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Eglon man charged with July 2 hit and run in Suquamish

SUQUAMISH — Marcus G. Croman bought a retired ambulance in 2010 and outfitted it into a different kind of aid vehicle: A vehicle for his Kingston Rescue Mission, with which to deliver food to people in need.

Witnesses say that same vehicle struck a pedestrian on Suquamish Way near Highway 305 and fled the scene late July 2.

A description of the vehicle led sheriff’s officers to Croman’s home in Eglon. He was arrested on July 3 at 12:10 a.m. and booked into Kitsap County Jail; he was released later that day after posting $25,000 bail. His vehicle was impounded as evidence.

The prosecuting attorney’s office charged Croman with felony hit and run. He’s due in Kitsap County Superior Court room 107 on July 17.

“Under the instruction of my attorney, I’ve been advised not to comment,” Croman said July 9. A call to Croman’s attorney, Matt Clucas of Poulsbo, was not returned as of July 10.

The alleged incident occurred about 10 p.m.

A group of witnesses told a sheriff’s deputy that they were at the fireworks stand when they heard screams. “They turned around to see what it was and observed what they believed was an ambulance go by (northbound) on Suquamish Way,” according to the investigation report. “One of the girls said at first they thought maybe that was where the screaming had come from but it continued after the ambulance passed by. One of the young men said that’s when they saw two people ‘crumpled’ on the ground. The group ran across the street to see if they could help …”

A 20-year-old man was lying unconscious on the ground and there was a puddle of blood behind his head. He was transported to Harrison Medical Center, then transferred to Harborview Medical Center because of the extent of his injuries; according to the probable cause statement, the man had a large open wound on the back of his head, as well as pain in his right arm and neck.

His female friend told the deputy they had been at Clearwater Casino that night and were walking on Suquamish Way in the direction of the Shell Station, on the shoulder of the roadway and well to the right of the white fog line. She said he was struck from behind by a vehicle, went up onto the hood and then rolled off into her, knocking her down.

The female friend and witnesses described the vehicle as resembling an ambulance, white with a large square back and a truck-like front, “with lights and some type of special writing on the side.” A North Kitsap Fire & Rescue lieutenant said he passed a vehicle matching the description on his way to the scene.

“From the description of the ambulance, we knew this to be Marcus Croman,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause statement. “Croman drives this vehicle around and since it stands out, it is easily recognized.”

Sheriff’s officers contacted Croman at his home; also found was his vehicle, which “had damage to it consistent with the scene,” the deputy wrote.

Croman told investigators he had gone to Seattle in the vehicle with his children to visit his mother and brother, returned on the Bainbridge ferry, crossed the Agate Pass Bridge and drove through Suquamish on his way home.

“When confronted about being in a collision, Marcus admitted he heard a noise at the side of his vehicle,” according to the investigator’s report. “He denied striking a person, or seeing anyone, but said he thought his mirror had just fallen off, as it had before, and it hit the running board below.”

Croman said he believed he had been driving the speed limit, but admitted driving with a suspended license. A records check revealed that Croman was wanted on a warrant for third-degree driving with a suspended license.

Croman owned and operated Cuppa Bella Bagelry & Espresso Cafe in Kingston; the cafe closed shortly after it moved to downtown Poulsbo. He ran unsuccessfully for Eglon Port Commission in 2009, then was ordained online by the Universal Life Church and started the rescue mission the next year. He said he’s now a stay-at-home dad.

 

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