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Caught: Suspect who nearly ran over Sheriff’s sergeant

The driver of a Ford Bronco II who is alleged to have nearly run over Kitsap County Sheriff’s Sergeant Jon Hytinen in the Target parking lot on Dec. 19 has been captured.

Shane Michael Gentry, 25, is charged with third-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and is currently in jail with bail set at $50,000.

Hytinen responded to Target in Silverdale at about 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 regarding a suspected shoplifter in the store. Security recognized Jerry Daniel Forrest, 32, as having stolen from the store before as well as other Target stores in Olympia, Lakewood and Tacoma, but had never been caught. Forrest used his usual method of operation and grabbed various items and ran out one of the fire doors, according to Sheriff’s reports.

As Hytinen pulled further into the parking lot he noticed a Ford Bronco paralleling Forrest who was frantically trying to open the passenger door. Hytinen parked in front of the Bronco in an attempt to block it. When Forrest saw the sergeant, he dropped the merchandise and fled on foot. As Hytinen stepped from his patrol car, Gentry reportedly revved up the engine and accelerated, driving around the patrol car directly toward Hytinen who was struck and knocked to the ground. The 15-year law enforcement veteran was left scraped and bruised.

In his report, Hytinen stated, “While on the ground my head and body were inches from the right side front and rear of the Bronco II as it passed by. There is no doubt in my mind that the driver was attempting to run me over with the vehicle in his attempt to flee.”

Forrest was soon caught on foot and was transported to jail for second-degree theft and a warrant with bail set at $25,000 for the theft charge and a $1,500 cash bail only for the warrant.

Two days after the incident at Target, a Sheriff’s deputy spotted the unattended Bronco parked near Tony Roma’s in Silverdale. Its license plates were run and the vehicle came back as being stolen in Pierce County.

“We found it registered to a man in Tacoma who indicated his son was the driver,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Sheriff’s office. “He said (his son) was staying with his girlfriend in Gig Harbor.”

A detective sergeant and detective from the Sheriff’s office met Gentry and his father in Gig Harbor, according to Wilson. Gentry first told the detectives the Bronco was stolen and he wasn’t the driver, but soon came clean and admitted he was indeed the driver of the vehicle during the shoplifting incident.

“He said he never met Forrest until that day and said they met at a friend’s house and was directed by others to assist him in the theft,” Wilson said.

Gentry was taken into custody on Dec. 22. If convicted of third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, a Class C felony, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12.

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