TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Erik Lee Bryan, 45, with robbery, attempting to elude police, vehicular assault, and hit and run. Last week the defendant robbed a Tacoma business at gun point, fled in the employee's car, then hit a mother with six children in her vehicle. The defendant was arraigned today and pled not guilty. Bail was set at $1 million.
On April 5, 2013, M.S. was preparing to lock up her business when the defendant approached her. He asked if he could collect cans from her recycling, and she agreed. He then entered the office with a gun and demanded money. He obtained M.S.'s cell phone, keys to her van, about $25, and the business' bank deposit. He left in M.S.'s van, and she contacted the police.
Tacoma Police officers spotted the stolen van at a nearby intersection. While the defendant was stopped at a red light, they ordered him to exit the van. Instead, the defendant sped away and police followed. While fleeing from the officers, the defendant struck a vehicle driven by a mother who had six of her children with her. The collision caused the car full of children to flip upside down. The defendant then fled on foot. The victims were transported to the hospital. The mother suffered minor injuries and one child suffered a laceration to her head.
The defendant was located by a K-9 unit under a small alcove. He claimed that when he heard the police sirens, he fled the area because he had a Department of Corrections warrant. He denied being the driver of the stolen van. Witnesses surrounding the collision, and the victim of the robbery, M.S., identified the defendant.
Investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Emily Conlee at (253) 798-6265, [email protected] or Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].