unauthorized minor” to drive.

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