Seattle man arrested after allegedly fighting, biting Safeway employee while shoplifting champagne

A 20-year-old Seattle man was charged with second-degree robbery Monday in Kitsap County District Court after he allegedly bit an employee at the Bainbridge Safeway after grocery store workers tried to stop him from shoplifting two bottles of champagne and a bottle of whiskey.

Kyle Shannon Hill-Moffat was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail early Monday morning.

According to a Bainbridge Island police report, the incident began shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday when an employee at the grocery on High School Road called police after seeing Hill-Moffat in the store. The employee said there had been problems with the man shoplifting at the Safeway store in the past, and on one occasion, reported that Hill-Moffat assaulted an employee before running away.

Store employees watched Hill-Moffat as he walked through the grocery, and saw him suspiciously move his hands around his waist while he was in the liquor aisle.

One employee followed the man as he walked past the cashiers and out of the store while he appeared to be holding something in his waistband area. The employee also heard the sound of clinking glass, and when the employee called out, 'Hey, don't run,' Hill-Moffat immediately started to dash away and a bottle of whiskey fell out of his pant leg and shattered on the ground.

A struggle ensued, and Hill-Moffat and the employee both fell to the ground. During the struggle, two more bottles of alcohol fell out of Hill-Moffat's pants, according to a Bainbridge police report.

The Safeway employee continued to yell at Hill-Moffat to stop fighting, and another worker came over to try to help hold the man down while he called 911.

At one point in the struggle, the alleged shoplifter bit one of the employees on his left arm and wouldn't let go for more than 10 seconds.

After the employee yelled at him to stop, the man did, and then apologized for biting the employee.

Police arrived and arrested Hill-Moffat, and also found store video that showed the man trying to run from the store, a bottle falling out of his pants, and the subsequent struggle where Hill-Moffat bit the store worker.

An officer examined the Safeway employee where he was bitten and found his arm swollen. The man declined medical attention, however.

Authorities said the two bottles of champagne and one bottle of whiskey were valued at $238.

In their investigation report, Bainbridge police said Hill-Moffat is a transient who sometimes stays on Bainbridge. A prior theft and assault involving Hill-Moffat was reported at the same Safeway store in August 2013.

Hill-Moffat remains in the Kitsap County Jail. Bail has been set at $30,000.

Second-degree robbery is a felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison term and $20,000 fine upon conviction.



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